Pocket Picnic


The June edition of Pocket Brunch took place today at Bresca and the Honey Bee in New Gloucester. Krista Kern Desjarlais and Erik Desjarlais were guest chefs for the picnic themed meal.

  • Premeal – financier with plum and goat ricotta, and bacon-wrapped Deuben-dog in a blanket of deviled eggs accompanied by cucumber, dry gin and Aperol cooler
  • Snack Board – Hahn’s End Blue, York Hill Capriano, Fermin Salchichon Iberico, Wild Boar cacciatorini, Fermin Chorizo Iberico accompanied by UFF’s Buchanan Hard Cider
  • Lunch Basket – buttermilk fried chicken, fennel slaw, black Sabbathday potato salad, pickled watermellon accompanied by Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale
  • Sweet Basket – blueberry crumb pie with lemon buttermilk sherbert, and strawberry shortcake with basil ice cream accompanied by Twin Vines Vinho Verde

Tandem Coffee was also on-hand with pour overs and their wonderful malt ice coffee.


Under Construction: Omi’s Coffee Shop (Updated)

A new neighborhood coffee shop called Omi’s (facebook) is under construction at 28 Brackett Street just across the street by Outliers. Co-owners Naomi Hall and Katie Bruzgo plan on sourcing their coffee from Maine roaster Seacoast Coffee.

Checkout the renovation photos on their Facebook page. Their plan is to have a colorful and comfy space.

The shop was briefly mentioned last week in a Portland Daily Sun article about the Harbor View Park neighborhood.

Review of Fore Street

Peter Peter Portland Eater has published a review of Fore Street.

There was no doubt the meal made us happy. I was thrilled with the portion size. It wasn’t a cheap night at $140 after tip for two people but the meal did include two apps, two entrees, two sides, and a drink. For a special night it was worth it. I’d recommend Fore Street for those times when you’re looking to impress. They’ll provide an excellent meal, but it would probably be too pricey for the average person to visit on a regular basis. Give it a shot and add it to your special occasion list. And make your reservations early because they get booked really quickly.

Lanzalotta/Micucci Controversy

Maine a la Carte has posted a report on the news that Stephen Lanzalotta is no longer running the bakery at Micucci’s.

Lanzalotta sent out an email on Thursday to his Piatto per Tutti mailing list. In it he explains that he’s been fired for ” ‘overstepping my bounds’ in advocating for raises and fuller workweeks for bakery assistants”. The letter goes on to establish his claim to the recipes used and the bakery and asks for a boycott of baked goods at Micucci’s.

Meredith Goad contacted owner Rick Micucci about the issue,

Rick Micucci, president of Micucci Grocery Co., confirmed Friday that Lanzolotta is no longer working at the store, but wouldn’t say why or give any other details. “It is something I can’t comment on,” he said, “but the bakery is operating as usual.”

Wannawaf Opened Today

Wannawaf (website, facebook, twitter) opened for business today (photo) and will be staying open until 2am this evening. They’re located at 15 Monument Square in the space formerly occupied by Cobblestones.

Owner Anya Arsenault (aka Waffle Girl) opened the original Wannawaf in Boothbay in 2003. The menu for the Portland store includes a selection of savory and sweet waffle-based options such as The Kitchen Sink (“egg, home fries, your choice of meat all baked inside a warm waffle”) and the Grand Tradition (“hot waffle, vanilla ice cream, real Maine maple syrup, whipped cream & cinnamon”).

Reviews of Emilitsa & Blue Rooster

The Golden Dish has published a review of Emilitsa,

For a main course I chose duck.  Here the breast was pan-roasted to medium rare, settled in a sauce made from a reduction of Attiki honey, Metaxa, balsamic and wild fennel pollen.  It was accompanied by fingerlings roasted in duck fat and grilled asparagus. Every component of the dish jived to deliver  great nuance of flavor and texture.

and Eat Maine has published a review of Blue Rooster.

Sansonetti and his crew have created an approachable, but different sandwich shop. As someone who works in the restaurant business, I know that the biggest compliment is to have industry people visit regularly and speak highly of an establishment. The Blue Rooster tests my limits of self-control, both in terms of how much I order while I’m there and how often I allow myself to visit. And that’s a good thing.

Bollard on Harding Lee Smith

The July issue of The Bollard will include an article about chef Harding Lee Smith.

The cover story I wrote for the July issue of The Bollard (which hits the streets this week) poses some uncomfortable questions for the so-called “foodies” in Maine who support our nationally renowned restaurant scene and have elevated chefs to the status of rock stars in recent years. These discerning diners increasingly demand vegetables that are locally and organically grown, but what if it’s not the farmer but the chef who’s creating a toxic environment? The same diners want to know the animals they’re eating were treated well, but what about the cooks and servers? How important is it that the humans are treated humanely?