25 Best Beers: Allagash & Peak Organic

Men’s Journal assembled a list of what they consider the 25 Best Beers in the World. Westvleteren 12 didn’t make the list but Allagash Curieux and Peak Organic Pale Ale did.

So for our beer survey, we asked craft-brew luminaries a simple question: What’s the best beer in the world? Then we tried them all. The result? A been-there, drank-that guide to the greatest brews on the planet, in no particular order. Enjoy.

Portland & Rochester Now Open

The Portland & Rochester Public House is now open for business. The new restaurant is located in Bayside at 118 Preble Street in the space formerly occupied by G&R DiMillo’s. The P & R’s facebook page describes the public house as having, “[t]he soul of a Bistro and spirit of a Pub” and promises, “The flavors speak to what is grown, made or caught in the beautiful Northeast.”

Garrett Fitzgerald is the owner of the Portland & Rochester and the name of the chef is Chris Clark. Clark moved here from Boston and Fitzgerald moved to Portland from Bar Harbor where he still runs the Bar Harbor Lobster Pound.

Reviews of In’finiti, El Corazon, Outliers and The Salt Exchange

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of In’finiti,

It shouldn’t worry us too much: In’finiti is not a complete success, but given the scope of its aspirations there’s good promise early in the run. Novare Res improved over time, adding an appealing and affordable menu to its long list of mostly expensive beers. In’finiti, by contrast, has plenty of $5 pints of interesting local beer, but the food menu is a bit spottier, pricier, and struggles to find a balance between something pub-like and fine dining.

the Press Herald has published a bar review of The Salt Exchange,

Now into its fourth year, I see the Salt Exchange standing its ground on the boisterous brawl of Commercial Street’s bar and restaurant scene. Not an easy feat, I should think. For those looking for a more subdued (and dare I say, savvy) place to kick back in the Old Port, the Salt Exchange is the ticket. If nothing else, they’ll win you over with hard-to-beat service.

the Portland Phoenix has published a review of Outliers,

So Outliers offers much to like. But perhaps it is better not to think of Outliers as an outlier, especially in a city with so many very good restaurants…Let’s hope that Outliers holds it off for a long time to come, but in the meantime perhaps we should think of it as simply well above average.

and the Press Herald has published a review of El Corazon.

I welcome El Corazon to the Portland food truck scene with happy and hungry open arms.


Colucci’s & The Lobster Holy Donut

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about The Holy Donut and their latest invention: the lobster donut,

“I’m taking the best of every bit of Maine, which is potatoes, deliciousness, fresh lobster, some herbs,” said the owner of The Holy Donut, frying the lot into golden pockets of love.

Meet the lobster doughnut. No bib required.

and has published a report about the prospective new owner of Colucci’s and his plans for the building.

Simpson said that if his purchase is successful, “it would be my plan to continue (Colucci’s) as a store.”

In a display of optimisim, a window sign on the building that had simply read “closed” has now been replaced with one that says “opening this fall.”

The Holy Donut article also mentions the plans for a 2nd location in Portland slated to open in August and THD’s upcoming appearance on the Cooking Chanel’s show Donut Showdown.

Vena’s Fizz House Opening Today

Vena’s Fizz House (facebook, website, twitter) is opening for business today. Vena’s is mixology supply shop that stocks bar tools, glassware, a wide assortment of bitters and syrups, as well as a natural soda bar that serves “natural and organic fruit and herb sodas and slushes”.

Vena’s is located at the corner of Silver and Fore Streets across from Rosie’s in Boothby Square. The shop is the creation of Johanna Corman who together with her husband also runs a general store on Cliff Island.


Under Construction: Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill

Maine a la Carte has published an article about Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill (facebook, website), a new restaurant under construction in South Portland.

 Powers calls barbecue “the only true American cuisine.” He spent at least 15 years “studying” barbecue, stopping at every little diner and BBQ joint he could find on road trips, searching for the perfect smoke, the perfect sauce.  He constructed two smokers himself  out of 1950s refrigerators.

At Elsmere, in addition to the Texas smoker, Powers and Rush will use an Argentine grill from California. The grill, which hasn’t arrived yet, has a big wheel that raises and lowers the cooking grates. It takes an hour and a half for the wood to burn down to embers, then the coals are raked forward in a continuous feed.

First Review of Compass Rose

The 207 Foodie has published a review of Compass Rose.

Overall, Compass Rose is like a pearl, still in the shell. It may have yet to be truly discovered, but I know that once you do, you’ll come back. The meat, the seafood…it’s all truly decadent and fantastic, and anybody that loves great food in a great place will come back for more. Located on Fore Street, Compass Rose is soon to be your new favorite. Try it out and you’ll see why.

Maine Made Gin

The Press Herald has published an article on Maine’s locally produced gins.

With the launch of its Alchemy gin on July 3, Maine Craft Distilling in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood became the fourth distillery to produce “American-style gin” in the state. Alchemy joins Back River gin from Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery, Maine Distilleries’ Cold River label and New England Distilleries’ Ingenium, each of which has a signature flavor profile.

Today’s paper also includes a report about a white fly infestation that is forcing Backyard Farms to hit the reset button on their hydroponic tomato farm.

Backyard Farms, which produces more than 27 million pounds of tomatoes a year, says an infestation of whiteflies in its greenhouses will force the company to destroy its entire crop of half-a-million plants and start over.

Vinland in the News

David Levi, chef/owner of Vinland, appeared in three news publications on Tuesday. NPR’s food blog, The Salt, quoted Levi on an article about the drain of culinary talent away from NYC and to smaller cities like Portland,

“Because rent is just so much lower, it just gives you a lot more freedom to not drive yourself completely crazy and take a few more risks,” Levi says.

and then the Wire blog published by The Atlantic picked up the story emphasizing the the role interest in local foods is having encouraging chefs to move,

and finally The Forecaster published an article about Levi’s vision for Vinland and it’s connection to local food/farm community.

“This is not just a restaurant, not just a job,” Levi said Monday. “This is about building the local economy, doing more for our land, and creating a truly Maine cuisine. Vinland is totally mission-driven.”

The locavore trend is nothing new, especially in foodie destinations such as Portland. But Levi is taking “local” to the extreme.

Levi is currently running a campaign on Kickstarter to raise part of the capital needed to launch Vinland.