Maine Wins at the American Cheese Society Competition

A number of Maine creameries were among the award winners at this year’s American Cheese Society competition:

  • Crooked Face Creamery won 3rd place for the whole milk ricotta
  • Silver Moon Creamery won 2nd place for their provolone
  • Pineland Farms won 1st place for their cheddar cheese spread and 3rd place for their smoked cheddar
  • York Hill Farm won 3rd place for their capriano

Interview with Masa Miyake

Mainebiz interviewed Masa Miyake about his start in the restaurant industry and plans for opening Miyake Diner on Spring Street.

MB: Why did you open the original Miyake in the West End, and why are you returning?
MM: I visited Maine on vacation, and we moved to the countryside. My dream was growing a few pigs, chickens and vegetables by myself and working somewhere. But the owners of a small pizza place [in the West End] asked me if I was interested in buying the lease for $20,000. I took it over in June 2007. But it only had an electric stove. So I put in a sushi bar, because you don’t need gas. We served tsubo-style sushi and interesting dishes. A chef came in, Rob Evans [former Hugo’s owner], and told the newspapers the place to go is Miyake. So he introduced us around. At the time we were small.

This Week’s Events: MCIPA, Leslie Oster at Twilight, Supperpie, Backyard Locavore Day

Monday — Bunker is holding a release party for M.C.I.P.A. a new beer named in memory of one of the Beastie Boys.

WednesdayBlack Tie will be holding a farm dinner in New Gloucester, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

ThursdayLeslie Oster from Aurora Provisions will be the guest chef at this week’s Twilight Dinner at Turkey Hill Farm, the second of the Supperpie dinner series will take place, there will be a wine tasting at the Public Market House and The Great Lost Bear will be showcasing beer from Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project.

Saturday — it’s the opening of the 88th Annual Saint Peter’s Bazaar,  home gardeners around Cumberland County are participating in Backyard Locavore Day and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Reviews of MJ’s Wine Bar and Hot Suppa

Wine Maniacs has published a review of MJ’s Wine Bar,

You start with a tasty French rose by Jean Luc Colombo ($5.00 a glass) for happy hour and finish about an hour or so later with a rare late harvest Viognier from Spain at $9.00 a glass. In between you have a real wine bar experience complete with well selected cheese, tunes on a turntable (Neal Young works well) and a well selected group of wines.

and The 207 Foodie has published a review of Hot Suppa.

Hot Suppa! is a great place to go for your dining desires, especially if you like dishes that have a little extra Southern flavor! Lunch or Dinner, they will serve you a meal that is sure to impress. But don’t take my word for it..try it out for yourself!

Under Construction: Menu for Piccolo

The City Council will be voting on Monday to approve the liquor license application for Piccolo. Piccolo will be featuring the cuisine of Calabria and Abruzzi. It will be located at 111 Middle Street in the former home of Bresca.

A draft menu (page 53) and floor plan (page 50) are included in materials provided to the city. Appetizers include options such as a salad of charred chilled calamari, watermelon, bitter greens dressed with olive oil. Meat, seafood and vegetarian entree options will be available such as slow baked sea bass with summer peas, roasted onions and pancetta.

Chefs Damian Sansonetti and wife Ilma Lopez will be running the establishment. Sansonetti is a co-owner of Blue Rooster Food Company and the former executive chef at Bar Boulud in NYC. Until quite recently Lopez was the pastry chef at Grace.

They’re hoping to launch Piccolo sometime in September, serving dinner Tuesday – Sunday, 5-10:30pm.

Review of Spread

The Golden Dish has posted a review of Spread. The kitchen at Spread is now under the direction of Frenchman Frederic Eliot.

With Frederic Eliot at the helm Spread deserves recognition once again for its fine cuisine.  The restaurant is busy at times but it should be packed with lines of diners waiting outside to experience its novel menu.  We have a Frenchman in our midst, the only one here, and the next time I must try Eliot’s torchon of foie gras because who else but a French chef can do it justice?

Improving the Food Truck Regulations

Maine a la Carte reports that city manager Mark Rees is taking a look at how to improve the ordinance and rules governing food trucks in the Portland.

Among the options being considered are rule changes that would allow clustering of food trucks in the city, and an end to a controversial fee the trucks were being asked to pay when they park on private property. These proposed changes are just “a starting point for discussion,” Reese wrote.

For additional information, see this article in The Forecaster.