This Week’s Events: R. Stuart Dinner, Brew Pub Cap, Brewers wo/ Borders, Natural Wine Tastings

bwbWednesday — Outliers is serving a 5-course dinner featuring Willamette Valley wines with special guest Rob Stuart from from R. Stuart Wines.

Thursday — The Farm Stand is holding natural wine tasting , Rosemont is also holding a wine tasting, there will be a wine and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, the Bier Cellar is hosting an Allagash tasting, and the 16th annual Brew Pub Cup is taking place.

Friday — Novare Res is holding a Brewers Without Borders event to raise funds for the Hof ten Dormaal brewery is Belgium that was recently damaged by a fire,  and The Farm Stand is holding another wine tasting.

Saturday —  Maine & Loire is holding their first wine tasting, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Valentine’s Day — restaurants have started announcing their plans for Valentine’s Day. I’ll be adding to this list and reposting it on a weekly basis now through then.

  • Congress Squared, special menu served on both the 13th and 14th.
  • David’s Opus Ten, 9-course dinner for 2 with wine pairings for $150
  • Five Fifty-Five, 4-course dinner for $75 per person; with optional pairings and supplements.
  • Novare Res is teaming up with La Crème Chocolat to serve beer and chocolate pairings on the 13th and 14th.
  • Petite Jacqueline, 3-course menu for $65 per person; optional wine pairings available.
  • Piccolo, 5-course dinner and a glass of rose prosecco, $75 per person; optional wine pairings available.
  • Rising Tide, on the 13th Rising Tide Brewing will be releasing Nuit D’Hiver, a “limited rum barrel aged version of D’Hiver, our dark rye saison with winter spices and sweet orange peel” along with D’Hiver, 2013 Cellared D’Hiver, Nuit D’Hiver on tap and chocolates truffles from La Crème Chocolat.
  • Vinland has a number of options including a 10-course dinner for 4 for $300.

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.

Scallop Divers

Today’s issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Maine’s diver scallop fishermen.

“I’ve been caught in currents and dragged,” said Brian Preney, 55, a diver out of Boothbay who is a member of the Urchin Advisory Council and has been fishing with scuba gear since 1980. He learned how to dive at Colby College, in the pool, and married into a family of fishermen. Fishing for urchins, which generally don’t take a diver below 30 feet, is like “picking cotton” in comparison to the more exciting pursuit of scallops, which have the power to dart away, fast. “I liken scalloping more to hunting.”

The Salt: Brewers Gone Wild

NPR’s blog The Salt has posted an article about Allagash and wild fermented beers.

The team at Allagash has been experimenting with Brett and other “nontraditional brewing microbes” (for making wild and sour beers) for about a dozen years. The first time the brewers discovered that an ambient strain of local, wild Brett had contaminated a barrel of beer, “we panicked!” Perkins recalls. “We learned quickly that the character was very unique.” So they isolated it, cultured it and created a small but ambitious wild beer program that puts Brett on center stage.

Review of Ebb & Flow

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Ebb & Flow.

If looks could kill, Ebb & Flow would be slaying customers in the Old Port. The dining room is attractive, the presentation colorful and the tableware sparkling and elegant. But three months after opening, the Mediterranean-inspired cooking here remains uneven. Play to the kitchen’s strengths and order a selection of mezze (small dishes) served with the outstanding house-made pita. Or go for dessert and share a plate of sugary galaktoboureko, the chef’s lighter version of a traditional custard-and-phyllo confection that tastes like food for the (Greek) gods.

Photos of Empire

The Angela Adams blog Sea Fantasy has published a set of images of Empire Chinese Kitchen.

We all love the Empire Chinese Kitchen!

Portland was in dire need of a dim sum restaurant and Empire has aced it. Whether you sit at the bar or in a cozy booth, the experience is always a treat. I never go without getting the green beans. Nicole’s recent visit included some new items that are calling me back. Don’t wait. Go now! Then go back again! We will likely be there eating tasty pockets of goodness.

Under Construction: Isa

Eater Maine has posted an interview with Suzie St. Pierre, who along with her husband are opening Isa (facebook) on Portland Street.

What makes you eager to open it in Portland, which is packed with places to eat?
We love Maine and we love Portland and we’re encouraged by the city’s passion for good food. Every city has competition and, of course, Portland doesn’t lack it. But the residents and visitors support this industry better than almost any other city in the nation, which makes us think there’s always room for another good restaurant with a different experience to offer.