The Farm Stand Wins Source Award

The Press Herald announced the winners of the inaugural Source Awards over the weekend. Among the recipients was The Farm Stand in the Newcomer category.

“Indispensable,” one nominator gushed of our winner for the Source Newcomer Award, for a business or entity established in the last 18 months. Another credited The Farm Stand, the brainchild of Penny Jordan and Ben Slayton of Farmers’ Gate butchery in Wales, with allowing them to “effortlessly integrate” the mission of eating local into their lives.

Bar Review of El Rayo

Drink Up and Get Happy has posted a happy hour review of El Rayo.

El Rayo Scarborough is definitely a stand-out on Route One and is a great spot to catch a delicious drink without having to venture in town. Give it a chance if you live or work nearby, it’s worth the visit. They also have daily specials Sunday – Wednesday if you can’t make their happy hours or need something more substantial to accompany your drinks.

This Week’s Events: Chateau Musar, Oxbow Dinner, History of Cocktails & Kitchens, Symphony+Spirits

Monday — Local 188 is holding an Oxbow beer dinner.

Tuesday — Historian Sandy Oliver will be giving a talk in Yarmouth on The History of Colonial Kitchens.

WednesdayHugo’s is holding a Chateau Musar wine dinner, and the Portland Spirits Society will be gathering at Salvage for a Bourbon tasting.

FridayDon Lindgren, owner of Rabelais, will be giving a talk at the Maine Historical Society entitled Spirited Ephemera: Cocktail and Liquor History Through Paper.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayRosemont is holding a Bean Supper, and the PSO is collaborrating with Hunt and Alpine on a Symphony + Spirits event.

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.

Review of Eve’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Eve’s at the Garden.

Located on the second floor of the Portland Harbor Hotel, Eve’s at the Garden is a quiet, club-like space with a predictable hotel restaurant menu – and a penchant for over-embellished food. Skip the more complicated starters (such as “pickled beet salad with verjus vinaigrette, goat cheese, speck ham and broiled grapes”) and try a simple plate of creamy burrata. Then enjoy the flavorful stuffed Cornish hen served with polenta. And definitely ask about dessert: There’s a revolving list of specials and the maple panna cotta introduced by the executive chef is a sweet, ethereal standout.

Primo’s Kelly at JBF Gala

Melissa Kelly, chef/owner of Primo in Rockland is one of a team 17 award winning chefs that have been invited to prepare a dish for the James Beard Award Gala in May.

Other chefs participating in the gala include luminaries such as David Chang, Daniel Patterson and Nancy Silverton.

Four Maine chefs are nominees in this year’s awards competition: Cara Stadler(Rising Star), Central Provisions(Best New Restaurant), Masa Miyake(Best Chef: Northeast) and Andrew Taylor/Mike Wiley(Best Chef: Northeast).

Chef Potocki at Bearded Lady

Chef  Josh Potocki from 158/Pocket Brunch will be the guest chef this evening along with colleague Sean Esten at The Bearded Lady. This will kick-off an ongoing roll by the pair as TBL’s “ghost chefs”. They’ll be periodically dreaming up new dishes and reconfiguring the menu for the bar.

Looking further out, on Sunday, May 24th, the bar staff of Black Birch will be doing a bar takeover at The Bearded Lady serving up a special cocktail menu for the evening.

Under Construction: The Honey Paw

thehoneypawThe Honey Paw(instagram, twitter) passed their last inspection earlier this week. As you can see the dining room is nearly almost finished, and the restaurant is on a fast track to open.

The Honey Paw menu is organized into 5 unnamed, numerically designated sections: 001 – 005. Here are a few items  that caught my interest:

  • 001: Assorted Pickles
  • 002: Lobster Tartine with cilantro emulsion, radish and hijiki
  • 003: Saffron Gnocchi Sardi with duck bolognese, eggplant-raisin agrodolce and parmessan; Buckwheat Noodles with dried mackerel, cured egg yolk, paddlefish roe and hazelnut
  • 004: Fried Whole Black Bass with pineapple fried rice, lap cheong and coconut salsa verde
  • 005: Soft Serve Ice Cream with carmelized honey, honeycomb and magic shell

Behind the scenes there’s a large new kitchen that extends nearly the full length of the building behind Hugo’s, Eventide and The Honey Paw.

Interview with Sean Wilkinson

Eater Maine has published an interview with Sean Wilkinson from Might & Main about the design/branding work his company has done with several Portland restaurants.

Can you have a house design but ensure you’re not copying yourself with all these restaurants?
I feel like as time has gone by, it’s easier for us to recognize we have a certain set of house aesthetics. We work really hard to make sure things don’t look alike but when you have a creative director in charge of decisions, things are going to be put through that person’s filter.

We try to make sure that the overall appearance for each restaurant is appropriate, and we turn projects down on a fairly regular basis because we’re afraid they may be a conflict. If somebody were to open a nordic-themed craft cocktail bar and asked us to design the menu systems, that’d be a no-brainer for us to say no to [because of Might & Main’s work with The Portland Hunt and Alpine Club], or if somebody were opening an oyster bar. We’re very conscious of differentiation in this town.