Under Construction: Drifter’s Wife

Orenda and Peter Hale have submitted a liquor license application for their natural wine bar, the Drifter’s Wife(instagram, website). The bar will be co-located with the Hale’s wine shop Maine & Loire. The  draft menu (page 35) includes items such as shaved fennel with meyer lemon and aged gouda, and mushroom toast with eggs and herbs.

The natural wine bar will have seating for about 20 including a small 8-seat bar. The Hale’s are aiming to craft a space that be both a “convivial hangout with the energy we feel when we drink at our favorite places” and a place where people can have direct experience with the natural wines they specialize in.

Under Construction: Munjoy Hill Tavern

A new bar called the Munjoy Hill Tavern is under construction at 189 Congress Street in the former Mama’s Crow Bar space. The draft menu (pages 72-73) includes items such as stuffed mushroom caps, chicken tenders, flatbread pizza and a boneless chicken breast sandwich.

According to the liquor license application, owner Stanley Dobson hopes to open the tavern in November.

Reviews: Union & The King’s Head

Portland Magazine has reviewed Union,

Next up, native beet salad–a bountiful bowl of perfectly cooked red and golden beets glowing atop a delectable dressing of local yogurt, curry oil, and ginger emulsion. This dish alone is proof the Union lives up to its self described “farm to table hotspot.”

and Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed The King’s Head.

The King’s Head brings a unique take to a city with a reputation for bars with quality beer offerings. As a gastropub they have 40 taps filled with craft beer to be paired with their delicious food.

Glutton’s Guide to Portland

Travel + Leisure has posted a “Glutton’s Guide to Portland, Maine”.

The nation’s first, and easternmost, city of Portland may not have a TV show, but it does have a food and beverage scene to rival any American destination. From fresh oysters topped with kimchi shaved ice to banana-flavored beer, here are some of our favorite Portland places to indulge your inner glutton.

Mentioned in the article are: Allagash, Bissell Brothers, Central Provisions, Duckfat, Eventide, Fisherman’s Grill, Foundation Brewing, Grace, Green Elephant, New England Distilling, and Shipyard.

Under Construction: Farm Truck Juice

The Bangor Daily News has published an update on Farm Truck Juice.

Focused on farm-direct purchases, founder Walter Loeman says the stand will source from 30 Maine farms in season. Organic apples, blueberries, kale and carrots grown from Palermo to Dresden to Camden will be blended with more exotic fruit such as kiwi and roots like ginger. The oranges in his sunny bunny concoction will hail from down south. “We will have six or seven proprietary drinks,” said Loeman, who is no stranger to the Portland food scene.

Restaurateur Walter Loeman who founded Walter’s, Perfetto’s, Mazza, Cotton Street Cantina and several other restaurants is part of the cooperative team launching Farm Truck Juice(facebook, website, twitter, instagram).

Review of Abilene

manchegotoastThe Golden Dish has reviewed Abilene.

We started off with the appetizer, Manchego Toast.  The dish was inspired  by a chef Colgan knew in New Orleans. House made focaccia, lightly toasted, is topped with the melted Spanish Manchego cheese, with judicious hints of garlic and shallot and topped with a duxelle of mushrooms soaking in a sauce of Sherry and mushroom broth.   I could have this ten times over and never tire of the dish.

For more information on Abilene, read this interview with the owners in the Portland Phoenix.

Climate Change Hampering Cod Recovery

An article by GMRI scientist in the journal Science concludes that climate change driven warming in the Gulf of Maine is largely responsible for the species failure to recover, reports the Press Herald.

The study by Andrew Pershing, chief science officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and 11 colleagues from that and three other research institutions found that warming-related stresses accounted for much of the discrepancy between what managers thought would happen to the stock and what actually occurred. The study was published Thursday in the journal Science.

Here’s a link to the study.

Interview with Chris Gould

Plate has published an interview with Chris Gould, chef and co-owner of Central Provisions.

What meal changed how you feel about food?
I used to ski race, when I was in high school. I was competing in Megeve, France, and we were allowed to go out to dinner one night on our own. I decided I wanted to have a nice dinner. We had chicken liver mousse, and all these things that I had never had, but were incredible. Food was completely different than what I ever thought it was. Another night, while staying at a hostel, the lady who ran it made this veal blanquette, and it was the best thing I had ever eaten. So I stopped skiing and started cooking. I would also bake with my mom and grandmother. This was before cooking was cool, and people were like, ‘why would you do it?’ Now cooking is cool, and nobody wants to work.

Reviews: Rick’s Lobby Cafe, Terlingua, Custom Deluxe, Palace

The Press Herald has reviewed Rick’s Lobby Cafe,

So…about that sandwich. The chicken was of the Boar’s Head persuasion and supremely fresh. The bacon was cooked before my eyes and the Swiss was melted just the right amount. The red peppers retained their all-important crunch and the spinach was green and perfect. The Dijon mustard was applied with a medium hand so it was just the right. This is important to me as too much or too little would have had serious ramifications.

and the Portland Phoenix has reviewed Terlingua.

As in life, the general sourness of things lends the sweet notes greater resonance. So while one starter of pickled egg and sausage was unrelenting in its vinegar-tartness, a ceviche appetizer featured some great sweet shrimp, whose flesh had not been over-cured — they were appealingly tender rather than soggy or rubbery. An entrée offered long pink slices of duck, which had been both cider-cured and smoked. But the resulting hints of bitter and sour mingled with pieces of a pumpkin seed brittle that lent some sweet-anise flavor, reinforced by the accompanying apple cranberry slaw.

The new issue of Down East includes a review of Custom Deluxe in Biddeford. The article isn’t yet available online but photographer Meredith Perdue has posted pictures of the article on her site,

Approachable and affordable with dishes culled from all corners of the world, their Custom Deluxe is also a reflection of Biddeford, a former mill town on the cusp of reinvention.

and The Blueberry Files has posted a review/dining guide for Palace Diner.

It’s hands down, the best French toast I’ve ever had. I didn’t really understand the appeal of French toast until I had theirs. This is how it’s supposed to be – custardy in the middle, crunchy on the edges, and bruleed on top, giving it a crackly, caramelized sweetness. There’s a river of butter and real maple syrup. 


Maine Cider & Salt Water Farm

DEM1511-cover-435x580The November issue of Down East contains a feature on Maine’s burgeoning cider industry,

Buchanan, who just launched his hard cider operation this year, is one of more than a half-dozen Maine orchardists who’ve recently commited themselves to reviving the craft of brewing hard cider. The American colonists’ beverage of choice and a popular drink well into the mid-19th Century, is enjoying a renaissance in Maine on the heels of the state’s boom in craft beers…

and an intimate look at the challenges restaurant owner Annemarie Ahearn experienced as she launched the Salt Water Farm in Rockport.

Last year 170 new restaurants opened in Maine. Statistically, more than a quarter of them won’t make it through their first year. This is the story of one that did – restaurateur Annemarie Ahearn’s ambitious Salt Water Farm – and what it took to get there: bruised egos, broken friendships, and tough lessons about what Mainers want.

The articles aren’t yet available online but you can find copies of the magazine on your local newsstand.