Po’ Boys Changes Hands

Po’ Boys and Pickles founder Peter Zinn has sold the business to Chris Bettera. Bettera doesn’t plan to make any major changes to Po’ Boys, “When you have an amazing product and a great crew, there really isn’t a need to start from scratch.”

Bettera is a 3rd generation restaurateur. His grandfather owned 5 restaurants in the Hartford Connecticut area, and his parents ran La Trattoria Restaurant in Canton, CT for over 40 years. Bettera grew up working in restaurants and has been working at Bonobo’s since moving to Portland while searching for the right opportunity to own his own restaurant. He spent the prior “16 years traveling the world while working in the field of international education”.

Zinn plans to now spend his time growing the Choomi Cookies business he launched in 2013.

This Week’s Events: T. Edwards, Rhum Tiki, Woodford F&B, Urban Sugar, Beard Dinner, Singapore Sling, Jason Loring, Full Plates, Repeal Ball

It’s going to be a very busy week of food events…

Monday — Maine & Loire is holding a T. Edward wine tasting.

Tuesday — Bramhall is hosting a Rhum Tiki Lounge preview event.

WednesdayWoodford Food & Beverage is holding a neighborhood mixer/preview (menu), and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — the Twelve Beers of Christmas showcase is taking place at The Great Lost Bear, and there will be a beer and cheese tasting at the Public Market House, and it’s the final day to contribute to the Urban Sugar Donuts Kickstarter campaign.

Friday — the Portland Hunt  & Alpine will be serving a Scandinavian Repeal Day dinner at the James Beard House in NYC, guest chef Alfie Jerome Mossade will be serving 5-course dinner at Tempo Dulu for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Singapore Sling, Jason Loring will be the featured chef for a dinner at Flanagan’s Table, and C Salt Gourmet is holding their holiday Sip and Shop.

Saturday — the first Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, and there will be a encore of the Tempo Dulu Singapore Sling dinner, and Allagash is holding a bottle release for Avance.

Sunday – an ensemble cast of chefs led by Rob Evans are preparing a benefit dinner for Full Plates, Full Potential(facebook, tickets) at Flanagan’s Table, there will be a Jenny & François Selections tasting at Maine & Loire, and the 2015 Repeal Day Ball is taking place at Mechanics Hall.

New Year’s Eve – restaurants have started announcing NYE specials. I’ll be adding to and reposting the growing list each week over the coming month. Let me know if you know of one that’s missing.

  • Honey Paw/Eventide – passed apps and champagne toast, $53.74.
  • Tempo Dulu – 8-course dinner with cocktail and champagne toast, $195.
  • Vinland – 5-course dinner and sparkling wine toast, $108.

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.

Taking Over An Established Restaurant

The Press Herald has posted an article, focused heavily on the Arrows to Velveteen Habit transition, on the challenges restaurateurs face when buying an established restaurant with a loyal customer base.

Sometimes in life it’s necessary to let go of the old to make way for something different. For the past year, Goldman has been trying to let go of Arrows and its well-loved traditions to make room for his new restaurant, The Velveteen Habit. It hasn’t always been easy. Customers were scarce at first. Longtime fans missed the old wine list, the formality of Arrows and that wisteria.

You Dine, We Donate

Hugo’s, Eventide and The Honey Paw are partnering with the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital program You Dine, We Donate to raise $10,000 during the month of December.

5% of each check at the three restaurants will be donated to the hospital. Arlin Smith, Mike Smith, and Andrew Taylor, owners of Big Tree Hospitality Group, “will contribute a minimum of $10,000”.

Restaurant co-owners Andrew Taylor, Arlin Smith and Mike Wiley feel strongly about partnering about You Dine. We Donate. because they know how important the BBCH is to their local community. Taylor says, “My oldest son was a patient at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital as an infant and the warmth and incredible care meant so much to my wife and I during a difficult time. This is such a great opportunity for us to give back.”

Co-owner Smith says the partnership was a no-brainer. “We have children. Our employees have children. We feel good about supporting such an important institution in our community.” As a non-profit hospital, the BBCH relies on community support to provide world-class healthcare to all children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

Interview with Chris Harris

The Portland Phoenix has interviewed Chris Harris, co-owner of Crooners & Cocktails.

LO: What do you feel makes your restaurant stand out from the other dining options in Portland?
CH: Attention to detail. I do my walkthrough of the dining room every single night. I measure the silverware. I measure the glassware. I measure how far the napkins are from the edge of the table. … We don’t want people to think it’s stuffy, because it’s not. But we are such professionals here, in every aspect. Everyone here is after the same goal, and that’s absolute perfection. We’re trying to do something special here in Portland, and there’s nothing else like us here.

Best Bars: Hunt & Alpine

Hunt & Alpine has landed on the Liquor.com list of the Best Bars in America.

Portland’s first craft-cocktail bar continues to shine with a deep cocktail list that spans from approachable to geeky. There’s a smoky spin on a Negroni made with Cynar, tequila, mezcal and Fernet Branca and the simple Green Eyes: a gin sour sharpened to a keen edge with a healthy splash of green Chartreuse.

Bar Review of Eve’s

The Press Herald has reviewed Eve’s.

Tucked away on the second floor of the Portland Harbor Hotel is Eve’s at the Garden, a warm and elegant hotel bar and restaurant that boasts a toasty fireplace nook, superbly comfortable bar stools, and peaceful views of the patio sanctuary, which transforms into an ice sculpture garden come winter. While the cocktail list is mediocre, this is the perfect place to enjoy a nice glass of Scotch, share a bottle of red, or order a warm Irish Dream Coffee.

Hunters for the Hungry

The Times Union has published an article about the state’s Hunters for the Hungry program, which provides a way for hunters to donate to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries.

It’s a cool fall morning outside a red brick warehouse in Maine’s largest city, and Don Morrison is facing a tall order. It’s time to turn 40 pounds of moose and deer meat into enough shepherd’s pie to feed 200 people by sundown.

Morrison, manager of the Portland anti-hunger group Wayside Food Programs, is happy to do it, in part, because of the source of the meat. Tonight’s dinner was acquired through Hunters for the Hungry, a state-run program that allows hunters to donate their game. It has grown exponentially in recent years.

For more information, visit this page on the state’s website.