Chef Mike Smith at Scales

Mike Smith has been hired to lead the kitchen at Scales. Smith is a Culinary Institute of America graduate. He has spent six years in Boston working for Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Rising through the ranks of their restaurant group to serve as chef de cuisine at Toro. Smith returned to live in Maine last year.

Sam Hayward shared with me that he’s looking forward to working with Smith and to seeing his interpretation of the vision for Scales. The 100+ seat waterfront seafood restaurant being developed by Dana Street and Sam Hayward. It’s currently under construction on the Maine Wharf off of Commercial Street, and is  set to open in 2016.

Food & Wine/Bon Appétit

Retiring Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin named a dinner at The Lost Kitchen this summer as one of her Favorite Meals of 2015.

The new issue of Bon Appétit calls out Maine & Loire as an exemplar of what a good wine shop should be, “a small, focused shop with a staff who has probably tasted most of what they’re selling and who genuinely want you to find something great—in your budget.”

Ben Alfiero, 59

benalfieroBen Alfiero, co-owner of Harbor Fish Market, passed away earlier this week at the age of 59.

Alfiero and his brothers, Nick Alfiero and Mike Alfiero, have been involved in the operation of the Harbor Fish Market since their father Ben Alfiero Sr. founded the business in 1969.

For years, Benjamin A. Alfiero ran the retail store for Harbor Fish Market, which is located at 9 Custom House Wharf on the city’s waterfront.

For more information and public comment see this facebook post by Harbor Fish.

Interview with Damian Sansonetti

The Portland Phoenix has interviewed Damian Sansonetti, co-owner/chef of Piccolo.

CP: Why did you and Ilma move to Portland?
DS: We knew NYC wasn’t going to be for us in the long run even though we accomplished so much while there. We wanted a family and our own place. We traveled to other cities and couldn’t find a place we both felt good in, and then our friend Rod Mitchell who owns Browne Trading in Portland, kept asking me to visit Maine. So we did, and the first night we hit up four places to eat and found ourselves coming back four more times in six months and fell in love with the place and the people.

Sansonetti and his wife Ilma Lopez will be the featured chefs for a dinner at the Beard House in New York City this weekend.

Aguardiente de Agave

Squirrel Farts has posted an article about and tasting notes on Aguardiente de Agave, the newest spirit from Liquid Riot Bottling Co.

Aguardiente de Agave is Liquid Riot Bottling Company’s latest spirit offering, releasing this Friday, November 20th, 2015 at the brewery/distillery/restaurant on Commercial Street in Portland. Roughly translated as “Agave Firewater,” this is an 80 proof spirit made from 100% organic blue agave syrup. So, it’s pretty much tequila.
Except you can’t call it tequila.
I’ll explain.

Aguardiente de Agave is being released noon tomorrow.

Bar Review of the East Ender

The Press Herald has published a bar review of the East Ender,

Brought to you by the owners of the former SmallAxe Food Truck, East Ender is a two-story casual eatery in the eponymous neighborhood of Portland. Fit with two full bars, one upstairs and one downstairs, this is the kind of place where you can find a little bit of everything – a quiet drink with a friend, enough space upstairs to meet a group, or a romantic evening out in a cozy corner. The cocktail list is new for the season and is cleverly crafted with care. Several local brews, as well as Miller High Life, are available on draft. Mocktail menu, and sodas by the bottle and gun.

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Unsure of what wine to serve with your Thanksgiving dinner? Wine writer Joe Appel has it covered. For his weekly article he gathered recommendations from eight local wine experts, learning what they plan to serve their family next week.

Erica Archer, sommelier at Wine Wise, a wine education program featuring wine walks, sails and cruises, and private and corporate events: “The 2008 Mount Langi Ghiran ‘Cliff Edge’ Riesling ($19), from Grampians, Australia, is a gorgeous and developed riesling that is drinking absolutely beautifully right now. It’s loaded with aromatic developed fruits: tropical – mango, pineapple, papaya; citrus – lemon, lime; and ripe orchard fruits – apple, pear, juicy peach. It has this bold minerality that shines through, and zesty acidity that balances out the fruitiness and alcohol. There’s a lot going on in this wine, just as there’s a lot going on on a traditional Thanksgiving plate.

Word Play: The Color Series

Flanagan’s Table has unveiled the 2016 calendar for their popular dinner series. During the coming year they’re adding an extra twist for Word Play: The Color Series. Each is conceived by a pair (or more) of chefs and “This eight dinner series is colored themed and an execution of the chefs’ interpretation of those colors — literally and figuratively — through a five-course meal.”

  • January 31st, Purple, Thomas Pisha-Duffly from The Honey Paw and Justin Walker from Earth
  • February 27th, Red, Amanda Hallowell from Nebo Lodge and David Turin from David’s
  • April 30th, Yellow, Krista Kern Desjarlais from The Purple House and Josh Potocki from 158
  • June 26th, Green, Rob Evans from Duckfat and Masa Miyake from Miyake/Pai Men
  • July 31st, Pink, Wilson Rothschild from Terlingua and Anders Talberg from Roustabout
  • August 7th, Black, Sous Chef dinner
  • October 2nd, Orange, Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti from Piccolo and Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley from Hugo’s
  • December 3rd, White, Larry Matthews from Back Bay Grill and Jason Williams from The Well

On Wednesday, Flanagan’s Table will begin selling a limited number of subscriptions to the entire series.