Rhum Opens Today

Rhum (website, facebook, instagram) held an friends and family preview last night and opens to the public today—the bar opens at 4pm and the kitchen at 5pm.

The tiki bar and restaurant is a partnership between Jason Loring, owner of Nosh and Slab; Mike Fraser, owner of Bramhall Pub; Nat Towl, builder and designer with the all star team of Frank Warren Anderson, Fred Eliot, Sam Babcock, and Rebecca Ambrosi.

The bar serves tiki-themed cocktails such as the King Kong Sledgehammer, Painkiller, Junglebird and mocktails. You can also get large format drinks (“Why settle for a flagon when you can have the whole cask?”) that serve up to 7 people.

Rhum features a raw bar serving Island Creek Oysters by the half dozen and seafood towers that include Peruvian scallops, Mexican shrimp, Maine mussels, king crab and lobster. There’s also a menu of small plate dishes. My favorite so far has been the Hiramasa Poke (photo) made with coconut vadouvan, pineapple and fried shallots. See below for the full list of options, and pictures of the food and space are available on Instagram.


Bard at the USBC Qualifying Competition


Bard Coffee barista Maisie DeGoosh is in Kansas City this week competing in the USBC Qualifying Event.

DeGoosh had her time in front of the judges on Thursday and received an overall score of 243.5. She used a natural process Ethiopian coffee to prepare an espresso, a milk-based drink and a signature drink for the  judges.

At the end of today we’ll learn if Maisie is one of the 36 baristas (out of 100 competing) that will be going to the national competition taking Place in Atlanta in April.

Update: Maisie DeGoosh placed 9th overall in the Eastern conference Brewer’s Cup and so will be competing in the nationals in April.

Photo Credit: Sprudge Live

Brewery Snack Sales to be Allowed

The Press Herald reports that the City has decided to allow snack sales at breweries and may create a separate $500 city license to for breweries, distilleries and wineries that operate in Portland.

City officials this week reversed a previous determination that breweries located in industrial zones could not sell prepackaged snacks in their tasting rooms.

The move will allow Allagash Brewing Co. to begin selling snacks from Portland Fruit and Nut Co., Coastal Maine Popcorn and Maine Vintage Kitchen as soon as next week. The request to sell snacks to beer tourists was made so the brewery can help temper the effects of alcohol on customers who might spend an afternoon visiting the half-dozen breweries on Industrial Way.

Under Construction: Bunker Brewing

bunker_logoBunker Brewing (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is moving from East Bayside to 17 Westfield Street in the Libbytown neighborhood. Bunker’s production volume has grown more than 5-fold since they first opened in 2011. The new 8,400 square foot space will provide plenty of space for their continued expansion and is a big step up from the 1,200 square foot space they now occupy on Anderson Street.

Portland Trails’ Fore River Parkway Trail passes nearby the Westfield Street building providing a pedestrian friendly connection with Thompson’s Point and Bissell Brothers new brewery. Co-owners Chresten Sorensen and Jay Villani ideally hope to open the new Bunker this July. They plan to hold on to the namesake Bunker location in East Bayside, specific plans for reuse of the building are still tbd.

NY Times: Cara Stadler

Chef Cara Stadler was interviewed for a New York Times article on Chinese-American chefs.

“No one would give me even the lowest kitchen job in Beijing,” said Cara Stadler, 28, who grew up in Massachusetts and moved to China with substantial experience in the kitchens of the chefs Guy Savoy and Gordon Ramsay. Instead, she started the city’s first underground supper club. “Going to the markets every day forced me to really learn about Chinese produce,” she said.

Restaurant Design

An article in the Bangor Daily News explores the role design plays in the success of a restaurant,

In a booming dining city such as Portland, where new restaurants open monthly, restaurateurs need more than a hot chef to keep their rooms full. Intrigue created through lighting, tone, decor — all the elements of design create a subtle theater that seduces diners as they indulge and quaff.

“These days, if everyone is Instagramming their meals and the restaurant space, you know you’re doing something right,” Jim Brady, developer and co-owner of UNION at The Press Hotel, said.

Roustabout, Union, Evo, Grace are all cited in the article.

Peddleman’s at Union Bagel

peddlemans_coatPeddleman’s (facebook, instagram), a new falafel vendor, will be partnering with Union Bagel to sell “falafel sandwiches and mezze to-go” from the Cumberland Ave shop, evenings 5-9 pm. Peddleman’s owners Tara Rancourt and Scott William Ryan hope to launch sometime in March.

You can get a taste of Peddleman’s cooking at an upcoming pop-up they’re holding at Bao Bao on February 23rd. This is the first of an ongoing pop-up series that Bao Bao will be hosting throughout the year.

Under Construction: Lone Pine Brewing

Lone Pine Brewing (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) has posted a set of photos from the ongoing build out of their brewery on Anderson Street in East Bayside.

With all of our shiny new gear unpacked, unwrapped, and resting peacefully in its place, the race is on to get everything in order and start filling tanks. We have one remaining inspection before we can get brewing, so we are taking our time to get the system right.

Lone Pine Brewery is the project of Tom Madden from Madden Beverage in Saco.

Reviews: Slab, Top of the East

Run for Breakfast has reviewed Slab,

I love Slab as a lunch/dinner place, and it seems like restaurants like that often do breakfast/brunch as an afterthought, but definitely not so with Slab. It’s unusual for me, but I think I actually prefer their brunch menu. (But definitely don’t skip it if you’re not here on a Sunday. Go! And, if nothing else, get the classic namesake Sicilian Slab.)

They serve brunch until 8:00 tonight. Would it be weird to go twice in one day?

and The Golden Dish has reviewed brunch at Top of the East.

The brunch flatbread, which I chose, was a fairly large piece of housemade flatbread topped with apple-wood smoked bacon, Gruyere, baby arugula and a pair of organic fried eggs. The bread was buttery and crisp like a thin-crust pizza and the simple layers of ingredients were delicious.