Reviews: David’s, Baker’s Bench, Abilene, Bruno’s

Have Budget Will Travel has reviewed Abilene,

I almost want to say this may be my favorite dish ever (it is a little scary to make such a bold statement). Again, it was the sauce that was the start of the dish. I am going to be dreaming of this until I can get another bite.

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Bruno’s,

Overall what started out as great happy hour potential didn’t quite live up to the hope.

Press Herald has reviewed Baker’s Bench,

Not only was it a huge sandwich, it was well-priced and delicious. It was made with roasted turkey (thickly sliced, not deli turkey) and ham on top of a thick slice of American cheese. The bottom slice of toasted Prairie bread – a seedy, whole grain bread – was slathered in mayo. The top half of the sandwich held the lettuce, tomato and bacon. It’s like two sandwiches in one – a BLT on top of a turkey and ham.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed David’s,

The meatloaf arrived at an appropriate interval and I was shocked, but certainly pleased, at it’s heft. The pork and beef mixture was distributed in a significant hunk. It was wrapped in the bacon and had garlic mashed in the basement with mushroom gravy and crisp onions on top.

Little Lad’s Closed

Little Lad’s Cafe on Congress has closed. It was located at 482 Congress, both that retail space and the one immediate adjacent to it are now vacant.

The Little Lad’s brand popcorn was not produced onsite and so presumably will not be impacted.

Under Construction: Sisters Gourmet Deli

Sisters Gourmet Deli is under construction in Monument Square in the former Wannawaf, according to a report by the Press Herald.

[Co-owner Michaela] McVetty said the deli will focus on soups, salads and sandwiches, with a big emphasis on deliveries and corporate catering. They’ll be buying their soups from Kamasouptra, but will bake their own breads fresh every morning. Meats, cheeses and produce will all be sourced locally, she said.

The sisters hope to open in May.

What Not to Do

Dispatch magazine has published on What Not to Do When Opening a Restaurant,

The restaurant business is one of the riskiest ventures around, especially in a city like Portland that has reached the saturation point. I’ve worked in them my whole life, and have seen a lot of failures as well as success stories. But don’t rely on my advice alone — I’ve rounded up local food scene veterans to add their two cents.

Drinking Classes: Bissell Bros.

The Drinking Classes has posted an article on the Portland beer industry and specifically on Bissell Brothers and their Swish double IPA.

Served in a stemless wine glass printed on both sides with Bissell Brothers’s instantly recognizable triple-B logo, Swish poured out a dense, cloudy orange.  Its appearance is right in line with the so-called New England IPA style, a label for the fast-growing collection of unfiltered IPAs coming out of Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont.  A thick, bright white foam slowly faded before my eyes.  Swish looks a lot like The Substance, only darker, and more brooding.

Changes at Ebb & Flow

Melissa and William D’Auvray at Ebb & Flow have announced plans to move back to North Carolina. The couple are the front of house manager and chef at Ebb & Flow. They’re making the change to be closer to family while raising their son William and continuing to work in their careers.

Melissa and William  want to express their appreciation to their staff “for providing consistently wonderful food and personable, professional service on a daily basis. They are the reason we have enjoyed such great reviews since opening”, and to the “thousands of guests we’ve been fortunate enough to serve since opening, especially the countless regulars we see on a weekly basis who have taken the time to get to know us  – and little William”.

March 19th will be the D’Auvray’s last day at Ebb & Flow. Owner Angelo Ciocca plans to temporarily close the restaurant for some renovations March 20 – April 19, and will reopen with chef Paolo Laboa at the helm. Here’s a short video about Laboa when he joined the staff of a restaurant in Massachusetts. He is moving to Portland from Napa Valley.

Launch of Scales

The Press Herald has published an article on the launch of Scales.

When he interviewed for the chef’s job, [Mike] Smith reminded [Sam] Hayward of himself when he was 32 years old and hungry. Hayward and Street had already sketched out a rough menu, but Hayward decided to step back and let Smith fill in the blanks – to give him the same opportunities he had asked for at the same age. One of Smith’s contributions is a light-as-air whipped beef butter appetizer, made with roasted, seasoned bone marrow and served with warm toast and radishes.