This Week’s Events: Black Dinah Tour, Truffle Social, Biodynamic Wines, Astrid, Rwandan Bean Co.

TuesdayBlack Dinah is offering tours of their Westbrook production shop.

Wednesday —  Maine Farmland Trust and Portland Food Co-op are hosting a panel discussion on making “more informed climate-friendly food choices“.

Thursday — Piccolo is holding their 3rd Annual Truffle Social, Sur Lie and American Sommelier are collaborating on an event about Organic, Biodynamic & Sustainable Wines, and The Great Lost Bear is showcasing Allagash Brewing.

Friday — the Bier Cellar is holding an Allagash beer tasting, and there will be a beer and cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Saturday — the Rwandan Bean Company is holding a launch event, Allagash  is releasing Astrid, Allagash Saison Day is taking place at Oxbow Blending & Bottling, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — H.O.M.E. is hosting a  restaurant band competition, and the Maine Restaurant Week coffee and dessert pairing event is taking place.

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.

Reviews: Tomaso’s, Lolita, Terlingua, Zapoteca, Roustabout

The Bollard has reviewed Tomaso’s,

My husband, our friend and I ordered a bar-food smorgasbord. The cheese fries ($5) were salty and soft, buried under a pile of chopped bacon ($2 extra) and topped with a house-made cheese sauce. That same cheese sauce (a secret recipe, heavy on the Velveeta) is used to great effect in the decadent Southern BBQ–style mac and cheese ($5). We had a half order of chicken wings ($6) prepared “dirt” style: fried, dunked in some doctored-up Frank’s RedHot, and then fried again. This gave the wings a crispy, spicy skin that begs the question, Why would you order your wings any other way?

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed the happy hour at Zapoteca,

Zapoteca is known for its tequila and mezcal selection. They have over 30 tequilas available so their margaritas are definitely a step above your average bar. The special applies to ALL of their margaritas, not just a house mix with well liquor (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so it’s a great opportunity to sample what they serve. With the prices normally running between $9 and $13 it’s not the cheapest happy hour in town, the drinks are amply sized and delicious.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Lolita,

Sometimes the perfect dinner comes along unexpectedly. That was the case at Lolita. After trying to get into the latest sweep of new restaurants, finding each full to capacity, I headed out of the culinary congestion up to Munjoy Hill.

The Bollard has reviewed brunch at Terlingua,

Still, the best meal of the morning was our friend’s Pulled Pork Benedict ($13). The shredded pork was moist and smoky, and the green­-chile biscuit was fluffy and flavorful. If you’ve never had Tabasco hollandaise, hurry over there now and ask for a shot-glass full.

and the Portland Phoenix has reviewed Roustabout.

Roustabout was at its best with the arctic char picatta – a nice idea and well executed. The fish was moist and mild, served skin side up, showing off a lovely sear. It was animated by the sharpness of capers and a creamy, buttery, lemony sauce with a hint of spice. The broccoli raab was aggressively bitter, soaked in butter and spotted with parmesan.

Scales Now Open


Sam Hayward and Dana Street’s new waterfront restaurant Scales (website, instagram) opened for business on Saturday night.

Chef Mike Smith and team are serving a large menu of primarily seafood-based dishes with appetizers such as Bang’s Island Mussels, fried whole belly clams, salt cod croquette with spicy tomato chutney, and torched arctic char with cultured cream, and larger dishes like grilled swordfish with yellow eyed beans and fish stew. When you go be sure to get an order of the excellent griddled brown bread.

Scales is located on Maine Wharf at 68 Commercial Street. It is open for dinner 7 days a week 5:30 – 10 (Sun – Thurs) and 5:30 – 10:30 (Fri – Sat). Watch for lunch hours to begin sometime this summer.

Opening: Hero & Mast Landing

imageHero (website, facebook, instagram) is scheduled to open today for First Friday. Hero will be serving “Sandwiches of Substance” and salads in Monument Square at 30 City Center. It is collaboration between Empire co-owner Todd Bernard and Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, founders of Otto Pizza.

Mast Landing (facebook, website, instagram) will opening their brewery tasting room today at 3pm. The brewery is located at 920 Main Street in Westbrook. They’ll be serving Seavey Island Ale, Tell Tale Pale Ale and Mainstay IPA.

2016 Best of Portland Readership Poll

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2016 Best of Portland readership poll. The Phoenix uses a 2 step process:

  • Step 1, nominate the entries that you feel are the strongest candidate for each category.
  • Step 2, in April the Phoenix will publish a ballot with the top 5 nominees in each category and the final voting takes place.

There are 50+ food and drink categories ranging from bagels and barbecue to wine tastings and wings—there’s even one for Best Food Blog/Column.

Switching to a New Cuisine

An article in today’s Press Herald explores the challenges for chefs when they change jobs and take on a new cuisine that they haven’t cooked before.

Chefs say they take the leap to stretch themselves and to learn something new. Their strategies for tackling the challenge aren’t so different from anyone’s strategies learning new skills. For chefs, that includes reading, traveling and lots of experimentation in the kitchen.

“This seemed like a great opportunity to manage a kitchen and to force myself to learn new techniques, new ingredients, new flavor profiles,” [Matt] Ginn said, “because it’s easy to fall into a state of complacency.”