CN Traveler: Press Hotel

A Condé Nast Traveler article about the Press Hotel highlights the role the Portland food scene has played in the development of the city.

On the coattails of a truly impressive food renaissance that began in 1996 with Sam Hayward’s Fore Street, gathered speed with Rob Evans’ 2000 reincarnation of Hugo’s, and got truly hot around 2012 with the debut of Eventide Oyster Co., Portland found itself—and then got found. By the time I visited in 2015 momentum was heavy, propelled by a slew of James Beard Award nominations including Best New Restaurant, for Central Provisions, just a few blocks from the Press; Best Chefs in the Northeast for Eventide owners Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley; and Rising Star Chef for Cara Stadler of Bao Bao Dumpling House. Next to Eventide, Wiley and Taylor had just opened Honey Paw, their brilliantly quirky take on noodle bars; and a block south Damian Sansonetti had begun his love song to Italian at Piccolo. And on and on. As food towns go, Portland had gone from simmer to full-on boil.

Rhubarb Wine

The Press Herald reports that a company called Eighteen Twenty will begin selling a locally produced rhubarb wine later this year.

Pete Dubuc and Amanda O’Brien are out to change that. Co-founders of eighteen twenty, they’ve been experimenting with their unconventional product for a few years now, “bootleg style,” as Dubuc told me, but they’re planning to go live and legal later in 2016. As we eagerly await the first burst of rhubarb growth, one of spring’s first and most welcome signs that a bright, bounteous new food season is upon us, it’s a good time to look at how a wine from this plant comes to be.

Lone Pine Opening Tasting Room

The Press Herald has published an article on Lone Pine Brewing,

While Madden was honing his brewing chops, Paul was working in the music industry in Boston, and after college, he accepted a job in the industry in L.A. When Paul visited Maine, he and Madden would meet up for a beer and dream about starting a brewery.

After a few of these meetings, the two friends reached a crossroads; it was time to make this dream a reality or move on with their lives.

The article reports that Lone Pine will be opening their tasting room this Saturday, noon to 8pm.

This Week’s Events: Gross Confection Bar, Sixteen Counties, City of Gold, Ommegang, Orono Brewing


Monday — Pastry chef Brant Dadaleares will be serving a 3-course dessert pop-up at Bao Bao.

Tuesday — the local foods networking breakfast is taking place at Local Sprouts, and The Press Hotel is hosting an Allagash Sixteen Counties tap takeover.

Wednesday — there will be a wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants.

Thursday — the Public Market House is holding a wine and cheese tasting, Bao Bao is hosting an Ommegang tap takeover, and The Great Lost Bear is  showcasing beer  from Orono Brewing.

Friday — Black Tie is serving a 5-course Rising Tide beer dinner.

Saturday — the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — Space Gallery is screening the movie City of Gold, Vinland is hosting a Passover Seder, the weekly Crofters & Artisan Market 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.


Review of Roustabout

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Roustabout.

…Roustabout is an Italian-American restaurant that offers new twists on traditional dishes. Kit Paschal’s beverage program is not to be missed, including a great selection of cocktails and beers and a moderately priced wine featuring almost all European bottles, with a few natural and biodynamic wines in the mix. Chef Anders Tallberg’s menu features several top-notch starters, including intensely flavored arancini and a decadent garlic soup. Order at least one of the pastas – we suggest the bolognese or the lasagna (which is vegetarian), as well as a bowl of the cioppino with its mussels and large chunks of fish…

This is the first MST review by restaurant critic Andrew Ross.

First Review of Hero

The Press Herald has reviewed Hero.

Intention and execution are two different things, though. I’ve spoken with more than one person who wasn’t bowled over by the sandwiches, and I have to admit that the one that I had was good, but not great…I’ll be giving it another try soon. Vegetarians, if you haven’t tried it yet, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the creative options.

New Restaurant Critic: Andrew Ross

The Maine Sunday Telegram has hired Andrew Ross to serve as the paper’s new restaurant critic.

Ross was selected by the Sunday Telegram for the job from a pool of more than 70 applicants, and along with other finalists for the position was asked to write a sample review. Editor Peggy Grodinsky tells me that “Andrew was the clear winner among the lot, and we’re very pleased to have him.”

Ross moved to Maine last year, but has had ties to Maine since childhood. He is the former editor of a now defunct website called NYCnosh.

Be sure to pick-up a copy of this weekend’s Maine Sunday Telegram to checkout his first restaurant review.