Reviews: Evo, Drifter’s, Bao Bao, Figgy’s, Sip of Europe

The 207 Foodie has reviewed Evo,

Evo is a great restaurant that adds a layer of complexity to what some say is an oversaturated market. This style of eating is friendly to sharing, as well as large groups, who are easily accommodated on the mezzanine level. If you love Mediterranean flavors, Evo is a must!

the Press Herald has reviewed the Drifter’s Wife,

Orenda and Peter Hale have created an unforgettable wine bar and shop featuring all organic, hand-harvested wines made by small producers. The 24-seat bar is simple and elegant, with lots of natural light, and intimate two- and four-top tables reminiscent of a corner Parisian café. Food is available, from a warm bowl of warm olives, a Tuscan kale salad, or a plate of spaghetti, to a Friday whole roasted family-style chicken dinner ($85 total feeds four).

Drink Up and Get Happy has reviewed Bao Bao,

We were excited to hear that they have a happy hour that features their amazing deep fried pork buns. You have to be quick though, happy hour at Bao Bao runs for 1 hour only, 4:30 – 5:30 on weekdays (in winter this means Weds-Fri). Pair those buns with a draft beer for $2 off or a $4 glass of house wine. Do yourself a favor and order up two buns. At around $2 each they are a bargain for your taste buds.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Figgy’s,

…I’m fining Figgy’s for unreasonable deliciousness. Go there right away so you can experience what I did. The fun starts with the happy little chill you’ll get when you order, but the party truly begins when the hand reaches through the chicken window and offers you the bag of goods.

and Happy Tummy has provided a comment on the crepes at Sip of Europe.

I ordered a mocha, a savory ham/cheese/mustard crêpe and a sweet banana and Nutella crêpe in subsequent order, in order to savor it all. The crêpes were made on a traditional, round cooking surface and were soft, warm, stuffed full of fresh ingredients and comforting

2 More Rooms on the Way

Harding Lee Smith is adding two more establishments two his series of Room restaurants:

  • Smith is in the early stages of developing The Front Room – Falmouth. He hopes to open a restaurant a little bit larger than it’s namesake on Munjoy Hill with a function room on the 2nd floor. He hasn’t leased a space yet but if all goes according to plan he’s aiming to open in the fall.
  • Smith is also working on a restaurant called The Mountain Room at Sunday River in the Peak Lodge at the top of Chondola  lift. The Mountain  Room will have an outdoor deck, stone fireplace, open kitchen/raw bar, 20-seat bar and communal-style dining room. It’s a seasonal restaurant and plans are for it to open in time for the 2016-17 ski season.

Smith shared that it has “always been my plan to have 5-6 places” and been on the lookout for locations that are a fit for the types of restaurants he’d like to open. His first restaurant, The Front Room, opened in December 2005. The Grill Room and The Corner Room opened in quick succession in 2008 and 2009. Finally Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room opened in 2013.


Interview with Colin Hay

Great Beer Adventure has posted an interview with Verrill Dana’s Colin Hay about his work as lawyer for breweries,

Law and beer are complicated and goes back to the start of our country. The need for an alcohol lawyer due to the specialized legal needs this highly regulated industry which includes breweries, distilleries, and wineries. Some of the areas regulated include employment, shipping,environmental, as well as federal and state statutes. Colin and his coworkers identify potential problems before they become problems and navigate the 3 Tier System.

Under Construction: Gross Confection Bar

The Press Herald has posted a overview on a number of the restaurants under development in Portland which includes the first public mention of Gross Confection Bar.

This dessert-only restaurant concept is still in the early planning stages. Brant Dadaleares, the former pastry chef at Fore Street, hopes to open a restaurant in Portland that serves only plated desserts, cocktails, digestifs and dessert wines.

For a full list of restaurants in development in Portland see the Under Construction page.

Under Construction: Purple House, Fork Food Lab

The Press Herald reports that Krista Kern Desjarlais has decided to delay the opening of The Purple House in North Yarmouth until this Fall.

If you’ve been counting the days until you could sample the bread, baked goods and savory dishes made at The Purple House in North Yarmouth, you’ll just have to count a little longer.

MaineBiz has published an article about Fork Food Lab, which is under  construction in West Bayside.

But Spillane sees it as ideal for the planned Fork Food Lab, a collaborative commercial kitchen serving new and existing food businesses. The idea is that, for affordable full-time and part-time membership fees, Fork provides cooking space and equipment, serves as a business mentor, and distributes product — allowing food entrepreneurs to focus on creating food.

This Week’s Events: Quinta do Romeu, PSO Wine Dinner, Abitare Project, Boston Lamb Jam, Seafood Celebration, Crofters & Artisan Market

Monday — SoPo Wines is sponsoring Good Wines for a Good Cause, a tasting of wines from 25 wineries, as a benefit for Cancer Community Center.

Wednesday — The Portland Symphony is holding their 15th Annual Wine Dinner, chefs from Evo, Union, The Honey Paw, Fore Street and the Harraseeket Inn are collaborating on the 5-course meal. Lolita, Maine & Loire and the Pomegranate Inn are collaborating on a dinner event to benefit Portland Stage.

Thursday — Joao Menéres from Quinta do Romeu will be at Eventide to talk about Q de R and their Branca Reserva, GMRI is hosting the 3rd Annual Gulf of Maine Seafood Celebration, and there will be an beer & cheese tasting at the Public Market House.

Friday — the first Abitare Project dinner of the season is taking place in Yarmouth, Rising Tide is holding an event featuring the newly released Maine Island Trail Ale and charcuterie from Otherside Deli.

Saturday — It’s the opening day of the Milk & Honey Herbal Farm Cafe, Geary’s is holding a party for the release of their Summer Ale, there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — The grand opening of the weekly Crofters & Artisan Market is taking place, Chefs Nikos Regas from Emilitsa, Thomas Pisha-Duffly from The Honey Paw and Austin Miller from Mami are competing in the Boston Lamb Jam, and Home Catering and The Farm Stand are collaborating on a Spring Chicken Dinner.

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: Woodford F&B, Becky’s, The Armory

Portland Magazine has reviewed Woodford Food & Beverage,

This crossroads destination is truly a bright new gem.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Becky’s,

I go there often for a basic breakfast or lunch where at midday I enjoy a grilled American cheese sandwich on white with a cup of chowder.  Even Becky’s dinner menu has appeal: meatloaf with mashed potatoes and a roll, fried fish combos or roast turkey with sausage stuffing for  $11.95

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Armory.

Still, the Armory is a great place to get some drinks.  And if you’re there to battle the work week and then get hungry, The Armory is a good place to grab a meal for short money too.

SaltBox Cafe Food Truck


Urban Eye reports that the SaltBox Cafe (instagram, facebook) food truck has moved to Portland.

The tiny house with a big taste will be on the Eastern Prom Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that the Saltbox roams the streets of Portland Thursday through Sunday. “I’d like to start doing popups and invite Portland chefs to take over the kitchen for a day,” said Glatz.

Photo Credit: Jay Lombard

Under Construction: 2nd Scratch Baking

Scratch Baking announced yesterday (instagram, facebook) that they’ll be opening a second location in the former Getty Gas station on Broadway.

The new bakery will provide Scratch with expanded production space for their highly sought after bagels as well as a Toast & Bagel Bar with seating. Scratch will continue to operate the bakery in Willard Square unchanged. They hope to open the new spot in mid-Summer.

The Press Herald caught up with [co-owner Sonja] Swandberg about the announcement to learn more about plans for the new location.

Swanberg said she couldn’t guarantee that the new location will make the bagel lines disappear, but having a bigger oven in the Getty space should at least shorten the waiting time for a fresh, hot Maine sea salt bagel. She estimated “very conservatively” that the bakery will be able to churn out 25 percent more bagels a day.