The semi-final list of nominees for the 2017 James Beard Foundation awards were released today. There are 12 semifinalist nominees from Maine:
- Best New Restaurant – Drifters Wife
- Best Chef: Northeast – Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide; Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar; Ravin Nakjaroen, Long Grain; and Brian Hill, Francine Bistro
- Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional – Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.
- Outstanding Restaurant – Fore Street, and Chase’s Daily in Belfast
- Outstanding Bar Program – Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
- Outstanding Baker – Alison Pray, Standard Baking
- Outstanding Pastry Chef – Ilma Lopez, Piccolo
- Rising Star of the Year – Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan
The final list of nominees will be released on March 15th, and the awards ceremony will take place on May 1st in Chicago.
Today’s Press Herald includes the second installment in a series by Stella Hernandez on managing a wine list at Lolita,
Putting together our wine list for Lolita was the closest I’ve come to understanding what writers do. It’s less mechanical than you’d think. You have to choose your story line, craft that story, and then there’s the continual editing process. When I gave my first draft to a friend to review, I felt as if I were handing off my first novel. I had handed over something very personal.
and an article about the resurgence of local markets in Portland.
Now the Portland area is experiencing another little growth spurt. In December, Andrew and Briana Volk, owners of the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, opened Little Giant, an upscale market in Portland’s West End that will complement the restaurant they plan to open next door. Just a couple of weeks ago, Pete Sueltenfuss opened a second Otherside location in the West End. And Joe Fournier, who worked at Rosemont for six years before becoming a partner in The Farm Stand, plans to open his own neighborhood grocery, A&C, on Washington Avenue sometime next week.
Chefs Matt Ginn from Evo and Josh Berry from Union are scheduled to cook dinners at the James Beard House in NYC next month. The menus for both dinners are online and reservations being taken via OpenTable:
Trattoria Fanny, David Levi’s new restaurant in Bramhall Square, has opened, according to a report from the Press Herald.
The restaurant’s chef is Siddharta Rumma, whose family had a restaurant in Italy. Rumma has also worked at The Corner Room in Portland, and he helped open Eataly Boston.
Here’s a link to the menu on Facebook.
Bard Coffee barista, Milo DeGoosh, was successful at the Qualifying Competition in Austin this weekend and has earned a coveted spot at the U.S. Barista Competition taking place in Seattle, April 21-23.
Tuesday – It’s Valentine’s Day, and there will be a lecture on Edible Landscapes at the Maine Historical Society.
Wednesday – the James Beard Foundation is scheduled to release this year’s awards semifinalists, we’ll be posting the full list of nominees as soon as they’re announced; Drifters Wife is celebrating their 1-year anniversary.
Thursday – the Portland Spirits Society is holding a women’s only tasting event at Hardshore Distilling.
Friday — Rosemont is holding a wine tasting at their Munjoy Hill location, and it’s the first day of Flavors of Freeport.
Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.
Sunday – there will be a Haley Henry pop-up at Little Giant.
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.
The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Schulte & Herr,
Schulte & Herr, a cozy German restaurant in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood, knows a thing or two about defying expectations. Since opening in 2011, it remains steadfastly without a liquor license. Co-owners Steffi Davin and her husband, chef Brian Davin, instead seem (for the moment, at least) content to pin their success on homey atmosphere and the remarkable quality of their food. Everything pivots around traditional German favorites, from unexpectedly crisp and light pork schnitzel to hearty sauerbraten…
the Press Herald has reviewed Izakaya Minato and The Bearded Lady,
Not Izakaya Minato. And it’s no surprise. You couldn’t come up with a concept that would appeal more to Portlanders right now. Izakaya is a Japanese portmanteau that translates to “stay sake shop,” meaning a place you can buy sake and also drink it. It’s evolved into the Japanese version of a gastropub and, yes, it’s mostly about the food – shareable smallish plates, including salads, soup, sashimi and some hot stuff.
and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Salty Sally’s and Elsemere.
The food was good – not fine dining, but high quality, well executed, and mildly inventive. The casual, relaxed atmosphere seemed amply suited for drinks, a meal, or both.
The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Maria’s on Cumberland Ave.
In restaurant-rich Portland, what’s immediately noticeable about Maria’s Restaurant is what isn’t there. The now-familiar buzz that newish city bistros radiate. The staccato of cocktail shakers, or eclectic soundtracks piped from hidden speakers.
Fyood Kitchen has succeeded in meeting their $16.1k goal on Kickstarter with time to spare.
Fyood Kitchen operates a “cooking competition that challenges teams to transform mystery ingredients into creative dishes without recipes” at Fork Food Lab.
Lolita co-owner Stella Hernandez has written the first of a 2-part series for the Press Herald about her approach to hospitality and wine.
As I head into the 11th year of owning my own restaurant (and more before that as a server), creating wine lists and serving wine to countless people, I’m starting to get more comfortable with the idea of being a sommelier. But on my own terms.