Under Construction: Bolster Snow & Co.

If you’ve been to Tandem Bakery the last few months you’ve  no doubt noticed the construction going on across the street where The Francis, a boutique hotel, is under development.  The Francis will include a 1500 sq ft, 40-seat restaurant called Bolster Snow & Company (instagram).

Nicholas Verdisco is joining the team as the chef for the restaurant. Verdisco plans to serve a menu of contemporary American cuisine with possibly some influence from his family’s Italian heritage. He’s moving to Maine from New York State where he’s worked as the executive sous chef at The Inn at Pound Ridge, a Jean-George Vongerichten restaurant. He came to his culinary career later in life after working in investment banking.

Bolster Snow & Co. is named after the company founded by the original owner of the building and his business partner Lucien Snow. The Francis along with Bolster Snow & Co. is expected to open sometime this Fall.

The building at 747 Congress Street is the Mellen E. Bolster House designed by Francis Fassett and John Calvin Stevens.

This Week’s Events: Forgotten Farms, Latte Art Competition, Moroccan BBQ Pop-up

Monday – Space Gallery will be screening the movie Forgotten Farms.

Tuesday – the Cooperative Extension will be holding a class on buying local meats.

WednesdayHugo’s is holding a chef’s dinner featuring food and wine from Spain, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – there will be a Latte Art Competition at Tandem, a Burgundy wine dinner at Petite Jacqueline,  and a beer tasting at the Public Market House, and the Great Lost Bear will be featuring beer from Peak Organic.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont Market on Congress Street.

Saturday – the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayFalafel Underground will be serving a pop-up Moroccan BBQ dinner at Oxbow.

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.

Maine Brewing Series

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a set of articles about the Maine craft brewing industry. The primary article is entitled Who sits atop Maine’s Beer Scene?

According to data provided by the state, Allagash made 2,865,584 gallons of beer in 2016. Though that’s well behind Shipyard’s 3,658,571 gallons, the two companies are trending in different directions. Shipyard has three straight years of declining production while Allagash hasn’t reported a reduction in the last 11 years.

There are additional articles about Baxter Brewing, Sebago Brewing as well as some timelines and maps.

Reviews: Izakaya Minato, A&C Grocery, Mash Tun, Mekong Asian Bistro

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Izakaya Minato,

If they are in season, the ramps with squid is a tender, briny delight. After all that, if you still need something to fill you up, skip dessert and head right for a bowl of Cooke’s Japanese-Italian fusion udon vongole ($13), full of fresh clams and peppery fire from citrusy yuzu kosho paste. It might also put you in the mood for just one more drink, the way great izakaya food does.

the Press Herald has reviewed lunch at A&C Grocery,

The salami itself was too salty for me, but that’s a taste issue, not a matter of quality, and everything else about the sandwich made me happy. It tasted like summer and couldn’t have been fresher, even pre-made. I’ll definitely stop again and keep trying whatever Fournier’s making.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Portland Mash Tun,

Once the cheese plate was gone, my burger and fries were already waiting for me. The burger, automatically cooked to medium, had tomato, pickled onion, and cheese between the grilled bun and half of a small sour pickle affixed to the top. A bite – actually two, because on the first I only got bun – verified that their burger was as good as ever. Nicely seasoned, hefty, and with minimalist, but tasty toppings, it was a pleasure to eat.

and the Kennebec Journal has reviewed Mekong Asian Bistro.

There were many tempting appetizer choices, but we finally settled on Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls ($4.95). I was happy to try the fresh over the fried version, as they were fresh and light. These were a gluten-free choice. Lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrots, vermicelli, scallions and cilantro were rolled in rice paper. It made a beautiful plate. The clear sesame peanut sauce for dipping added lots of flavor.

Under Construction: Roma Cafe

Anders Tallberg, Mike Fraser, and Guy Streitburger have leased 769 Congress Street where they plan to reopen the Roma Cafe (facebook, website) as a “full boat, Italian American restaurant” with a “mostly Italian wine list and classic cocktails” in August.

The original Roma Cafe was founded by Dominic Marino at 489 Congress Street in 1924 and moved to 769 Congress in 1935. The restaurant remained in the Marino family until 1985 when it was bought by Peter Landrigan. The restaurant closed sometime in the early 2000’s.

Current Sebago Brewery For Sale

Sebago Brewing is planning to move into a new larger “destination brewery” in January. They’ve decided to put their current brewery up for sale as a turn key facility,

We could sell our brewery to the highest bidder at the drop of a hat and have it shipped out to some location across the nation. Instead, we would like to present the opportunity to a local brewer. Our thought is to sell our brewery installed and in place to a Maine brewer who is growing and needs the capacity or a new start-up looking to find a home. We know what it takes to start up a brewery and the costs and planning it takes to install all the equipment. This would provide a huge advantage for someone.

40th Anniversary for Mister Bagel

The Forecaster has interviewed members of the Hartglass family as Mister Bagel approaches its 40th anniversary on June 2nd.

She has fond memories of “how hard my father worked and how much he loved his business, his customers and his bagels. I am so proud of this business. Over the 40 years, I have only (ever) heard compliments and seen customers leave smiling and satisfied.”

Watching her parents, and particularly her dad, Baker said, “I never thought I would be in the position I am today” – owning and operating the original store and carrying on her father’s legacy.

Mister Bagel was founded by Rick and Gail Hartglass along with Frank Read in 1977.

Lobster Roll Competition Semi-Finalists

Down East has released the list semi-finalists that will compete on July 8th in the World’s Best Lobster Roll event on Thompson’s Point:

  • The Lobster Lady — Phoenix, Arizona
  • The Clam Shack — Kennebunk, Maine
  • Bob’s Clam Hut — Kittery, Maine
  • Cousins Maine Lobster — Los Angeles, California and various locations
  • C-Ray Lobster — Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Bite Into Maine — Cape Elizabeth, Maine
  • The Highroller Lobster Co. — Portland, Maine
  • Northern Maine Community College — Presque Isle, Maine
  • Eventide Oyster Co. — Portland, Maine
  • Luke’s Lobster — New York, New York and various locations
  • Freshies Lobster Co. — Park City, Utah
  • Stonington Ice Cream Company — Stonington, Maine

Eighteen Twenty Wines

Urban Eye has posted an article about Eighteen Twenty Wines which is producing rhubarb wine and cider in East Bayside and set to launch early this summer.

“We are over excited to have a good Maine-based wine. We’ve had wine professionals try it and they don’t think it tastes like a fruit wine, they think it tastes like a good white table wine. That is a major opportunity,” said O’Brien, who grew up on Peaks Island and is the director of business development at flyte new media in Portland. She calls their rhubarb vino “crushable porch wine.”