Maine’s Growing Oyster Industry

The Press Herald has published an article on Maine’s oyster aquaculture industry.

Now new farmers trying their hand at growing oysters have moved outside the Damariscotta River – farms small and large can be found along the entire coast, from the Piscataqua River in Eliot to Little Machias Bay in Cutler. Pushing the expansion is demand. Oyster landings have increased 254 percent and the harvest’s value has grown about 300 percent since 2011, state records show.

This Week’s Events: Little Giant, Friday Fizz Fest, Community Concert

Wednesday – the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – Little Giant (facebook, instagram) is holding their grand opening, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival will be holding a community concert at Rising Tide.

Friday – Devenish Wines will be holding a sparkling wine event at Tandem Coffee on Congress pouring four unusual and rare Italian sparkling wines, and a wine tasting at Rosemont on Commercial Street.

Saturday – the Deering Oaks Farmers’ 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.

Resurgence of River Herring

Here’s some wonderful news about the resurgence of river herring in Maine rivers and its potential to positively impact stocks of cod, halibut and other species.

With nearly 3.8 million fish counted at its fish passages this year, the Kennebec is now home to one of the largest river herring runs in North America, and Maine is likely to become the two species’ worldwide epicenter as the herring colonize newly opened habitat. The Penobscot saw 1.9 million, on par with last year, while the St. Croix’s 158,000-fish run was the largest in two decades.

Reviews: Chaval, East Ender, Scales

The Golden Dish has posted a first look review of Chaval,

Rarely does a new restaurant get it so right at the gate. But then when you have two pros—a highly acclaimed chef and pastry chef, in this case husband and wife who are the owners of the new establishment, Chaval, then the level of success is nearly assured. With Chaval’s opening this week after a renovation of the former Caiola’s in which it’s housed, this duo has brought to Portland one of the most exciting restaurants in the city set to pamper those who cross its threshold.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed East Ender,

With the table soon full of empty plates, we called it quits. We were a happy brunch bunch and I was sure I’d be back to try the dinner menu at some point. The meal tab for my wife and I came to about 30 bucks before tip. I left smiling and Mrs. Portlandeater noted her approval, so all was well. If you’re looking for some Sunday morning or afternoon goodness, take a trip down to East Ender. There are no lines and the food is both interesting and sure to please.

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Scales,

Like I said, while dinner at Scales is not inexpensive, it is certainly worth it. Be sure to make a reservation, as like most restaurants in Portland now, it’s popular and difficult to get a table without planning ahead. And consider happy hour in the bar/lounge area, where the full menu is available and you can still enjoy the ambiance and great service.

Duckfat x Oxbow on Washington

Duckfat has announced a collaboration with Oxbow Brewing to create the Duckfat Beer Garden. The new venture takes advantage of the commissary kitchen Duckfat has on the back side of the CBD building on Washington Ave, and has involved renovating the courtyard outside the door to the Oxbow tasting room.

They plan to be open Wednesday through Sunday, 6-10pm during the summer. The menu (2nd image in series) includes items like Pickled Mussels with Potato Salad, and BBQ Pork Belly with Bean Salad and Corn Bread that are different from the staple items from the Duckfat menu on Middle Street.

Portland Barrel Co.

Mainebiz has published an article about the Portland Barrel Co. and its owner Ed Lutjens.

Lutjens works alone, planing staves so they fit together tightly, sculpting the staves’ inside and shearing off some wood outside so they’ll form a round barrel when set into hoops. He starts from the top of the barrel, placing the staves, which are of different widths, inside a metal hoop that he also hand makes. No glue is involved, so the sides of the staves need to be planed flat and fitted carefully.