Island Creek Oyster Opens Today

The Island Creek Oyster Shop (website, instagram, twitter, facebook) is scheduled to open today, noon – 8. Island Creek is serving an assortment of oysters from Maine and Massachusetts, littleneck clams, tinned seafood as well as beer and wine. They’ll also be selling shellfish to go.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release:

The Shop gives guests an opportunity to engage with local products in a casual setting, underscored by the deep understanding of aquaculture Island Creek Oysters is known for. Seasonal seafood offerings for purchase include local bivalves such as Little Island oysters from the Bagaduce River and Mookie Blues oysters from Damariscotta, Maine. Inspired by the heritage of Maine’s canneries, The Shop will feature a selection of international tinned fish and caviar. A rotating selection of champagne and wines by the glass will complement The Shop’s simple, ingredient-forward menu. With 75 total seating capacity inside and outside on the seasonal patio, The Shop is designed to reflect Island Creek’s stripped-down, product driven approach to farming oysters and the people who grow them – the oyster is the focal point.

Island Creek is located at 123 Washington Ave. They’re the latest of a string of new restaurants and bars that have opened on inner Washington over the last couple years, including Oxbow, Drifters Wife, Izakaya Minato, Hardshore, Maine Craft Distilling, Cong Tu Bot and A&C Grocery.


Cups of Sea

The Forecaster has published an article about Cup of Sea (website, facebook, instagram), a Portland company selling seaweed teas.

Each blend of tea uses a different type of seaweed, Rogers said, including bladderwrack, dulse, kelp and sea lettuce. He buys only sustainably harvested seaweed from sources like the Atlantic Holdfast Seaweed Company in Deer Isle.

Once the seaweed is harvested, Rogers said it is dried and milled into flakes. Then, he said, “I get to do the easy part: blending it with other ingredients. The final product is a loose-leaf tea that you can brew just like regular tea.”

The New Roma Cafe

Today’s Press Herald includes a feature article about the memories of the old Roma Cafe and new incarnation.

The first weeks of the restaurant’s second life were filled with diners who told the staff that the Roma, closed for more than a decade, was where they’d celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, held wedding rehearsal dinners and romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations, and gotten engaged. Teenagers trying to impress each other suffered through awkward prom dates at the Roma.

See more photos of the new Roma Cafe.

This Week’s Events: I Hart Food, Zamboni Lecture

Monday – the latest episode of the Food TV Network show I Hart Food will feature several restaurants in Portland including Boda.

Tuesday – cinematographer Zach Zamboni will speak at One Longfellow Square. Maine native Zamboni “has won three Primetime Emmys as well as a Peabody Award for his work on Anthony Bourdain’s food and travel shows”.

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

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont in the West End.

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, please provide details as a comment to this post.

Under Construction: Belleville

Here’s a look inside Belleville (instagram, website, facebook) the new bakery under construction at the intersection of Congress and North Streets on Munjoy Hill. Co-owner/baker Chris Deutsch hopes to open this fall in October serving French baked goods in the morning, and sandwiches and roman-style pizza at lunch time. Belleville is sourcing coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters.

Deutsch learned to bake in Paris and prior to moving to Portland he operated a French bakery food cart in DC called Hot Hot Bakery.

The old newspapers below were found in the wall space during construction.

Reviews: North 43, El Corazon, Chaval

Portland Magazine has reviewed El Corazon,

El Corazon’s tag line is “Mexican food from the heart,” and that it is. It’s also a good value for your dine-out dollar. This cheery little cafe predates the age of hipster small plates and artisanal whatnot in the friendliest possible way.

The Golden Dish has published a first look at North 43, and

The gazpacho was a thick and chunky soup, nicely spicy and served with grilled shrimp on the side. A composed salad was rich and complex with its assertive dressing, croutons and local tomatoes. Entrees like Statler chicken, perfect strip of beef, and classic crab cake were fine examples coming from a chef who knows how to mix flavors and basic ingredients into great dishes.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed the Chaval.

Our food was good overall though the potatoes needed a little more of a crisping and the chicken plate could have used more pizzazz. The bigger issue we ran into was that by then end of the meal, with about 5 of 7ish tables seated in the back room, my wife and I couldn’t hear each other speak. I think the small, partially enclosed room creates acoustic an issue which makes it exceptionally loud.

Under Construction: Rover Woodfired Bagels & Pizza

As reported last week, Rover Bagel (instagram, facebook) is moving their business from Salem, Massachusetts to Biddeford, Maine. Here’s some additional information shared by the Rover team about their plans:

  • The new bagel bakery will be located at 111 Elm Street
  • They are making good progress on building out the space and hope to be open in September
  • They’ve outgrown their current digs and are moving to Biddeford for a number of reasons including co-owner Alec Rutter’s Maine roots. The growing community of food businesses in Biddeford have made that city an appealing place to locate.
  • In addition to bagels, they’ll be selling bagel sandwiches and, on Friday and Saturday nights, wood-fired pizza.