Under Construction: Poké Pop

The Press Herald has posted an updated on Poké Pop (instagram) which has been under construction at 658 Congress Street.

Limsitong said his Portland restaurant will offer something different. His goal, he said, is to target Asian customers with a variety of Asian dishes, “and local people who want to try something new and of good quality.” He said he believes he will be the first restaurateur in Maine to serve bingsu. In his version, the shaved ice will be flavored with things like green tea, and toppings will include fruit such as mango and strawberry.

Heart of Hospitality

The Press Herald has published a report on Heart of Hospitality, a new training program for restaurant workers “recognize and de-escalate harassment”.

To tackle potential sexual harassment, a few local bar and restaurant owners are launching the Heart of Hospitality program Thursday. It will offer two-hour sessions to train servers, bartenders and other hospitality staff to recognize and de-escalate harassment, whether from an employer, an employee or a customer who’s had too much to drink.

CNN: Vena’s Fizz House

CNN has published an interview with Vena’s Fizz House owners, Steve and Johanna Corman.

“I had this whole vision,” she said. “A bar with bartenders, and they’re mixing and muddling and shaking. But there’s no alcohol. It’s seltzer-based, but they’re using really good, healthy ingredients.

“I love old fashioned ingredients, like bitters and tonics and shrubs and syrups. I just could see the whole thing in my brain.”

This Week’s Events: Pie Buffet, Ice Bar, Latte Art, Peddleman’s Pop-up

TuesdayTwo Fat Cats is celebrating National Pie Day with a pie buffet, and it’s the opening night for Portland Stage’s production of Babette’s Feast (get tickets).

Wednesday – there will be a tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants.

Thursday – it’s the opening night of the annual Ice Bar at the Portland Harbor Hotel, Tandem Coffee is hosting a barista latte art competition, Petite Jacqueline is holding a Loire wine dinner, Bao Bao is holding a Boothbay Brewing beer dinner, and Island Creek is teaching a (sold out) oyster shucking class.

FridayPeddleman’s Falafel is holding 4 seatings of a pop-up dinner at Palace Diner, and there will be a wine tasting at the Brighton Ave Rosemont Market.

Saturday – the Winter 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.

Reviews: Yobo, Izakaya Minato, Bolster Snow, Maelily Ryleigh’s

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Yobo,

Yobo brings a delightful Korean option back to the peninsula, each dish solid in its preparation and flavor. While it’s on a relatively quiet block in Portland, I recommend you think of it next time you’re in the mood for some Korean spice.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Izakaya Minato, and

Izakaya Minato knocked it out of the park again. They create stunning dishes that always leave me in food-borne ecstasy, reinventing some basic Japanese to make it exponentially better, while also creating their own bold recipes that excite anyone looking for something uniquely delicious.

the Press Herald has reviewed Bolster Snow and Maelily Ryleigh’s.

The drinks are good, well thought out and made with care. However, the food here is where it’s at. Get the best of both worlds by sitting at the chef’s counter and watching the magic happen or, if you’re not eating, sit out in the front lounge by the fireplace and enjoy one of the fabulous cocktails.

Good Food Awards: Allagash & Gold Star Honey

Congratulations to Allagash Brewing and Gold Star Honey on their wins at last night’s Good Food Awards:

Here’s some background on the Good Food Awards program,

The Good Food Awards were created to redefine ‘good food’ as being tasty, authentic and responsible. We aim to set criteria for entry that are realistic and inclusive of food and drink producers who have demonstrated a commitment to be part of building a tasty, authentic and responsible food system, going far above and beyond the status quo for their industry, while not making them so strict that eligible participants are limited to a small handful of products.

Under Construction: Sagamore Hill

Construction has begun on Sagamore Hill (website, instagram) the new cocktail bar located at 150 Park Street in the lobby of the former Lafayette Hotel building. As you might have guessed from the name of the bar, the owners are fans of Teddy Roosevelt, and the nation’s 26th president is a touchstone for the design and cocktail menu.

Sagamore will seat 96 overall, including sidewalk seating for 38 during the warmer months. Kaplan Thompson are the architects and Burnham & Lobozzo the contractors. Might & Main has been hired to handle branding and design.

Owners Ryan Deskins and Michael Savona are aiming to open Sagamore this May.