Under Construction: Crown Jewel

The Forecaster has posted an update on Crown Jewel and their proposal for a Planning Board change of use on Great Diamond Island.

The Planning Board scheduled a hearing and vote Tuesday on the change-of-use request by Wight and her partner, Gail Landry. They are seeking permission to open the 35-seat restaurant while downsizing the general store now operating at the island’s Fort McKinley historic site. The building is also part of the Diamond Cove Association.

Sebago’s New Brewery Opens Today

The Press Herald has published an article about Sebago’s new brewery and tasting room in Gorham. The new brewery is located on Route 25. It is slated to open to the public today.

For starters, it’s just bigger. The largest fermentation vessel at its previous location – about a mile away – made 1,240 gallons of beer at a time. Now it has two fermenters that make nearly 5,000 gallons at a time – and capacity to add two more just like them.

This Week’s Events: Cooking, Baking, Brewing Classes, Tally’s Kitchen, Maine Restaurant Week, Alice Feiring

Monday – Solo Italiano’s Paolo Laboa will be teaching a (sold out) pasta making class, it’s the grand opening of Tally’s Kitchen (website, instagram) located at 84 Marginal Way, Linda Kate Lobster will be featured in an episonde of Travel Channel show Booze Traveller this morning at 9am, and American Sommelier is holding a sherry tasting.

Tuesday – American Sommelier is holding a port and madeira tasting.

Wednesday – the Maine Restaurant Week Incredible Breakfast Cook-off is taking place and there will be a Maine Beer Co tap takeover at The Honey Paw.

ThursdayMaine Restaurant Week officially kicks-off.

FridayMaine & Loire will hold a book signing with acclaimed author Alice Feiring, it’s the opening of the Maine Eats exhibit at the Maine Historical Society, the West End Rosemont is holding a wine tasting.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, and there will be a tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants.

SundayTandem is teaching a series of coffee brewing classes, Foley’s is teaching a baking class and Flights & Bites is taking place at Lone Pine Brewing.

Walkers Maine – March 10th is the opening of Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick. The restaurant is owned by Justin and Danielle Walker formerly from Earth at Hidden Pond.

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: Lena’s, Little Giant, Tuscan Table, Blue Spoon

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Lena’s,

As you might expect, the dining room is decorated with handcrafted platters and bowls, elements that make it feel welcoming and homey. Chef Brian Grossman’s menu adds to that sense with his selection of Italian-American red-sauce classics, like a tender, beautifully cooked meatball Parmesan, and al dente spaghetti with pomodoro sauce, served in quantities large enough to feed a rebel insurrection. Better still are his specials, like crispy pork belly served with handmade, pesto-ricotta-filled ravioli.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Little Giant,

Wyllie’s version of Johnny cake was bathed in a luscious blueberry syrup, with a big fat housemade sausage oozing with cheddar set over the cornmeal pancake and topped with a perfectly fried egg.

Portland Magazine has reviewed Tuscan Table, and

The location adjacent to the Maine Mall notwithstanding, you’ll never mistake this for a mall or chain restaurant. (It does have two popular sister-establishments, the Tuscan Bistro in Freeport and Royal River Grill House in Yarmouth.) Most diners appear to be on dates or enjoying multi-generational, multi-coursed family meals. Everyone appears to have caught the celebratory vibe.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Blue Spoon.

Here’s what I recommend when you go to Blue Spoon: sit at the bar, order the trio of scotch, keep your ears open, and enjoy what they offer, because every time I go, I like it more. They hit all the marks for excellence in a restaurant and because of that, they are becoming one of my favorites. Go there ready to eat and relax and maybe they will be one of yours too.

Bernard Larson, 88

Bernard Larson, co-owner of Moran’s Market for more 6 decades, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Bernie began his career at Moran’s Market on outer Forest Avenue in the early 1950s; he and Dorothy purchased the market in 1956. He dedicated his entire life to the market and was well-known by many people in the neighborhood.

When times were tough for families, Bernie was known to extend credit to customers in order for them to make sure their family was fed. He loved his many customers, whom he considered his extended family. Bernie and Dot were well-known for hosting many of the Portland firefighters from across the driveway, to join them for holiday meals.

Lone Pine Expansion

The Press Herald has published an article about Lone Pine Brewing’s expansion.

If head brewer and co-owner Tom Madden is worried about the change, he doesn’t show it – and talks about the expansion with eager optimism.

He has a reason to be confident. If Lone Pine had purchased equipment for a brewery of Sebago’s size, it would have spent months making decisions about how to set up the system and even more time attempting to test it and “do the math” to scale up its five-barrel recipes. But purchasing a working brewery’s equipment has a unique advantage. Its quirks and limitations are known, and its ability to produce excellent beer has already been realized in the hands of Sebago’s brewing and production staff.

2018 Lost Kitchen Reservations

After receiving 10,000 reservation phone calls in 24 hours last year, The Lost Kitchen chef/owner Erin French began thinking about a different way to handle the enormous interest in dining at her 40-seat restaurant in Freedom, Maine.

French plans on opening the 2018 reservation book on April 1st and will be announcing the new TLK reservation process March 11th. Stay tuned for details.

48 Beers Project

Portland artist Heidi Geist has launched a Kickstarter campaign for her 48 Beers Project. Geist has designed beer labels for Bissell Brothers, Barreled Souls, Boothbay Craft Brewing, Norway Brewing, Cold Harbor, and many others.

For the 48 Beers Project Geist plans visit each of the 48 contiguous US states, and in each state she plans to design a label for a local brewery. She’s raising $6,000 to help with costs to renovate a short school bus into a livable space that will be my art studio. She plans to depart Maine on June 21st.