This Week’s Events: Little Bigs Returns, Fire & Fowl, Harvest Spring Dinner, Slab Pop-up, Wine/Beer Dinners

TuesdaySur Lie is serving an Austin Street beer dinner, the East Deering Other Side Deli is holding a wine tasting (5-7pm).

Tuesday – after weeks of renovation and expansion, Little Bigs is scheduled to re-open.

WednesdayNorth 43 is holding a wine dinner, Black Tie is teaching a cooking class, and the Monument Square Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Great Lost Bear will be featuring beer from Banded Horn.

Friday –the Harraseeket Inn will be serving a Maine Harvest Spring Wine Dinner, and the West End Rosemont is holding a wine tasting.

Saturday – there will be a Slab pop-up and rose tasting at A&C Grocery, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayChef Rob Evans will be serving a dinner at Oxbow to benefit Full Plates Full Potential.

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: Sichuan Kitchen, Benkay

Portland Magazine has reviewed Benkay, and

Benkay’s 21-year run is proof that gloriously fresh seafood and excellent service will never go out of style.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Sichuan Kitchen.

We also had Zhong dumplings, which are one of the best dishes coming out of this kitchen. Served in a rich Sichuan-style blend of soy, sugar and garlic, you’re meant to stir the dumplings in the sauce at the bottom of the bowl to get the full flavor effect: spicy and flowery.

Under Construction: LB Kitchen West

LB Kitchen (website, facebook, instagram) is opening a second location, in the West End. The new LB Kitchen will be housed in the former Outliers on York Street as part of an overall wellness center that focuses on alternative medicine and therapies.

LB Kitchen co-owners Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind are planning a very similar concept and menu to their first cafe. Folks who live in the neighborhood will be happy to hear that plan includes coffee service, something the neighborhood has felt the lack of since the departure of Omi’s.

Renovations of the building are slated to kick-off in the next couple weeks and the new LB Kitchen will open sometime in October or November.

Fahrenheit 225 in Portland

The Fahrenheit 225 (website, facebook, instagram) food truck is now operating in Portland Wednesday through Friday, noon to 6pm at 1321 Washington Ave. They plan to be at that location through the remainder of the year.

Owners Al and Linda Clark serve a menu of Carolina and Memphis style barbecue. According to their press release,

Fahrenheit serves the usual favorites: pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches, ribs, Maine-made sausage, and chili. Sides include mac and cheese, cole slaw, corn bread, BBQ beans, and more. The menu rotates except for the pulled pork: that’s a staple. It’s the featured ingredient in their unique “Pigs Gone Solo,” a big red plastic cup with a layer of cornbread, a layer of beans, a layer of pulled pork, and a layer of cole slaw, topped with a juicy rib. It’s great “walking around” food and really popular at festivals.

Under Construction: Rosanna’s Ice Cream

Rosanna’s Ice Cream (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has leased the former Salty Sally’s space at the intersection of Congress and Saint John Streets. Rosanna’s will be using 953 Congress as a production space, as well as a pick-up spot for the ice cream.

Owner Salli Wason shared on facebook that she’s continuing to search for a retail space to be a permanent home for Rosanna’s but that for the next year this will be a transitional space as the business continues to grow.

Eye Appeal: Chefs and Instagram

The Press Herald has published a report on how chefs use instagram as a research and marketing tool for the dishes they create.

Chefs have always considered the eye appeal of the food they serve – nearly every chef interviewed for this story repeated the old saying “you eat with your eyes first” – but social media has turned up the heat on the visual aspect of their dishes. From bistros and burger joints to higher-end Portland restaurants, chefs say they are thinking more visually in the kitchen. They are doing so to satisfy both their online followers and the customers who insist on photographing their meals to, as chef-turned-food photographer Derek Bissonnette puts it, “convey certain bragging rights: ‘I was here. Look at what I’m doing.’ ”

This Week’s Events: GMRI Seafood Celebration, Jacqueline Event, Tippling at the Tate House

TuesdayAmerican Sommelier is holding a wine tasting at Cloudport.

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

Thursday – the 5th Annual GMRI Gulf of Maine Seafood Celebration is taking place.

Friday –there will be a ine tasting at Rosemont on Brighton, Petite Jacqueline is celebrating the life of the restaurant’s namesake (who passed away in 2017) with a “toast and happy hour” in her honor serving “Champagne toast, foie gras, shrimp cocktail, oysters, cheese and charcuterie, sweet treats”.

SaturdayJoe Appel will be leading a tasting and giving a lecture on wine in the 18th century at the Tate House, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayVignola is holding their annual beer and cheese tasting, and Foley’s is teaching a baking class.

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.

LD 1889

Carla Jean Lauter has written an article about LD 1889, the law that enabled breweries to charge for samples, for the Press Herald.

Here in Maine, there’s another milestone that probably deserves to be recognized: the passage of LD 1889 in the Maine House and Senate. Signed and enacted in mid-April of 2012, LD 1889 laid the groundwork to fundamentally change the entire beer industry in Maine by allowing Maine brewers to charge for samples at their own breweries. While this seems trivial, its passage had cascading effects that have allowed the beer industry to become what it is today.