Growing Number of Vegan Options

The Press Herald has published a report on the growing options for vegans served up in Portland restaurants.

I’ve been writing about vegetarian and vegan food trends for the Press Herald for more than a decade, and interest in vegan food has steadily climbed during that time. But something has changed lately. With only a few exceptions, every Maine chef, restaurateur and purveyor I’ve talked with in the past six months has mentioned a marked increase in demand for vegan food.

Tickets for Fabulous Femmes Dinner on Sale

Tickets for this year’s Fabulous Femmes dinner are now on sale.

The dinner for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital is a collaboration of among an all female line-up of many of Maine’s most outstanding culinary talents:

  • Ilma Lopez, chef and co-owner of Chaval and Piccolo, and 2018 James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef
  • James Beard award winner Melissa Kelly from Primo Restaurant
  • James Beard nominated chef Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan​, Bao Bao​, and Lio
  • James Beard nominated chef Krista Kern Desjarlais from The Purple House and Bresca And The Honey Bee​
  • Kim Rodgers, head pastry chef atEventide, The Honey Paw, Hugo’s, and Little Spruce Baking Co.
  • Erica Archer, sommelier and founder of Wine Wise
  • Briana Holt, head baker at Tandem Coffee
  • Alysia Zoidis, founder of East End Cup Cakes

The dinner is scheduled to take place April 22nd at Chaval.

Portland Wine Week Q&A

Map & Menu has published a Q&A about Portland Wine Week with Erica Archer from Wine Wise, Stella Hernandez from Lolita and Kelly Nelson from Piccolo.

What are some of the Portland Wine Week events you’re most looking forward to?
: I’m excited about the diversity. I want everyone to feel like there is something for them. I really want the locals to feel that way more than anything. Maybe for them, it’s pick two things – supporting someone you really like and then trying something that’s completely out of their repertoire.

See the current list of events scheduled for Portland Wine Week, online at More events are being added to the calendar in the coming weeks. To stay informed sign-up for the PWW email newsletter.

This Week’s Events: Bar Boulud Pop-up, Titantic Dinner, Classes

Wednesday – there will be a wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, Black Tie is teaching a cooking class and Andrew Volk from the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club is kicking off a 2-day pop-up at Bar Boulud in Boston.

Saturday – The Cumberland Club is hosting a “Last Dinner on the Titanic” dinner, there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Saturday – Foley’s/Scattoloni 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.

Maine Foodie Tours Wins Award

Maine Foodie Tours owner, Pamela Laskey won the 2018 Award for Innovation & Creativity at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

”With Maine Foodie Tours, Pamela Laskey has created an exceptional visitor experience that promotes Maine’s culinary scene to a niche travel audience, and helps to strengthen an industry sector that is one of Maine primary tourism pillars,” said Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism.

Reviews: Black Cow, 555, Green Elephant, Otto

The Golden Dish has reviewed Black Cow,

All said and done, the Black Cow and its menu are brilliantly located in the heartbeat of the Old Port vibe where you can have burgers, fries, soda, sandwiches and casual salads all washed down by a great menu of craft cocktails and bar drinks of all stripe.

the Press Herald has reviewed Otto Pizza,

Happy hour at Otto isn’t what it used to be, but the on-the-house slice means it’s still worth a look.

The Bollard has reviewed Green Elephant, and

We also had the local mushroom rice bowl ($15). Mushrooms are a fantastic way to bring a meaty flavor and texture to vegetarian dishes. This bowl had shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, and some oddly chewy, fried enoki mushrooms. Like the curry, it also had plenty of vegetables and a bed of brown jasmine rice. It was satisfying in a comfort-food sort of way, but hardly exciting. It tasted like an easy weeknight dinner at home, when you realize you have a bunch of mushrooms in the fridge that are on their way out, so you whip up an impromptu stir-fry.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Easter brunch at Five Fifty-Five.

We finished our food and paid the $44 tab. The meal was fine, but either the wait lowered my enthusiasm or I’m just too used to their dinner which I really love, because it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. However, the prices were relatively standard for the city, so to be fair, I did get what I paid for. The biggest issue was definitely the delay in receiving our food. That needs some work, especially considering the modest crowd when I was there. Maybe I’ll stick to dinner when I go back.