Novare Res Turns 10

The Press Herald has published an article on Novare Res’ 10-year anniversary.

This week, Novare Res Bier Café is celebrating 10 years of pouring beer in Portland’s Old Port. While this may seem like a small milestone, it is particularly impressive in the context of the rapid turnover that characterizes the restaurant and bar industry. In 2008, the idea of a bar exclusively devoted to beer – and hard-to-get beer at that – raised some doubting eyebrows.

Portland Wine Week Gala

Portland Wine Week (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has announced the chef line-up for their Closing Gala. Dishes prepared by each of the chefs will be paired with wines selected by Wine Wise sommelier Erica Archer.

  • Krista Kern Desjarlais from The Purple House
  • Fred Eliot from Scales
  • Ilma Lopez from Piccolo and Chaval
  • Courtney Loreg from Woodford Food & Beverage
  • Emil Rivera from Sur Lie

The evening will feature “high-flying performances from three aerial cirque performers”. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Preble Street Teen Center.

Tickets for the gala are now on sale.

Reviews: Benkay, Drifters, Back Bay Grill

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Benkay,

Open for the better part of 20 years in a tiny, nondescript storefront on lower India Street, the restaurant relocated in January to posh new digs on Middle Street. For chef/owner Seiji Ando, the move is an exciting one that offers him a chance to seat more diners and to prepare a weekly special-importation menu, thanks to a mystery shipment of fish that arrives every Thursday from Japan. The sushi he prepares from it are wonderful, especially delicate medai and gently tangy shima-aji (horse mackerel).

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed Drifters Wife, and

Flavors are often subtle, yet stand-out. A starter of pickled shrimp with celery root, remoulade and rye brings together contrasting notes of brine and earth for something so well-balanced it deserves to be a main course. So too does a plate of gold ball turnips, bacon and ramps, which tastes like what the “farm-to-table” movement has gone for but missed in so many area dining establishments over the years. Even a salad of mixed local greens is somehow tantalizing, set off by a dusting of breadcrumbs and a tangy shallot vinaigrette.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Back Bay Grill.

Back Bay Grill has maintained exactly what they are known for – high level service, quality food, and a great experience. They always use exceptional ingredients, but their dishes really hit the mark with each bite, focusing on exactly what they should, taking a main ingredient and making sure that all the other parts of the item add to it, while still maintaining the primary intent. You can taste each piece, and you’ll never forget what you ordered.

Eaux Opens Wednesday

Eaux (facebook, instagram) is scheduled to open this Wednesday May 23rd. It is located at 90 Exchange Street in the space formerly occupied by Crooners & Cocktails.

Chef/owner Evan Richarson will be serving a menu of “New Orleans and Southern inspired food…in a bistro setting” including Pork Belly Cracklin’, Chicken and Waffles and Gumbo Yaya.

Eaux will be open Wednesday through Monday, 11:30 am to 1 am.

Tandem x Drifters Brunch

Drifters Wife is teaming up with Briana Holt from Tandem for a special pop-up brunch this Sunday, noon – 3 at Drifters. Here’s a look at the menu:

  • Morning Bun with sumac
  • Cornmeal Coffee Cake with brown butter, rhubarb and streusel
  • Kale Salad with rhubarb vinaigrette and clothbound cheddar
  • Toast with ricotta, ramps and egg
  • Porchetta with dandelion greens, salsa verde and mayo
  • Buckwheat Waffles with hot sauce butter and chicken sausage

Chef Jason Daly on Chopped

Jason Daly, the former chef of Crooners and Cocktails, will be competing on an upcoming episode of the Food Networks show Chopped set to air on May 29th. The episode is titled Surf and Turf according to the Food Networks,

The chefs are asked to make a special-occasion meal, starting with appetizers that include a rare prized crustacean. In the entree basket, the competitors encounter more exquisite ingredients from land and sea — as well as a sweet curveball. And the final two chefs open the dessert basket to find a playful take on the theme that proves to be quite difficult.