Best New Restaurants in America: Elda

Bill Addison, Eater‘s national roving restaurant critic, has included Elda in his list of the 18 Best New Restaurants in America,

Biddeford has one of the country’s most lovable diners, one of the nation’s great food-focused bookstores, and now it has Elda. Chef-owner Bowman Brown uprooted himself from his award-winning restaurant, Salt Lake City’s Forage, to return to New England, where he began his career. His approach is a paradigm of current modern American cooking: a short menu revealing Brown’s restless creativity; an exquisite sense of place with seafood and vegetables; and a style that doesn’t land on any one cuisine but shows off all kinds of imagination and chops.

3 Brewery Expansion for Freeport

Three new breweries on Route 1 near Maine Beer Company are in various stages of development.

Brad Nadeau who started developing Stars and Stripes Brewing Co. (website, facebook, instagram) late last year has leased space in Freeport at 8 Varney Road where he plans to open a 2,000 sq ft brewery later this Fall. For more info check out this article in The Forecaster.

Mast Landing (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is working on a project to build a 6,000 sq ft brewery at 475-491 US Route 1. The new space will include a 2,000 sq ft deck. You may remember, Mast Landing’s owners originally planned to open in Freeport before finding their current building in Westbrook, so this is a homecoming of sorts for the brewery.

A third brewery is being considered for a 15,300 sq ft lot at 392 US Route 1. Details are scarce at this point, but plans do call for a 2-story brewery to built on the site.

Stars and Stripes, Mast Landing and the proposed 3rd brewery will all be located near Maine Beer Company, potentially creating a new beer destination in the Portland area.

Parlor Ice Cream

Cherry Bombe has published a Q&A with Parlor Ice Cream founder Jacqueline Dole.

Any industry mentor or person who inspires you?
Jeni Britton Bauer. At Cherry Bombe’s Jubilee in 2014, she said four words that I reflect on almost every day: “I just did it.” Life is too short to continuously ask permission from others—it’s up to you to learn what you need to do and how you need to make it happen. No one will do the work for you, so it’s up to you to learn how to overcome all the obstacles that a path to your passion will hold. Everything from day-to-day to damage control, Jeni handles with grace and gusto.

Two Lights Plural

Hugo’s alum and Old Orchard Beach native son Chase Lovecky will be launching a new restaurant in London called Two Lights (instagram). In addition to Hugo’s Lovecky has worked at Jean George and for David Chang before moving to England and becoming part of the team, and eventually leading the kitchen, at The Clover Club.

Coincidentally, another former member of the Portland restaurant community, Chris Gatchell, moved to Chicago late last year where he helped open a restaurant also called Two Lights (instagram) earlier this summer.

The Hungry Collective

A group of food trucks and carts calling themselves the Hungry Collective are organizing a set of mobile food events throughout the rest of the year. On the schedule already are:

  • July 29 at Rising Tide Brewing
  • August 26 at 219 Anderson Street in Portland
  • September 9 at Bunker Brewing
  • October 14 at 1 Industrial Way in Portland

Participating in the Hungry Collective are: Thainy Boda, Falafel Mafia, Little Bee ICe Cream, Eighty-Eight Donuts, Mami and Tacos del Seoul.

This Week’s’ Events: Pop Up Picnic, Gross Confection Bar, Honey Paw x Palace, Hungry Collective, Dine OUT for Equality

Monday – Wayside Food Programs and Cultivating Community are holding the next Pop Up Picnic at Payson Park Community Garden.

TuesdayGross Confection Bar is holding a pop-up.

WednesdayGross Confection Bar is holding a pop-up, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

FridayThe Honey Paw will be holding a pop-up dinner in Biddeford in collaboration with Palace Diner, and there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont on Brighton Ave.

Saturday – the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – The Hungry Collective (Thainy Boda, Falafel Mafia, Little Bee ICe Cream, Eighty-Eight Donuts, Mami and Tacos del Seoul) is holding an event at Rising Tide Brewing.

2nd Annual Dine OUT for Equality – the event is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Restaurants that want to participate and support the EqualityMaine Foundation can learn more on their site.

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.

Independent Ice Co. Open

The Independent Ice Company (website, facebook, instagram) opened Saturday night serving a list of house cocktails, whiskey flights and with an extensive bottle list of whiskeys, bourbons, scotches, and ryes.

Independent Ice is located at 52 Wharf Street and will be open Sunday at 4pm. They’ll be closed Monday and will reopen Tuesday when they hope to have their kitchen up and full food menu available

Reviews: Maine Lobster Shack, Lio, The Inn on Peaks Island, Chebeague Island Inn

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Maine Lobster Shack,

[The owner] originally planned to open the restaurant as part of a California-based chain, and while Maine Lobster Shack came to life as a stand-alone business, its roots as a corporate entity persist. They send up occasional shoots and stems into the menu, which features classic “shacky food” that varies from decent to unacceptable. Deep-fried seafood is breaded with a coarse-cornmeal-heavy dredge, a formulation that works well only for very moist shellfish like oysters ($16), and lobster rolls made from pre-picked meat that are prepared haphazardly and don’t seem to be tasted before service.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Lio,

Well prepared dishes but nothing innovative; taste level is high but you’ve had it before

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Lio,

We considered ending our meal once we finished what we had, but couldn’t turn down Plum and Raspberry Bavarian Cake – almond, beach rose sherbet ($10). What appeared to be the most exciting dessert item displayed a virtual rainbow of colors, incorporating fruit, candies, and flowers into its presentation. The cake was light as was the sherbet. The fruit flavors were perfect for the season and I appreciated that it wasn’t too sugary.

As The Lobster Rolls has reviewed The Inn on Peaks Island, and

The only one tiny little bright spot in this experience was the taste of that tiny blob of lobster. It was lightly dressed with an herbed mayo and the meat tasted fresh and tender. It had real potential. The meat is half the battle – once you’ve perfected that, the rest is gravy.

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Chebeague Island Inn.

A. ordered the pan-seared chicken breast with potato salad, cippolini onions, and a blueberry glaze ($27). I had a small bite and found the chicken was perfectly cooked, with a nice sweetness from the blueberry sauce. The sauce erred on the side of savory, which I appreciated.

Bob’s Clam Hut Opens Today

The new Bob’s Clam Hut (website, facebook, instagram) located at 111 Cumberland Ave in Portland is scheduled to open today at noon with an expanded menu.

“I’ve always kept my eyes open for potential expansion opportunities but was waiting for a location to really grab me and this one did. We had decided a while ago that any new Bob’s would need to be in a standalone building and this spot in Portland stood prominently and quaintly (as all clam shacks should), on the corner of five streets,” says Owner Michael Landgarten. “We are excited to continue revitalizing the East Bayside neighborhood and our team is definitely eager to grow, as proven by the explosion of energy and desire to go work in this new Bob’s outpost in Portland.”

Gritty’s Turns 30

Maine Today and The Forecaster have published articles about Gritty’s 30-year anniversary.

Before throwing back a few pints of Gritty’s well-known ales and lagers, imagine the world of brewing in 1988. While only a handful of the nation’s breweries that were opened in the pioneer years of the 1980s and 1990s still exist, several big names remain. The famous Class of ’88 includes Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, New York), Deschutes Brewing Company (Bend, Oregon) and Vermont Pub & Brewery. If you ask Stebbins what’s changed in the last 30 years, he’ll tell you, “pretty much everything.”