Northern Hospitality

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on the newly released book Northern Hospitality by Hunt and Alpine/Little Giant owners Andrew and Briana Volk.

It’s a cookbook and cocktail guide that blends Maine life with Scandinavian sensibilities, and honors and updates the traditions of both. It will entice you to find comfort in a bowl of salmon chowder, or courage in an Old Fashioned sipped by a crackling fire. (The Volks met and fell in love over a few rounds of Old Fashioneds.) And you’ll wish for a dusting of that children’s book magic that allows ordinary humans to step right into the cozy, stylish photos – in this case, photos by Peter Frank Edwards, who also photographed celebrated Charleston chef (Husk) Sean Brock’s “Heritage” cookbook.

Take a Bite Out of Appledore

Chefs Sam Hayward and Evan Mallett (Black Trumpet) are helping lead an eco-culinary island retreat on Appledore Island September 1-3.

Participants will forage for edible plants across the island, exploring trails and gardens, both maintained and wild. Along the rocky shore, comb for molluscs and seaweed, much like the island’s colonial inhabitants. Ship out to sea in search of oceanic fish and benthic life as you learn each species’ role in Gulf of Maine fisheries.

Dinners will be served en plein air with ocean views abound and the calls of passing seabirds in your ears. Sit with a glass of wine in hand as the smell of steamed shellfish wafts off your plate. Take a Bite out of Appledore is the perfect weekend getaway for connisseurs of food, science, and Isles of Shoals culture!

Shucks Trap-to-Table Proposal

Today’s Press Herald reports on a proposal By Shucks Maine Lobster to build a “processing plant, seafood restaurant and marine education center” on the Fish Pier.

Hathaway plans to put up a two-story, 16,000-square-foot building that will be a combination lobster processing plant, raw bar, marine heritage display and test kitchen called the Maine Sustainable Seafood Center. The combined business would create up to 80 new jobs, Hathaway estimated.

His vision is a “trap-to-table” experience that gives customers a chance to learn more about how seafood gets from the ocean to their plates and meet the people who put it there.

This Week’s Events: Outstanding in the Field, SALO Series, Wildcard, Bacon-Bourbon-Beer

Tuesday – Damian Sansonetti & Ilma Lopez are the featured chefs for a (sold out) Outstanding in the Field dinner at Bumbleroot Farm.

Wednesday – there will be a wine tasting at Browne Trading, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – chef Yana Gilbuena is back in town to cook one of her SALO Series Filipino dinners at Arcadia, and Allagash and Highroller are teaming up on a “sour, wild and barrel-aged extravaganza”.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the West End Rosemont.

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

Sunday – A Bacon-Bourbon-Beer-Fest is taking place at Roma and Bramhall.

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.

Effort to Save Fork Food Lab

Maine Startup Insider reports that there’s an effort afoot to save Fork Food Lab,

The group, spearheaded by Bill Seretta, president of The Sustainability Lab and chairperson of the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge, is in negotiations with both Pilotworks, the New York-based company that acquired Fork last summer and recently announced it would close the kitchen incubator at the end of September, and the owners of the East Bayside building in which Fork resides.

Reviews: Bob’s, Crown Jewel, Lio, Forage, Sagamore, Buxton Common

The Portland Phoenix and Peter Peter Portland Eater have reviewed Bob’s Clam Hut,

The litmus test exists in the form of “Clams 2-ways,” which loads an oval paper plate with equal heaping portions of their signature Bob’s and Lillian’s clams. The Lillian’s clams are distinctly lighter and almost creamy in texture, with the flour dredged Bob’s being on the crunchier, more traditional side. Tasted blindly, I found the latter to be the more satisfying of the two. It’s not exactly a steal at $25, but padded with fries and coleslaw, it’s more than enough for two people to share.

The Blueberry Files has reviewed Crown Jewel,

The summer lettuces salad ($12) might have been my favorite—a take on a Caesar, with fried white anchovies, fried lemon wheels, and crispy pieces of fried Parm. With a lemon-y dressing and lots of black pepper, this salad had tons of flavor.

Portland Magazine has reviewed Lio,

Turning to hot dishes, olive-oil poached Maine Halibut is a delicate revelation ($17). The tender fillet sits atop puréed potato and fennel laced with bits of crabmeat, forming an island in a glass bowl pooled with shellfish broth. The dish is subtle, yet the clean, fresh flavors are clear and concentrated.

The Golden Dish has reviewed Forage Market,

At Forage, the bagels are so good because they cure for several days before the boiling process and then the the ultimate burnishing in a wood-fired oven. The outer crust is particularly noteworthy with its blistered finish from the intense oven temperature fired from the embers of wood in the oven.

the Portland Press Herald has reviewed Sagamore, and

The results were mixed: the gimlet and the mint julep were fabulous, the Blue Dress was pretty good…the daiquiri was sour, the McKinley’s Delight was bitter, and the Manhattan arrived cloudy and tasting like the bitters had been added like one might add Tabasco sauce to scrambled eggs. We didn’t have to wait long for service, but the bartenders remained far more interested in chatting with each other than in engaging with their customers.

the Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Buxton Common.

Before last week, if you had told me that the best biscuits north of the Mason-Dixon Line were in Buxton, I might have laughed at you. But one very solid meal at The Buxton Common later, I’m fully on-board.

Scallop Aquaculture

The Press Herald reports on efforts to develop a Maine scallop aquaculture industry,

The Atlantic sea scallop is a New England mainstay, but unlike oysters and mussels, they’re almost exclusively harvested from the wild on the East Coast. A loose consortium of aquaculture businesses off the Maine coast is looking to change that by making scallop farming a viable option here. It’s one of the first serious attempts to farm Atlantic sea scallops in the United States.

Hana Thai Now Open

The newest member of the Veranda Thai family of restaurants, Hana Thai, opened earlier this week at 740 Broadway in South Portland.

Hana Thai is owned by Than Pham, the younger brother of Hai Pham who opened the first Veranda Thai in Deering.

Cannabis Dinner Cancelled

The culinary cannabis dinner scheduled to take place tonight was cancelled in response to intervention by State authorities.

The organizers issued a statement Thursday,

It is with great sadness that we must announce the last minute cancellation of Cultivator Country Fair: Farm to Fork Cannabis Dinner Aug. 24th 5-9 PM due to direct request by the State of Maine.  We have done everything in our power to find an alternative to a cancellation, and discussed alternatives with law enforcement, but no compromise has been received. Despite the best efforts of our founders and lawyer, we were left with no other choice but to cancel the event. This conclusion has essentially been decided for us and we have been advised that if we persist we will be met with resistance. Although similar events such as ours have transpired successfully and without repercussion, the State of Maine has stated they are ‘cracking down’ on multiple caregivers coming together and have chosen to make an example with this public event. Despite this being a benefit for children, in their eyes, what we are trying to do is being considered illegal.

The dinner was going to feature food by chefs Josh Potocki and Scott Nicoll. I was looking forward to attending, am so am sad to see not be able to go forward.

For more information, see this article from the Press Herald.