5th Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting

The Righteous Russet and Portland Food Map have once again teamed up to organize the Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting taking place Monday October 8th at 2 and 6 pm at the Island Creek Oyster Shop on Washington Ave.

Have you ever tasted a Hudson Golden Gem, Fameuse, or Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple, the Esopus Spitzenburg? Come to the apple tasting to try a wide range apples handpicked in New England’s orchards and learn more about this iconic fall fruit from apple columnist Sean Turley.

Our host, The Shop, will be running a cash bar during the tasting stocked with several hard ciders from across the region that are well worth drinking. Complimenting the fresh apple tasting, the event will also include apple-based treats prepared by chefs and bakers from several local establishments.

Tickets are now on sale on Eventbrite.

Chocolats Passion Opens Today

A new chocolate shop in the West End, Chocolats Passion (websitefacebookinstagram), is scheduled to open today at 1 pm.

Owner Catherine Wiersema plans to sell her own artisanal chocolates, tea, hot chocolate, baked goods by Renee by the Bay as well as imported French candies and caramels.

Chocolats Passion is located adjacent to Rosemont Market at 189 Brackett Street.

This Week’s Events: Hunt & Alpine, Shoju, Cocktail Dinner, Chocolats Pasion, Roots Cafe, Dine Out for Equality, Lio Wine Dinner

Monday – The Portland Hunt and Alpine Club is celebrating their 5-year anniversary and the release of co-owners Andrew and Briana Volk’s new book Northern Hospitality. Mr Tuna and Carbon are collaborating on a pop-up event taking place at Belleville.

TuesdayChaval is holding a 4-course cocktail dinner, and their will be a wine tasting at Bow Street.

Wednesday – It’s the opening day of Chocolats Passion, the 2nd Annual Dine OUT for Equality and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market are taking place.

Thursday – Lio is holding an Austrian/Hungarian wine dinner, and there will be panel discussion on childhood hunger in Maine at the Maine Historical Society.

Friday – There will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont on Brighton.

Saturday – It’s the opening day of gluten-free Roots Cafe in Westbrook, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayPiccolo is celebrating their 5-year anniversary with a 30-course Panarda dinner, there will be a Falchini wine dinner at Solo Italiano, and the September edition of Flea Bites is taking place in Congress Square Park.

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.

Interview with Restaurant Critic Andrew Ross

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an extended interview with their restaurant critic, Andrew Ross.

Q: Can you truly tell if a restaurant is any good based on just one meal?
A: Oh, absolutely. First of all, I’m not only eating one dish. I’m eating a bare minimum of four dishes. It’s usually more like six or seven dishes. At the same time, I really think I should be going to places more than once if I can. If the budget allowed for it, I’d love to do that. That expands the range of experiences you have. The cruelest irony of this job is that when I have a terrible meal at a restaurant, I have to go back just to confirm it was as bad as I thought it was. But if I have a fantastic meal, I don’t get to go back to confirm that it was as great as I thought it was.

Reviews: Crown Jewel, Union

The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Crown Jewel, and

Consider a dish of “fried green things;” flash-fried seasonal green vegetables with apricot harissa and roasted almonds — pound for pound one of the tastiest things in recent memory. Vegetables also shine in chef Rocky Hunter’s carrot lox, a fun take on faux-food substituting ribbons of cured heirloom carrots for smoked salmon, garnished liberally with rye crumbs and everything bagel seasoning. It’s playful, imaginative and — most importantly — actually delicious, showing aptitude and purpose that speak to Hunter’s personal vegan leanings.

The Bollard has reviewed Union.

Though technically too young to be a millennial, my daughter’s friend has a thing for avocado toast, and Union’s version ($14) did not disappoint. The fluffy “shaved” hard-boiled egg, creamy ricotta salata and peppery radish provided a welcome variety of textures and flavors, but it was the tart, salty, preserved lemon emulsion that elevated this dish to a higher plane. Likewise, my wife’s smoked salmon ($17) started with a familiar mix of flavors and transformed into something new. Served on square slices of pumpernickel toast, the combination of shaved egg, pickled onions, briny capers, petite greens and “everything spice” was absolutely delicious, and anything but traditional.

Crepe Elizabeth

The Forecaster has published an article about the Crepe Elizabeth food truck.

Haaf and Stinson’s approach to their cooking and menu is a simple: eight crepe dishes, four sweet and four savory, ranging from $5-10.

Stinson said their most popular crepe is La Classique, which is topped with nutella, strawberries and bananas. One of their more hearty dishes is La Complete; a traditional crepe with cage-free egg, uncured ham and cheese.

Saving Fork Food Lab

The Press Herald has posted an update on the efforts to save Fork Food Lab,

A group of entrepreneurs and investors is in negotiations to take over the operation of the Portland shared commercial kitchen as a nonprofit on or about Oct. 1, said Bill Seretta, president of The Sustainability Lab in Yarmouth and chair of the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge. He emphasized that the deal is still not done and no papers have been signed, but added that he’s “pretty confident this is going to work out.”

Chocolatier for a Day

Black Dinah Chocolatiers is kicking off their Chocolatier for a Day sweepstakes today,

The prize is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. The winning chocolatier will work side by side with Kate and her team, receiving one-on-one instruction on how to make ganache (the chocolate-and-cream center of a truffle), cook caramel, enrobe truffles, temper chocolate, and mold bonbons. The winner will also take home a selection of what they make over the course of the day, plus Kate’s award-winning cookbook “Desserted” and their very own Black Dinah Chocolatiers chef’s cap and apron.

For more information and to enter visit the sweepstakes web page.

This Week’s Events: Labor Day, Maine Coast Harvest, Oktoberfest, Hungry Collective

Monday – Enjoy Labor Day.

Wednesday – the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Friday – there will be a screening of Maine Coast Harvest at USM.

SaturdayPortland Oktoberfest and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market are taking place.

SundayThe Hungry Collective band of food trucks will be at Bunker Brewing.

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: Bob’s, Forage, Rose, Crown Jewel

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Crown Jewel,

I would have shared my amazement that a kitchen helmed by a vegan was so deft at putting out seafood and meat dishes like savory hake with chorizo, hamburgers with sweet onion jam and – best of all – crisp, delicate oyster sliders. Hunter’s produce-forward dishes are frequently just as good, especially tomato concasse with corn pudding, blackberry gastrique and Parmesan. They, as well as the shaved ices that pastry chef Angela Cochran tops with homemade syrups and macerated fruit, taste like a distillation of summer. Exactly the right menu for a destination restaurant where every meal feels like a vacation.

the Portland Phoenix has reviewed Forage Market and Rose Foods,

An opportunity to examine just how far we have traveled down this path comes in the form of two bagel places opened in Portland in the last year — Rose Foods and Forage. These local bagels — fundamentally just plain doughy zeros (like us) — have managed to earn national acclaim. How have they done it? Substance? Taste? Style?

the Portland Press Herald has reviewed Bob’s Clam Hut.

Finally, at a time when restaurants in Portland are struggling to find good help, I have to give a big shout out to Bob’s for the great service. When I forgot to ask the tablet I signed for a receipt, one employee went out of his way to help me. He had not learned how to perform this task yet on the point-of-sale system, but he worked with it until he was able to print out my receipt. I saw another employee go out of her way to help customers coming in the door, and a third came around and picked up trays from customers who were done with their meals, even though throwing out trash and putting up trays is supposed to be self service. Hey Bob, there’s a big restaurant labor shortage in this town, and you are very lucky to have these people.