Under Construction: Grippy Tannins

A new wine “shop and tasting lounge” called Grippy Tannins (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction at 16 Middle Street.

Grippy Tannins’ mission is to make wine more approachable by creating a space to learn about and taste small production wines from all over the world before taking them home to enjoy.

Through a beautifully curated selection of wine, we hope to introduce you to exciting new wines and passionate emerging winemakers that keep you curious and wanting to taste more.

Owner Lindsey Murray hopes to open Grippy Tannins this Spring.

This Week’s Events: Hen of the Woods, Bird & Co, Palace Diner, Beer & Cake, Mamaleh’s, Pop-ups

MondayMaine Restaurant Week continues through Tuesday.

TuesdayBird & Co. plans to open with a Grand Opening scheduled for March 19th, and the March edition of Hush Hush is taking place at Giant on Clark Street.

Wednesday – There will be a wine tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants.

Thursday – Vermont restaurant Hen of the Woods will be at Hugo’s for a collaboration dinner, and Noble BBQ is holding a Detroit Pizza Pop-up.

Friday – there will be a wine tastings at the Congress Street Rosemont Market and at Maine & Loire. Black Tie is holding a Graze farm to table dinner in Yarmouth.

SaturdayPalace Diner will be open 30 hours straight starting at 8 am to celebrate their 5-year anniversary, you’ll have the chance to try beer and cake pairings at Goodfire Brewing, RSVP is holding a beer tasting, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Saturday – Cambridge delicatessen Mamaleh’s will be bringing some of their signature products to Rose Foods for the day.

Upcoming Pop-ups – two very interesting pop-up dinners are taking place in the next few weeks:

    • Túramali, a pop-up Mexican restaurant, is holding their first dinner at Belleville on April 1st. As of Sunday both seatings were nearly all sold out. Turamali is the creation of Carlos Duarte, a baker at Belleville who formerly worked as sous chef at Five Fifty-Five.
    • Lil’ Deb’s Oasis from Hudson NY will be staging a kitchen takeeover of Cong Tu Bot March 24th and 25th. Both restaurants are semifinalists in the Best Chef Northeast category in this year’s James Beard Awards. The event is on a walk-in basis only.

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.

Traditional Italian

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an article about the Portland area’s traditional red-sauce Italian restaurants.

Instead of starkly decorated dining rooms with lines and lighting reminiscent of an industrial site, these old-school restaurants keep flowers, candles and linens on the tables. The soothing tones of Frank Sinatra and other old-time crooners add to the atmosphere instead of drowning out conversations. In these places, the long-gone Village Cafe – a popular Italian-American family restaurant in the Old Port that was driven out by urban renewal and is still mourned by Portlanders on social media – is remembered with reverence, and the Olive Garden is dismissed as irrelevant.

Reviews: Piccolo, LB Kitchen

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Piccolo, and

The new Piccolo still holds a maximum of 20 diners at a time, but it feels (and is) brighter, more colorful and best of all: more accessible. With the addition of half-portions of pasta to the menu, it is easy to imagine stopping in for a weekday meal of phenomenal Funghi (a stealth salad with a runny egg that creates its own carbonara-like dressing), a plate of pork-sugo-dressed strascinati pasta, and a half-dessert, half-digestif fior di latte gelato slowly melting into a fruity, herbal shot of Pasubio amaro. No special occasion required.

The Bollard has reviewed the LB Kitchen.

It’s definitely possible to make healthier choices than we made — the menu includes several whole-grain bowls, vegetable-heavy sandwiches and the like — but to me, LB Kitchen shines brightest when they put a healthyish spin on traditional breakfast fare. The prices aren’t the lowest in town, but the quality of both the ingredients and their preparation made the cost seem totally reasonable. I can declare without shame that I’ll be back soon.