Guster x Mast Landing

Mast Landing and Guster are collaborating to produce On the Ocean, a pale ale that will be released August 9th in time for a weekend of concerts by Guster taking place in Portland.

“We’re thrilled to brew another collaboration beer with Guster for On The Ocean weekend this year,” said Parker Olen, Co-owner of Mast landing Brewing Co.  “Last year was a blast and everyone loved the beer, so we knew we had to brew a new beer for 2019. We’re also stoked to have the collaboration beer available in more places throughout Portland and Maine this year, including during the concert at Thompson’s Point!”

Leeward Has Leased Space on Free Street

An Italian restaurant called Leeward (website, instagram) is under construction at 85 Free Street. The name is a nautical term that means “sheltered from the wind” and evokes the sense of hospitality the owners intend for the restaurant. Leeward has also been the name of the series of pop-up dinners the held by owners Jake and Raquel Stevens in 2018 and early 2019 where they have further developed the concept for their restaurant.

The Stevens are planning a 50+ seat restaurant with a full bar and wine program that’s focused on minimal intervention wines. Handmade pasta will be the primary focus of the menu but it will also include vegetable, meat and seafood based entrees. The Stevens hope to open Leeward before the end of the year.

Before moving to Portland the Stevens lived and worked in restaurants on the west coast. Jake Stevens was the former Chef de Cuisine at Beast in Portland, Oregon. He’s currently on staff at Eventide. Raquel has worked in the front of house in restaurants in Oregon and in LA, and is currently on staff at Drifters Wife. Raquel Stevens grew up in New England and its her connection to the region that initially prompted the move east two years ago.

If 85 Free Street rings a bell for you it may be because it was the original location of the Winter Farmers’ Market when it launched in 2010.

This Week’s Events: Franks & Frizz, Jamaican Independence Day Festival, Coffee Cupping

Monday – Sommelier Lauren Friel from Rebel Rebel will be at Austin Street for Franks & Frizz.

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

Thursday – there will be a wine tasting at Maine & Loire.

SaturdayCoffee by Design is holding a coffee cupping of three coffees from Hacienda La Minita including an anaerobic process coffee, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – the 6th Annual Jamaican Independence Day Festival is taking place in Payson 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.

Turn Down the Volume

Author Nancy Harmon Jenkins makes the case for bringing restaurant dining room volumes down to a more tolerable level in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

So what’s the solution? You can tuck your ears between your shoulders and put up with it. Or you can complain. Complain loudly, if you must to get above the noise. If enough of us Ancient Mainers with money in our pockets, looking for enticing places to spend it, if enough of us complain, the owners will hear, believe me. Or they will, perish the thought, get old too and understand what we’re yelling about.

The Development of East Bayside

MaineBiz has published an article on the continuing development of East Bayside as a location for food and beverage businesses.

East Bayside was “a very rough neighborhood when I was growing up,” said Justin Lamontagne, of NAI The Dunham Group and a Portland native. Now it’s become one of the peninsula’s fastest-growing commercial areas. “It wasn’t originally designed to be what it is,” he said. “It evolved organically into a vibrant area.”