This Week’s Events: NYE, Judy Gibson, New Foodways

Tuesday aka New Year’s Eve – Here’s a growing list of options for New Year’s Eve.

  • Blue Spoon – 5-course dinner, $65.
  • Boone’s – Boone’s is serving a special NYE menu.
  • Central Provisions – 6-course dinner, $150.
  • Chaval – 3-course dinner, $55.
  • Drifters Wife – 5-course dinner, $55.
  • Evo – 6-course, $110.
  • Five Fifty-Five – 4-course menu, $90; 7-course menu, $125.
  • Flood’s – open with an augmented menu until 10, followed by a dance party 10-1.
  • Hugo’s – 8-course dinner, $90 per person.
  • Isa – prix fixe menu, $65.
  • Leeward x Little Giant – Chefs from Little Giant and Leeward are collaborating on the menu, $65. You can make reservations through Little Giant.
  • Maiz – 3-course dinner, $45. An after-party $10 in advance ($15 at the door).
  • Old Port Sea Grill – 5-course dinner, $65.
  • Piccolo – 5-course, $85.
  • Sur Lie – 4-course dinner, $45.
  • Union – 3-course dinner, $89.
  • Vinland – 6-course dinner, $95.

Wednesday – it’s New Year’s Day, tickets for the MaineVoices Live with Sam Sifton go on sale.

Friday – Chris Wilcox will hold a Judy Gibson pop-up dinner at Hugo’s.

Saturday – the first New Foodways Celebration Dinner will take place, Chris Wilcox will hold a Judy Gibson pop-up dinner at Hugo’s, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

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: Fore Street, Nura

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Fore Street, and

Chef de cuisine Daniel Young describes the restaurant (which today boasts its own Wikipedia entry) as “the epicenter of New England food,” and he’s not wrong. As long in the tooth as Fore Street may be, it continues to be one of the region’s best restaurants, serving rustic and hypnotically appealing dishes like wood-charred Bolero carrots in coriander vinaigrette, peppery and juniper-rubbed Quebec pork sirloin, and an apple salad that sketches out the contours of non-existent cranberries in the white space of its flavors.

the Press Herald has reviewed Nura.

I ordered the cauliflower bowl ($13) with hazelnut, dukkah and sauteed onion. Combined with a cup of chai and 20 percent tip, my lunch tab came to just under $20…The hummus in my bowl was light, creamy and delicious, and came with five triangles of pita bread.

Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook

Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz, authors of several books including The Portland Maine Chef’s Table, and Don Lindgren, owner of Rabelais Books, have teamed up to launch the Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook (website, facebook, instagram, twitter). The project “will explore the foodways of the indigenous people of Maine, include recipes drawn from the state’s historic community cookbooks, and reveal the tastiest flavors from our newest Mainers.”

The deadline for you to submit your own recipe is January 10th.

The organizers also have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help pay for the “creation, production and printing costs” and intend for “a portion of every book sold after publication will go to fight hunger in Maine”. They’ve gotten commitments of $11,221 so far towards a goal of $30,000.

You can also pre-order a copy of book through the Kickstarter page.

This Week’s Events: German Wine Dinner, Christmas, Ada’s, NYE List

Monday – Evo is holding a German wine dinner.

Wednesday – it’s Christmas.

FridayAda’s is scheduled to open their new restaurant in Portland.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

New Year’s Eve – Here’s the growing list of options for New Year’s Eve. If you know of any restaurants that have something special planned for NYE, please share the details in the comments and I’ll add them.

  • Boone’s – Boone’s is serving a special NYE menu.
  • Central Provisions – 6-course dinner, $150.
  • Drifters Wife – 5-course dinner, $55.
  • Evo – 6-course, $110.
  • Five Fifty-Five – 4-course menu, $90; 7-course menu, $125.
  • Flood’s – open with an augmented menu until 10, followed by a dance party 10-1.
  • Hugo’s – 8-course dinner, $90 per person.
  • Isa – prix fixe menu, $65.
  • Leeward x Little Giant – Chefs from Little Giant and Leeward are collaborating on the menu, $65. You can make reservations through Little Giant.
  • Sur Lie – 4-course dinner, $45.
  • Union – 3-course dinner, $89.
  • Vinland – 6-course dinner, $95.

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.

MST Best Meals and Vegan Progress

Maine Sunday Telegram Andrew Ross has looked back over 2019 and assembled his highlight reel of dining in Maine,

This year, our food businesses powered through the anticipation, interpreting new trends through the idiom of local ingredients, yet never failing to keep standards high.

So high, that choosing my year-end favorites was at once more difficult and more enjoyable than it has ever been before. I spent the last few weeks scrolling through photos of hundreds of dishes and rereading tableside notes taken surreptitiously on my smartphone. (“Somebody really needs to carve this bagel into Mount Rushmore” brought me back to a spectacular early summer breakfast …)

and vegan columnist Avery Yale Kamila has provided a 2019 review of the changes in the Maine vegan food scene.

Maine’s vegan landscape expanded significantly in 2019 with the arrival of the all-vegan Lovebirds Donuts in Kittery; the all-vegan Sticky Sweet ice cream shop in Portland; the mostly vegan hummus restaurant Nura in Portland’s Monument Square; and the all-vegan fast-food restaurant Copper Branch, which recently opened in Portland’s Old Port, making it the first national vegan chain to set up shop in the Pine Tree State.

Reviews: Grippy Tannins, The Garrison

The Golden Dish has reviewed The Garrison, and

It’s rare when restaurants reach that highly regarded perfection of high purpose and aspiration, the notion of which is such a subjective idea anyway. But once you find such a place as The Garrison in Yarmouth housed in the Sparhawk Mill along the Royal River, it’s immediately clear that this could be the golden bough we’ve all been waiting to climb, the prize at the end of that exiguous road where no less than some fabulously good food arrives to dazzle the senses.

the Press Herald has reviewed Grippy Tannins.

The space combines coziness and an airy, clean, fresh feeling in a way that makes customers want to kick off their shoes, curl up in one of the comfy chairs, and slowly work their way through the tasting menu, which is exactly what my drinking companion and I did (well, except for the shoes part).

Radici Pizzeria Coming to Washington Ave

You’ll recall that back in September we reported that Randy and Ally Forrester, chef/owners of Osteria Radici were shuttering their Allentown, NJ restaurant and moving to Portland to open a new establishment.

Now the words out that the Forresters will be taking over the space at 52 Washington Ave when Terlingua moves into their new larger digs in the former Silly’s building. The new venture keeps the Radici (website, instagram) name and will be a pizzeria. The word “radici” means root in Italian and indicates the restaurants intent to pair ancestral food traditions with the “sustainability and versatility of Maine’s harvest from the land and sea”. The Forresters hope to open the pizzeria this coming summer.

Forrester shared that they plan to hand-mixed naturally leavened dough, and that they’re looking forward to the the opportunity to incorporate locally milled hard Maine wheat into their pizza dough.

Osteria Radici was a James Beard awards semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2018, and Randy Forrester was a semifinalist for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic in 2019.

New Year’s Eve 2019 (Updated)

It’s coming together a little later than usual, but here’s a down payment on the New Year’s Eve list. If you know of any restaurants that have something special planned for NYE, please share the details in the comments and I’ll add them to the growing list.