Broken Arrow Under Development on Congress

A new restaurant called  Broken Arrow (instagram) is under construction at 545 Congress Street in the storefront formerly occupied by the West End Deli. They will open serving dinner “5-7 times a week” and plan to eventually add a lunch service as well. Broken Arrow will seat 47 overall featuring banquet seating along the right wall and a 17-seat bar on the opposite side of the space. There are also plans for outdoor seating.

The draft menu (page 100) includes small and large plate such as brown bread with butter, oyster sliders, mussels and pot roast, as well as oysters, seafood towers, sandwiches and meat/cheese plates.

Broken Arrow is being launched by Holly and Lyle Aker. Lyle Aker had owned the Charlatan and the Three Aces in Chicago prior to moving to Maine.

The restaurant has been under development since 2017.

Thrillist Falls in Love with Portland

Thrillist has published a travel guide to Portland titled “Why Right Now Is the Perfect Time to Fall in Love With Portland, Maine”.

That Portland’s still here — lighthouses, lobster rolls, and plenty of opportunities to use the word “quaint” — but things are changing. These days, bearded brewmasters seem to outnumber actual fishermen. The food scene has morphed into world-class, destination dining that doesn’t start and stop with lobster. Artists and creatives are flocking to the city’s shores. And word is spreading so fast, it won’t be long before the vibe starts to feel on par with the next, well, Portland. Or Asheville. Or Denver.

Verna’s All Day

The Waterville Sentinel has published an article about Verna’s All Day (websiteinstagram), the “casual, classic American chop house” that the owners of the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club have under construction in Waterville.

Verna’s All Day, a casual, classic American chop house, will offer steak and other entrees, as well as locally sourced food and classic cocktails in the restaurant part of the business. A range of prepared foods, convenience items, wine, local beer and other items will be featured in the small market and cafe-deli, where patrons will be encouraged to eat, socialize and study.

This Week’s Events: Chef Summit, Knotted Apron, Food Council, Rum Retreat, Yardie Ting

Monday – the 3rd Annual Portland Food Council Celebration is taking place, and Three Of Strong is hosting a Rum Retreat with cocktails by Arvid Brow, oysters by Mook Sea Farm, and food by Carbon.

Wednesday – It’s the opening night of the 5th Annual Chef Summit, and Evo is holding a Piedmontese wine dinner.

Thursday – it’s the grand opening of The Knotted Apron (instagram) at 496 Woodford Street. It’s the second night of the Chef Summit.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Yardie Ting –Yardie Ting is launch a supper club series, taking place weekly for 4 weeks starting February 15th.

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.

Specialty Food Businesses

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article on the burgeoning number of specialty food and beverage businesses in Maine.

The number of food and beverage manufacturing companies in Maine grew 35 percent from 2007 to 2017, according to federal census data gathered by James C. McConnon Jr., a Cooperative Extension business and economics specialist and economics professor at the University of Maine. Over that same 10-year period, the number of all Maine businesses, of all kinds, dropped 2 percent, he said.

Reviews: Vessel & Vine, Maria’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Vessel and Vine in Brunswick, and

So revel in the patchwork quilt nature of The Vine and order a mix-and-match Golden Ratio cocktail or glass of natural wine to sip as you make your way through Iacono’s seven-item menu, all of which she prepares in a kitchen the size of a walk-in closet. Be on the lookout for her sumac-freckled sweet potato hummus dip and stuffed cabbage dolma, sweetened with sun-dried tomato and seasoned with floral ras el hanout. When you arrive, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon the restaurant’s culinary-themed book club, a foraging class or even the monthly mending group, stitching away. Just pull up a chair and go with the flow.

The Golden Dish has reviewed the new Maria’s.

Perhaps it was too soon to assess Maria’s. But haven’t they had a half-century to perfect their kitchen? I don’t think we’ll ever go back unless we hear that the restaurant has undergone an epiphany.

Izzy’s Cheesecake Has Closed

Izzy’s Cheesecake has gone out of business. The owner’s posted this announcement yesterday on Facebook,

It is with much regret that we announce that Izzy’s Cheesecake is closing effective immediately. We would like to thank all of our customers for your support over the last thirty five years and will miss seeing you in our store. Due to the changing market conditions it was just not feasible for us to continue.
Onward and Upward!
Izzy and Jim

By this morning customers and fans of their 37 flavors of cheesecakes had posted 100+ comments in reaction to the news.

Big Babe’s Tavern

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Big Babe’s Tavern, a music and food venue under construction in the Knightville neighborhood of South Portland.

But the vision goes beyond just a performance space. It’s a tavern in the traditional sense of the word, like the Irish and English pubs many touring musicians covet for the meals they offer and the sleeping arrangements upstairs. Big Babe’s has five themed rooms you can stay in on the second floor, with odes to Stax and Sun Records, Bonnie and Clyde’s Barrow Gang, even Stephen King.