Five Fifty-Five to Close

Steve and Michelle Corry have announced plans to close Five Fifty-Five in mid-April.

After much consideration Steve and I have come to the decision to close 555 in its current location in mid-April.
This decision has been extremely difficult and very emotional, but ultimately we want to focus on our family and future projects. We are so appreciative of our supporters, including all of our guests, many of which are now friends, and the wonderful people who have worked with us over the last 17 years. We were touched that when we told our staff yesterday they were all very understanding and supportive. It will be a priority for us to find placement for our entire crew, which is why we have given them several weeks before closing. We hope to see many people in the next few weeks to be able to say goodbye properly. Petite Jacqueline will remain open and several of our signature dishes, including the lobster mac and cheese, will be added to their menu.

Five Fifty-Five opened its doors in 2003. Steve Corry was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2007. The couple went on to also open their French bistro Petite Jacqueline in Longfellow Square 2011, and PJ’s has subsequently moved to its present day location in the Old Port.

For questions about the Five Fifty-Five space, contact Joe Porta at the Porta Company.

Rose Foods Guest Chef Series

Rose Foods is launching their 2nd annual guest chef program later this month. Each week a guest chef will create a signature bagel sandwich that will be featured on the menu Friday – Sunday.

Here’s the 2020 schedule:

  • March 27 – 29, Mr. Tuna
  • April 3 – 5, The Honey Paw
  • April 10 – 12, Noble BBQ
  • April 17 – 19, Cong Tu Bot
  • April 24 – 26, Drifters Wife
  • May 1 – 3, Ramona’s
  • May 8 – 10, Izakaya Minato
  • May 15 – 17, Duckfat
  • May 22 – 24, Central Provisions

This Week’s Events: MRW, Bar Madness, French Wine Dinner

MondayMaine Restaurant Week continues through Thursday.

Tuesday – there will be a French wine dinner at Tipo.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – the Semifinals for the Bar Madness bartender competition 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: Miyake, Dos Naciones

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Miyake, and

Portland’s Miyake has earned a reputation as one of the state’s best Japanese restaurants, thanks in no small part to the skill and creativity of its chef/owner, Masa Miyake.

the Press Herald has reviewed Dos Naciones.

This is another addition to the Portland restaurant scene that seems to be well worth supporting. The owner has said that it has long been her dream to own her own restaurant, and the love and care she puts into the food shows.

Bill Leavy Departing from East Ender

Bill Leavy, co-owner and chef of East Ender has shared plans to leave the restaurant for a new career outside the hospitality industry at the end of this month.

Leavy’s business partner and co-chef/owner Karl Deuben will continue operating the restaurant along with GM Janet Webber.

After 20 years in the industry, 16 of them in Portland, ME, I’ve decided it’s time to try something new. The lessons I’ve learned from the chefs I had the pleasure to works under will undoubtably assist me in future endeavors. From my beginnings at Hugo’s and Rob Evans, to Back Bay Grill with Larry Matthews to Masa Miyake, I will always feel incredibly fortunate to have spent time in their kitchens and learn from their experience.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve the chance to work with throughout my culinary career (looking at you Camille Mann). Most importantly my wife Janet Webber and my business partner and friend Karl Deuben. I am delighted with what we have achieved at the East Ender over the past five years and excited to witness the continued success from across a table.

Leavy and Deuben co-founded the Small Axe food truck in 2013 as part of the first crop of entrepreneurs to launch mobile food businesses after the city approved the ordinance the prior year. They expanded their business and built on their prior success by taking over the East Ender in 2015.

Opening Season Starts Early

It looks like Opening Season may be starting early this year:

  • A new vegan restaurant in Biddeford called  Robin’s Table (websitefacebookinstagram) will be opening Monday March 2nd at 7:30 am. Robin’s Table with serve breakfast and lunch  as well as offer cooking classes to “teach the ‘hows and whys’ of vegan transitioning” and provide a meeting space for community events. Owner Robin Adams plans to serve familiar, home style dishes and baked goods that just happen to be vegan.
  • Mr. Tuna (website, instagram) will re-open their sushi bar in the Public Market House on Tuesday March 3rd at 11:30 am. The new Mr. Tuna will feature 16 seats (up from 6) and an expanded menu including sashimi and nigiri flights and a mini-omakase option.
  • Judy Gibson (website, instagram) a new restaurant in South Portland serving a menu of contemporary American cuisine will be opening on Wednesday March 4th at 5 pm.
  • Solo Cucina Market (website, facebook, instagram) is in the final stages of construction and the owners are aiming to open in mid-March. The market is a collaboration between the owners of The Farm Stand in South Portland and Solo Italiano. The market will incorporate up to 10 seats and a small bar featuring bakery and espresso drinks. Solo Cucina will sell prepared food to go in addition to the meats, dairy, wine, beer and produce that The Farm Stand has become known for.
  • Leeward (websiteinstagram) is aiming to open by mid-March. Leeward is being launched by Jake and Raquel Stevens. 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. It’s located at 85 Free Street.
  • Via Vecchia (instagramfacebookwebsite) plans to launch in late March. The restaurant will be located in the former Vignola/Cinque Terre building and will be a “modern take on a European bistro serving small plates Italian food, classic cocktails, and Italian wines” with a focus on the bar and cocktail program. It’s’ being opened by Joshua Miranda who owns Blyth & Burrows.
  • Ramona’s (instagram), the new Philly-inspired breakfast and lunch hoagie shop being launched by Chad Conley and Josh Sobel is aiming to open during the last week of March.
  • Owl & Whale (websitefacebookinstagram) has been making good progress on the retail shop they have under construction at 158 Saint John Street and have shared that they plan to open on May 1st.

Many other restaurants, brewers, bakers, coffee shops, etc are still under construction—here’s the full list.

This Week’s Events: Openings, Minateaux, Murder Mystery, Helm Pop-up, Maine Restaurant Week

MondayRobin’s Table, a new vegan restaurant in Biddeford is opening at 7:30 am, and Maine Restaurant Week continues.

TuesdayMr. Tuna is re-opening their expanded sushi counter in the Public Market House.

Wednesday – South Portland restaurant Judy Gibson is opening for business, and Izakaya Minato and Eaux are putting on a one-night collaboration, Izakaya Minateaux.

Saturday – Milk & Honey/Swallowtail Farm is hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayHelm is holding a pop-up at Tandem Bakery, and the MRW Spirit Quest 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.