Starter Curbside Cocktail List

As reported earlier this week, Maine restaurants and bars can now move ahead with curbside cocktail takeout. Businesses are in the process of figuring out their plans and menus. No doubt many more venues will jump on board over the next week.

For right now here are the first few out of the gate with cocktails ready to order:

Local 188 plans to have cocktails ready for their Sunday brunch takeout on May 3rd.

June 1st Set for Restaurants to Re-Open

Governor Mills has unveiled her phased approach to re-opening the Maine economy. On point for the food community are stages 2 and 3:

  • Stage 2 begins on June 1st. It allows for the re-opening of restaurants and for gathering of up to 50 people.
  • Stage 3 begins on July 1st and anticipates the re-opening of bars.

I’m counting down the days—all 33 of them—until I can go to a Portland restaurant for a meal. In the meantime some takeout and a haircut (barbers and salons get the green light in stage 1) will fill the gap.

JBF Nominee List Goes Live May 4th

The list of final nominees for this year’s James Beard Foundation awards had been set to be released March 25th but the announcement was delayed due to the pandemic. Now the Beard Foundation now plans to release the nominee list on Monday on May 4th at 4 pm.

To refresh your memory, here’s a link to the 2020 list of JBF award semifinalists from Maine which was published in February.

Cocktails To Go

State regulations regarding bars and restaurant selling food and drinks to go have been revised to allow for takeout cocktails effective immediately.

To participate in the new program establishments have to comply with some new guidelines which include:

  1. Cocktails must be part of a food order
  2. Drinks can’t be larger than 4.5 ounces of spirits
  3. Cocktails must be in a “tamper evident container”
  4. The containers have to be labelled  with the name of establishment with date and time of production and the contents of cocktail including the proof the spirits used.

Review of Elsmere BBQ

The Press Herald has reviewed Elsmere BBQ.

I was happy to see that the online menu still had all of my family’s favorites. I had the pit-smoked brisket sandwich with pickled onions on a bun for $13. Plus, I got coleslaw on the sandwich for just 50 cents and a side of mac and cheese for $1 more. My wife got the Elsmere Tornado sandwich with brisket, pulled pork, sausage and cole slaw on pretzel bun for $13, and my daughter Dinah got the pulled pork sandwich for $11. All came with barbecue sauce on the side.

Making It Work

The Press Herald is hosting an online live event with Ilma Lopez of Chaval and Piccolo, Mary Allen Lindemann of Coffee by Design, and Mike Alfiero of Harbor Fish Market to “talk about what they are doing now to retain as much revenue as possible while keeping employees and customers safe.”

Making It Work: The Food Business Blows Up is scheduled to take place Wednesday April 29th at 1pm. Register online to attend.

Portland Farmers’ Market

The summer edition of the Portland Farmers’ Market in Deering Oaks opened Saturday. Founded in 1768, the market has been in continuous operation for 252 years.

The layout this year has been modified to increase social distance but the basic concept remains the same. It’s good to see such a foundational element of the Portland food scene continuing on unabated.