Here are a few restaurant updates from elsewhere in Maine:
- Craft restaurant in Gray has passed their final inspections and opening for outdoor dining starting Wednesday July 15th. They’re located at 81 West Gray Road, Gray, Maine.
- Tulsi North in Wells, the 2nd location of the Kittery-based Indian restaurant Tulsi, has changed concepts and is now serving Latin American food under the name Mayan Cafe & Grill.
- Chef Ali Waks Adams is launching a weekly Saturday pop-up series call Willie & Chet’s (instagram) which will be held at Dog Bar Jim in Brunswick. The first pop-up is taking place this Saturday, July 11th with a menu that’s “an ode to Turkey & the Wolf“.
- Mu Noi Brunch (instagram) is opening for business today serving a menu of Lao-American comfort food. Mu Noi is located at 1056 Center Street, Auburn, Maine. This is the second restaurant from chef Sayvepen Sengsavang who also operates Le Mu Eats in Bethel.
The Mexican/Salvodoran restaurant Dos Naciones, and the Tacos La Poblanita food truck have joined forces to “bring you the best of authentic Mexican and Salvadorian food and drinks”.
Dos Naciones is located at 649 Congress Street in Longfellow Square. The name of the restaurant will change to Dos Naciones y La Poblanita. The partners will be collaborating on some changes to the restaurant menu.
Chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti shared the sad news yesterday that they’ve permanently closed Piccolo, their excellent Italian restaurant.
It has been a hard few months to say the least. As we are writing this it’s hard to not get emotional in what we have to announce. We are sad to say that Piccolo won’t be opening it’s doors again.
Thank you to everyone that has been our rock this past 6 years 9 months and 23 days. Our team past and present, our guests, our families. We are forever grateful to all of you. Our home away from home. Our daughter grew up here, we met our friends here, we have the best memories anyone can ask for. Thank you for so much and we are so sorry we couldn’t make it work thru these times. We will find our way back some how; meanwhile much love, kindness and respect to all of you. We will miss you.
Anyone interested in leasing the Piccolo space at 111 Middle Street should contact Damian and Ilma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closure of Piccolo does not apply to Ilma’s and Damian’s other restaurant, Chaval, which has been on a brief hiatus but will be back in operation soon.
The new Little Woodfords (website, instagram, twitter, facebook) opened for business this morning. They’re located at 316A Congress Street at the intersection with Franklin. The same great coffee, staff, service and food in a cute new space.
Their hours will be Monday through Friday 7am – 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am – 3pm.
Bard Coffee launched their new coffee truck this morning. They’re located at the Four Points Marina off the Eastern Prom walking trail near the end of Thames Street. The Bard truck is open Wednesday through Sunday, 8am – 2pm.
Pizzeria Radici (website, instagram) is scheduled to open on Friday. Owners Randy and Ally Forrester have renovated the former Terlingua space. They’ve already sold out of pre-order capacity for takeout on Friday. They plan to open up ordering for Saturday in the near future.
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.
The Forresters moved to Portland from Allentown, New Jersey where they operated Osteria Radici. 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.
Portland Public Schools have announced a variety of food programs operating over this summer. They include a free breakfast/lunch service for kids 18 and under taking place at schools throughout the city, the Locker Project which provides groceries for families, and a mobile bus route delivery service.
See the portlandschools.org website for all the details
Buoyed by an interest in local food, gluten-free eating, and the ongoing enthusiasm for heirloom apples, the last few years have seen significant growth in Maine cider industry. There are now 17 cider makers in Maine with at least four more producers under development. Additionally, in 2019 two dedicated cider bars – Perennial in Belfast and Anoche in Portland – opened for business.
With all of that in mind, I’ve put together a Guide to Maine Cider to provide a resource for me and my fellow cider enthusiasts to the producers, cider bars, bottle shops and events that are part of the emergent cider community in Maine.
Read the full Maine Cider Guide.