WIne Enthusiast 40 Under 40

Wine Enthusiast magazine has named Andrew and Briana Volk, owners of the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, to their 2020 40 Under 40 list.

…In 2013, the duo opened Portland Hunt + Alpine Club in the other Portland. With Andrew overseeing day-to-day operations and Briana focusing on public relations, events, creative direction and marketing, the establishment has earned two James Beard Award nominations for Outstanding Cocktail Program. The Volks also helped to cofound Heart of Hospitality, a program that trains Maine bars and restaurants on sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention, and are working on the opening of Verna’s All Day, a small market and restaurant that will offer a wine program focused on women winemakers…

Roll Call in the West End

A new restaurant called Roll Call (instagram) is under development in the West End. Owners Michael and Siobhan Sindoni have leased a space in the Little Giant building (which was briefly a West End outpost of A&C Grocery) for their new venture. The Clark Street space is slated to open for takeout and outdoor dining in late September. The Sindoni’s will be joined in the business by Michael’s brother Nick who will run day-to-day operations.

Starting today (noon to 8pm), Roll Call will be holding a weekly pop-up at the Austin Street Brewing location in East Bayside on Fox Street. The pop-up will be serving an “8-hour House Roast Beef sandwich, Fake N’ Cheese (a vegetarian sandwich made with a soy protein), Cucumber Salad and Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberries and Milk Crumble”.

Both Michael and Siobhán Sindoni are from the Northeast and after a visit to Portland in 2015 made plans to move here.

Prior to moving to Maine, Michael was the executive chef of the Joule Hotel and opened the restaurant CBD Provisions in Dallas. Siobhán was the sommelier/manager at FT33 in Dallas. They also work together for Makeready as culinary director and service/wine director. Their most recent Makeready opening was Frannie & the Fox in Hotel Emeline in Charleston.

Femidish: Fork Food Lab

The Femidish podcast has a week long series going on interviewing a set of Fork Food Lab entrepreneurs.

Welcome to our Fork Food Lab mini series! Fork Food Lab is a shared commercial kitchen and food business incubator space in Portland, Maine. This series will profile the organization and hear from four (count ’em, 4!) businesses who use the kitchen to create their products – the makers who call Fork Food Lab home and appreciate it’s important role in starting their business. For this first episode of the series, The Femidish ladies were privileged to interview the wonderful staff of women at FFL, who explain to listeners what the Food Lab does, why it’s an important pillar in the food system, and how women and the economy can benefit from this organization.  Stay tuned for the rest of series hearing from a chocolatier, a baker, food truck owners, and a natural snack maker.

ReUp ME Restaurant Relief Fund

A new initiative called the ReUp ME Restaurant Relief Fund is raising money to help restaurants when they reopen. Organizers are hoping to raise $1 million dollars, and will “provide direct and in-kind financial support on a sliding scale from $500 to $15,000 to each restaurant award recipient.”

The ReUp ME Restaurant Relief Fund was created to directly support restaurants who are in the midst of reopening, rehiring, and restocking.  It is anticipated that rebuilding of the Maine hospitality economy is going to take several years. The next 6 months will be critical to saving and helping to sustain Maine’s passionate restaurant owners.  

Mainers have always taken great pride in supporting their communities across all sixteen counties. If we mobilize quickly, this approach will create a profound and unified message of hope and inspire consumers inside and outside the state to donate.

Restaurants can apply to be a grant recipient online.

You can donate to the fund online.

As part of the kick-off for the ReUp Fund, Taste of Maine is launching the Sunday Supper online chef cook-along show. The first episode is scheduled to go live on August 23rd and will feature chefs Ilma Lopez, David Turin, Paolo Laboa, Charlie Zorich, Kirk Linder and Dorene Mills.

Pandemic Tipping & 1975 Vegetarian Conference

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram include a look back at the effect the 1975 World Vegetarian Congress had on the development of meat-free eating in Maine (where the conference was held) and the US.

Exactly 45 years ago today, on Aug. 16, 1975, the World Vegetarian Congress opened at the University of Maine in Orono. Historians have called the two-week long event “the most important gathering of vegetarians in the United States of the 20th century.” The significance of the 1975 congress comes from the publicity it generated for meat-free eating, the alliances it forged between vegetarian activists, and the organizations its attendees went on to create.

and an article that looks at how the pandemic is/should impact how we tip staff in the hospitality industry.

Mainers may be known for their Yankee thrift, but when someone is in trouble they have no problem opening their wallets wide. Just look at how they’re tipping during a pandemic that has put restaurant servers’ livelihoods – and very lives – at stake.

Local restaurants report that diners generally have been tipping more generously, especially on takeout at the start of the pandemic.

PPH Best Takeout List

Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic Andrew Ross has assembled his list of the Best 15 Places for Takeout in Greater Portland.

In lieu of a full Best 75, then, I offer you a Best 15 focused exclusively on takeout. Some of the restaurants (and one food cart) here made last year’s full round-up, while others are newcomers. In each case though, they serve top-notch dishes with a heaping side of resurgent, Resurgam spirit.

Included in the list are: Banh Appetit, Belleville, Buxton Common, Chaval, Enio’s, Isa, Luis’s Arepera, Monte’s Fine Food, Mr. Tuna, Nura, Other Side Diner, Slab, Thai Essan, Thoroughfare, and Woodford F&B.

Sal de la Tierra Now Open

Sal de la Tierra (instagram) opened for business today. Their hours are 9 am to 9 pm. They have both indoor and outdoor seating as well as takeout.

Owners Carlos Sanchez and Isai Galvez renovated the former Wild Burritos space at 581 Congress Street where they’re serving a menu of Puerto Rican, Mexican and Salvadoran food. I enjoyed the grilled tilapia with rice, salad and a glass of horchata for lunch.