Upcoming Events: Three Openings, Panel Discussion, Women Winemakers, Valentine’s Day List

TuesdayDila’s Kitchen (instagram) is scheduled to open at 11 am at the Public Market House. The Grateful Cup (websitefacebookinstagram)  is scheduled to open at 7 am on Veranda Street. Regards (websiteinstagram) is also opening on Tuesday at 5 pm…having shifted out their opening day due to Saturday’s storm.

Thursday – there will be a webinar on the Changing Foodservice Landscape in Maine with panelists Jack Barber, Maeve McInnis and Daron Goldstein. Emily Leighton from Rosemont will be leading a bread tasting and education event. Friends & Family is holding a free tasting (5 – 7 pm) featuring wines by women winemakers and cheeses made by Maine women cheesemakers.

February 10The Yard is hold a pre-Valentine’s Day Dueling Pianos event, Evo is holding a dinner in support of the Dempsey Center with seatings at 5:30 or 7:45, and there will be a gluten-free tasting event at Apres.

Valentine’s Day – this list continues to grow as restaurants announce their plans.

  • Apres – raw bar operated by the Lady Shuckers and live music.
  • Black Tie – a Valentine’s take-out menu for two; order by February 8th.
  • BlueFin – is serving a menu of “featured Valentine’s Day cocktails”.
  • Blue Spoon – with have some Valentine’s Day specials along with their regular menu.
  • Bravo Maine – is holding a French Bistro cooking class.
  • Brickyard Hollow – 4-couse menu.
  • Butter and Kale – 4-course meals for 2; vegan ($185) and omnivore ($195) option both available.
  • Cellardoor Winery – “Valentine’s Flight features six wines for $25 a person; every two flights purchased includes a sharable charcuterie board.”
  • Chaval – will be serving a special Valentine’s Day menu, details are still TBD.
  • Elda – Valentine’s Day tasting menu; $125 per person.
  • Evo Kitchen + Bar – a 6-course dinner for $120 per person, also available for takeout.
  • Fork Food Lab – a Valentine’s Day collaboration between Lady Shuckers and Galatic Hobo Sauce featuring Maine-grown oysters from two women-owned farms.
  • Isa Bistro – 3-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Knotted Apron – 4-course prix fixe dinner; $79 per person.
  • Lake & Co – “romantic ready to reheat dinner and dessert for pick up or delivery” on Saturday the 12th; order deadline on the 8th.
  • Maria’s – pre-order takeout dinner for pick-up on the 12th or 13th, and open on the 14th.
  • Rosemont – has a Valentine’s Day pre-order menu.
  • Ruby’s West End – 3-course dinner with vegan and non-vegan options, and optional wine pairings; available February 11 – 14.
  • Stroudwater Distilling – 3-course meal and “comedy line up features Mike Gray, with Ray Harrington headlining, and Ian MacDonald hosting”.
  • The Maker’s Galley – 4-course prix fixe dinner.
  • Tiny Feats Confections – Chocolate Raspberry Tortes available for pre-order.
  • Top of the East – a 3-course take-out dinner; order by February 11th.
  • Vena’s Fizz House – a Valentine’s Day mixology class.
  • Verbena’s – will be serving a Valentine’s weekend menu featuring the flavors of Southeast Asia.
  • Wine Wise – a Black Truffle Wine Dinner for two in collaboration with Chaval; $250, delivery included.
  • Yardie Ting – will be serving a surf and turf dinner for two at the Public Market House; $80 for a couple.
  • Other Restaurants – some restaurants may also be open serving their usual menu, check in with your favorite spots to find out if they are open Monday the 14th.
  • Chocolate shops and bakeries – check in with your favorite chocolate shops and bakeries to find what Valentine’s Day special candies and baked goods they may have available.

February 17The Porthole is holding a wine dinner.

February 24 – Judy Gibson is holding a Portuguese wine dinner.

March 1 – 12Maine Restaurant Week.

March 29 – Maine’s newest cidery the Absolem Cider Company and Oxbow Brewing will collaborating on a beer/cider dinner at the Oxbow Beer Garden in Oxford.

June 13 – 19 – the 5th Annual Portland Wine Week will be taking place.

Dila’s Kitchen Opening Tuesday

Dila’s Kitchen (instagram) is scheduled to open on Tuesday. The new Turkish eatery is located on the 2nd floor of the Public Market House adjacent to Pho Huong and the Frying Dutchman.

Owner Dila Maloney is tapping into her Turkish heritage and family recipes for the menu. For Tuesday’s opening day she’ll be serving Turkish meatballs, chicken skewers, green beans roasted with tomato and onion, and a savory fried dough.

Dila’s will be open Monday through Wednesday, 11 – 4, and Friday/Saturday noon – 5.

The Grateful Cup Opening Tuesday

The Grateful Cup (website, facebook, instagram) is slated to open Tuesday at 7 am. The new juice bar and smoothie cafe is located at 46 Veranda Street in the space formerly occupied by Union Bagel Company. The menu also includes coffee, tea and salads such as the Curry Cat Sunflower made with spinach, kale, chickpea curry salad and a creamy curry dressing.

The four founders (Samantha Allen, James and Amy Harder and Jessica Rexford) are owners or managers at the Float Harder Relaxation Center just a block or so away at the corner of Veranda and Washington. They’re launching the cafe to expand the range of “healthy and convenient lunch options” that they were looking for themselves in the neighborhood.

The Grateful Cup will be open seven days a week, 7 am – 3 pm.

North Street Fire GoFundMe

A house fire broke out on North Street early Saturday morning. The blaze has left three local hospitality staff with little more with what they could grab as they left the building. Henry Schroder works at Po’ Boys & Pickles, Tucker Wanzer is the manager of Captain Sam’s Ice Cream, and Megan Lowe works at Mast Landing.

Schroeder’s employer Chris Bettera has established a $20,000 GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to “help them secure a new apartment and replace some of what they lost”.

So Who Is Open Today?

Many of Portland’s restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, bars, diners and cafes will be closed today.

But some are opening on Saturday with regular or reduced hours—we’ll be updating this list throughout the day:

Nom Cafe/Yobo on Forest Ave

The owners of Yobo announced on Thursday that they’re closing their Forest Ave Korean restaurant. Their plans are to fully direct their efforts into their Brunswick restaurant Maine St. Steak & Oyster.

The Press Herald reports that Som Mantasut and Genko Stanilov are taking over the former Yobo space where they plan to open Nom Cafe (instagram) this April.

Mantasut, who is taking the lead on Nom Cafe, already owns Orchid, a Thai restaurant in Lewiston, and works as a server at Yosaku in Portland. She grew up in Thailand and came to Maine for college, where she studied business. At Nom, she plans to offer coffee, breakfast and lunch food with touches of Thai and Bulgarian cuisine, “so a little bit of everything,” she said; her partner, Stanilov, is from Bulgaria.

Nonalcoholic Beer

The Press Herald has published a report on Maine-produced nonalcoholic beers.

Nonalcoholic beer is currently having, it would seem, a moment. Or, if we look at Maine’s brewing history, a revival. In previous decades, the production of nonalcoholic beer (which legally means a beer with no more than 0.5% ABV) was dominated by brands from multi-national and mass-market breweries. But today, we now have local options that drink much more like craft beer than the infamous O’Doul’s.

Maiz in Brunswick

The Bangor Daily News reports that Maiz will be opening a second location in Brunswick.

When Martha Leonard took her La Fritanga food truck to Brunswick last year, she found a friendly community and college town open to a new type of food.

The co-owner of Maiz Colombian Street Food in Portland was so impressed with the atmosphere in the midcoast town that she plans to open a second physical restaurant in Brunswick this spring and hire six full-time employees.

Martha Leonard shared with us that the new 20-seat Maiz will be located at 11 Pleasant Street. It will be about twice the size of their Portland location and will incorporate a small market that will sell house-made products for home preparation.

Leonard expects to launch with a similar menu to Portland and then evolve it to fit the unique tastes of their Brunswick customers. She hopes to open the new Maiz  in April.

An Oral History of Beetle’s Lunch with Cheryl Lewis & Norine Kotts

Back before they moved to Portland and opened Cafe Always and went on to found Aurora Provisions and help launch El Rayo, Cheryl Lewis and Norine Kotts were part of the team that opened the Beetle’s Lunch in Allston. Professor Janice Irvine at University of Massachusetts has recorded and published this oral history interview with Kotts and Lewis about those early days.

But first there was Beetle’s Lunch! Before moving to Portland, Lewis and Kotts were two of the four lesbian co-founders of Beetle’s Lunch in 1982, a café in Allston, Massachusetts. Known as a queer-punk space also welcoming of locals, Beetle’s was named the”1983 Best Punk Restaurant” by Boston magazine. I lived a block away from Beetle’s during that time, while a graduate student at Brandeis University, and frequented the café several times. Almost four decades later, I moved to Portland from Massachusetts. Serendipitously, I met Cheryl and Norine at a dinner party. We immediately discovered, and bonded over, our shared history at Beetle’s. As a sociologist, I knew their stories would be those of a radical generation reimagining work, politics, and food. In this oral history, they recount Beetle’s origin story, and the daily pleasures and challenges of launching and running a restaurant (while in their 20s!). More broadly, their stories capture that dynamic historical moment of feminist and queer politics, a nascent food revolution, the emergence of alternative community spaces, and early ‘80s experiments in establishing collective workplaces. This oral history covers the period ca. 1981-83.