Curbside Comforts

Curbside Comforts, a food truck that launched last May serving a menu of plant-based foods, has announced they’re leased a space in Gorham and will be transitioning from a mobile to a brick and mortar business.

The new Curbside Comforts will be located at 680 Gray Road in Gorham in a building formerly occupied by the Sweet Life ice cream shop. They hope to open sometime in May.

Women in Wine Dinner

Portland Wine Week has released the details for their opening day 5-course Women in Wine Dinner. The event brings together chefs Matt Ginn from Evo, Paolo Laboa from Solo Italiano, Jef Wright from Crown Jewel, Paige Gould from Central Provisions, and Victoria Nam by Siblings Bakery along with 10 sommeliers.

Each course will be paired by two of the sommeliers and the diners will have the chance to vote on which wine best matched each dish and which sommelier came up with the best pairing overall. Participating sommeliers are:

  • Nikaline Iacono, Vessel & Vine
  • Cecily Upton, Friends & Family
  • Lizzie Legre, Helm
  • Jessie Robb, Broken Arrow
  • Kelly Nelson, Fore Street
  • Kimberly Lund, Regards
  • Brittany Saliwanchik, Magnus on Water
  • Siobhan Sidoni, Wayside Tavern
  • Stella Hernandez, Lolita
  • Erica Archer, Wine Wise

Tickets are now on sale on the Portland Wine Week website.

Twin Swirls in Nason’s Corner

A new ice cream shop called Twin Swirls (instagram) is under construction at 865 Brighton Ave in what used to be an XtraMart.

Owner Sarah Palmer plans to serve hard serve and soft serve cones and dishes, milkshakes, sundaes and coffee. She’s hoping to bring a new business to life that’s a good fit to a community of young families in the neighborhood.

The name Twin Swirls is inspired by Palmer’s twin six year old girls, Alex and Sage. Palmer hopes to open Twin Swirls this summer.

Interview with Sayvepen Sengsavang

The Lao Food Foundation has published an interview with chef Sayvepen Sengsavang who is the chef and co-owner of Le Mu Eats (instagram) in Bethel, Maine.

Q: What does innovation of Lao cuisine mean to you? Why is it important?
A: To me, innovation in Lao cuisine is all about telling my own personal story, as a first generation Lao American, through food; taking the Lao cuisine I grew up with, understanding it, respecting where it comes from or why something is done a certain way, but then using the ingredients and tools that are more readily available. I’m not making food that is “authentically” Lao, but making it authentically to me and my experience as a Lao American. I’m the child of Lao refugee immigrants, but I was born and raised in the United States, so I’m not going to make food that looks exactly like my parent’s food…It’s important to tell your own story; trying to tell the story of traditional Lao food doesn’t make sense coming from me. I still use the flavors of Laos, Lao techniques, Lao foods that are available because they are a part of my story, but they are not the entirety of my story.

Read the full interview on the Lao Food Foundation blog.

Casa Novello Indefinitely Closed

Casa Novello in Westbrook has closed indefinitely, and perhaps finally. According to a facebook post on Sunday,

We are sad to say that the legacy of Casa Novello has ended. We appreciate all of your support and will miss you all. We are closed due to staffing issues.

They followed up with a second post that read,

We appreciate all of your comments we have been trying to find staff for over 8 months. I have called schools, friends, told customers tried everything. We are hoping for a miracle.

In total the two posts have received more than 400 comments.

Upcoming Events: Timber/Bay Bowls Opening, Beer wo/ Beards, GF Workshop

TuesdayTimber is slated to re-open as the Timber Bourbon Bar & Lounge.

WednesdayLucky Pigeon will be hosting a Gluten-Free Chacuterie Workshop and Beer Tasting organized by Mrs. Gee Free Living, and Banded Brewing will be launching the Banded Taproom + Kitchen in Biddeford.

Thursday – Broken Arrow is holding a dinner with 100% of the proceeds going to support World Central Kitchen and their work to support refugees from Ukraine.

Friday – Bay Bowls is scheduled to open on Washington Ave.

Saturday – the Beer With(out) Beards festival will be taking place.

April 14Ruby’s West End is hold a party to celebrate their 1-year anniversary.

April 16Novare Res is holding Gasharoo, their annual celebration of beers from Allagash Brewing Company.

April 20Oxbow Brewing is hosting a Fermentation Fair organized by The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture.

April 22 – May 14th Maine Seaweed Week will be taking place.

April 27 – the regular Portland Farmers’ Market season begins on Wednesday April 27th in Deering Oaks Park. The market has been in operation since 1768.

June 13 – The 2022 Beard Foundation Awards gala is taking place in Chicago. Five Maine chefs and restaurants are contenders for this year’s awards.

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

July 21Magnus on Water chef Ben Jackson will participating in the Outstanding in the Field series with a dinner at Glidden Point Oyster Farm in Edgecomb.

July 23Chaval chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti will participating in the Outstanding in the Field series with a dinner at Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham.

September 3Tender Table is holding their 2nd Annual Food & Art Fair in Congress Square Park.

October 9 – the Maine Cheese Guild is holding Maine Open Creamery Day.

Bayside Burrito Food Truck

A new food truck that began development last year under a different name will launch this summer as Bayside Burrito (instagram).

Owners Kaleb Caron and Gerry Tardiff will be serving a menu (see below) that includes burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos. They plan on having gluten-free option on the menu. The burritos are based on Caron’s grandmother’s recipe that is a little different from the traditional dish.

Caron’s family launched a food truck called KG’s Curbside Grill in early 2020. The business was successful, and has since converted into a brick and mortar restaurant in Winthrop called Ted’s Trackside Grill. That experience gave Caron a taste for restaurant and food truck life that’s led to the launch of Bayside Burrito.

30 Years of Fresh Approach

Mainer has published an article about the Fresh Approach Market.

During its first week, in February of 1992, the fledgling family business also got a boost from an unexpected source: Portland’s restaurant industry. Steve Harris, the legendary proprietor of Ruski’s Tavern, on the West End, and Rosie’s, the Old Port pub on Fore Street, walked into Fresh Approach just days after they’d opened and placed meat orders for both establishments. Harris, who passed away in 2009, was also the head of the local restaurant association, and by the end of the week Fresh Approach had eight or nine restaurant accounts.