Solo Pane e Pasticceria in Bath

Mainebiz has published an article about Solo Pane e Pasticceria, the Italian bakery launched in Bath by the owners of Solo Italiano.

Panettone made with candied orange and raisins from Agrimontana, Sicily, served with or dipped in espresso or vin Santo.

Torrone, ricotta and prosciutto crudo on olive bread, speck and stracchino cheese on focaccia.

Those are some of the Italian-inspired breads and pastries being served up by Solo Pane e Pasticceria in downtown Bath.

Thompson’s Point Rosemont Closing

Rosemont Market has announced plans to close their Thopmson’s Point location in January.

Come January, our Market and Wine Bar on Thompson’s Point will close its doors permanently, allowing us to allocate our resources from this location toward our seven other neighborhood markets. We have enjoyed our 1.5 years on Thompson’s Point spent sharing space with winemakers, distributors, visitors, and friends. Working with the team at Thompson’s Point, as well as the exemplary businesses on campus, has been a wonderful experience that has fostered growth, creativity, and partnership. We look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with them all. So, we’re moving out, but we’re not going anywhere!

Rosemont opened the Thompson’s Point winebar and market on August 18, 2021.

Room for Improvement

Owners Arvid Brown and Nick Coffin have applied for a liquor license for their new bar Room for Improvement (instagram) providing a first look at the draft menu and cocktail list, and floor plan (see below).

The cocktail menu (see first 3 pages below) is broken up into six categories: From the Freezer, Classics, Wildcards, Escapism, Large Format, and Shots. Additionally, the bar will serve beer and wine.

As previously reported, the concept for Room for Improvement is a 36-seat modern dive bar and will be located at 41 Wharf Street. Coffin and Brown hope to open in March.


Upcoming Events: Big Kids, Sacred Profane, Xmas List, NYE List

TuesdayCrispy Gai will be hosting Chicago sandwich shop Big Kids (website, instagram) for a pop-up dinner, and Sacred Profane will be holding a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner.

TuesdayGreat Wave Sushi is holding pop-up at Amigo’s.

Christmas Eve

  • Judy Gibson – 3-course dinner served family style w/Parker House rolls;  $55 per person with optional $30 wine pairing.
  • Twelve – is serving a Christmas Eve prime rib dinner.
  • Via Vecchia – is serving a Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Christmas – here’s the start of our Christmas list. We’ll be adding entries as businesses announce their plans. Drop us a line if you know of a Christmas offering not yet on the list.

  • Dandelion Catering – has a variety of apps, mains, sides and desserts available for pre-order with pick-up on the 23rd.
  • Greeks of Peaks – has holiday cookie boxes available for preorder and pick-up on the 23rd and 24th.
  • Lake & Co. – has holiday meals available for pre-order.
  • Mami – has “Roasts, ramen, dumplings, bread and cookies” for preorder and pick-up on the 24th.
  • Maria’s – has a variety of family-sized mains, apps and salads; preorder by the 22nd for pick-up on the 23rd or 24th.
  • Night Moves – has stollen available for pick-up and shipment.
  • Other Side Deli – has a preorder menu of mains, apps and sides.
  • Part & Parcel – has sweet and savory pies, breakfast items and a Christmas cookie box available for preorder for pick-up on the 22nd and 23rd.
  • Salty Air Bakes – has a holiday cookie box for pre-order with pick-up on the 23rd; $45 for 30 cookies with 50% of the proceeds going to the Saco Food Pantry.
  • Scratch Baking – has a variety of baked goods available for pre-order and pick-up on the 24th.
  • Sea Glass – 3-course dinner; $85 per person, $42 for children 4 – 12.
  • Sichuan Kitchen – is offering a special takeout-only menu.
  • Standard Baking – has a variety of baked goods available for pre-order and pick-up on the 24th.
  • Union – has a dinner for two available for preorder and pick-up on the 23rd; $135. They also will be serving a 3-coursedinner; $89 per person with optional wine pairings. Call (207) 808-8700 for reservations.
  • Verbena – has a 4-course menu available for pre-order with a vegan option.
  • The Good Shepherd Food Bank plays an integral role in distributing food to food insecure people all year round in Maine. See their website for information where to find food through their partner agencies in Maine or to make a donation.

December 26Oxbow and Eaux are collaborating on an Oxbeaux Brunch taking place at Cafe Louis in South Portland.

December 27Liu Bian Tan will be holding a Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup pop-up at Cong Tu Bot.

December 28 – Browne Trading is holding a champagne and caviar tasting.

New Year’s Eve – here is the start of our NYE list. We’ll be adding entries as businesses announce their plans. Drop us a line if you know of a New Year’s Eve offering not yet on the list.

  • Bao Bao – 6-course for $68 per person.
  • Batson River (Biddeford) – is holding a cocktail party and a offering a dinner and cocktail party combo.
  • Batson River (Portland) – is holding a New Year’s Eve party; $75 per person.
  • Blue Spoon – is serving their full menu with a set of NYE specials.
  • Broken Arrow – 5-course dinner with pairings for $150 per person.
  • Central Provisions – 5-course dinner for two for $300.
  • Crispy Gai – will be serving chicken nuggets, caviar, and champagne in addition to their regular menu.
  • Elda – tasting menu for $160 per person.
  • Evo – 6-course tasting menu with optional pairings for $150 per person.
  • Full Turn – open for dinner and will have options for “large format take-out.”
  • Helm – 4-course dinner for $80 with optional wine pairings for $45.
  • Isa – 4-course dinner with optional wine pairings; $95 per person.
  • Jessica Labonte – has a variety of baked goods available for preorder.
  • Judy Gibson – 6-course dinner; $100 per person with optional $45 beverage pairing.
  • Knotted Apron – 6-course tasting menu with champagne toast for $120 per person.
  • Luna – Complimentary glass of Veuve Clicquot with raw bar, caviar, cheese/charcuterie, hors d’oeuvres, midnight toast; $150 per person.
  • Maine Oyster Co. – 4-course prix fixe; $90 per person.
  • Mr. Tuna –  has a selection of sushi party platters.
  • Regards – $95 per person.
  • The Danforth – is holding a dance party; $50 per person.
  • Twelve – 5-course dinner featuring truffles, caviar, foie gras and a glass of champagne; $175 per person.
  • Wine Wise – a virtual wine dinner for two for $275.

January 28Sam Hayward is teaching a virtual cooking class to benefit the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick.

February 11Ali Waks Adams is teaching a virtual cooking class to benefit the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick.

February 14Broken Arrow will be serving a Valentine’s Day dinner.

March 18Chris Toy is teaching a virtual cooking class to benefit the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick.

Best of 2022

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes restaurant critic Andrew Ross’s list of his favorite food experiences from 2022.

But now that I’ve been compiling my own inventories of yearly favorites for the better part of two decades, I’ve started to look forward to paging through my photos and re-reading my notes. The process evokes some of my happiest memories of the previous 12 months. I am lucky to be able to share them with you, and judging by the messages that appear in my inbox after this column comes out every year, I know you appreciate them, too.

Top of the East

Down East has published an article about the Top of the East which reopened this summer after extensive renovations.

Could it be that my new favorite cocktail bar in Portland is a chain hotel’s lounge? Those sorts of places are supposed to be for weary business travelers too uninspired to venture elsewhere, and yet the question weighed on me as I sipped a very good old-fashioned — subtle sweetness, restrained bittering, judicious dilution — at Top of the East, in Marriott’s downtown Westin. I tried to talk myself out of it: the vests and bowties on the staff were, perhaps, symptomatic of trying too hard at sophistication, and ouch, 20 bucks is awfully steep for an old-fashioned, even in our inflationary age. But Top of the East is the rare exorbitant cocktail joint that’s probably worth the price of admission, especially on account of the stellar views from 15 stories up.

George Parr, 71

George Parr, the founder of Upstream Trucking, passed away at the age of 71. The Press Herald has published an obituary of Parr,

Parr, 71, the revered fishmonger who supplied seafood to some of the Portland area’s most prestigious restaurants, died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday in Naples, Florida, while visiting his brother-in-law with his wife, Kathleen.

“He was the only fish purveyor for me because he was amazing to work with, and he cared a lot about where and how fish were sourced,” said Cara Stadler, chef-owner of Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland and Zao Ze Cafe in Brunswick, among others. “He never sugarcoated it when it came to fish. He cared a lot about it, and would tell you what was worth it, what wasn’t and why.

Bar Futo Opens Friday

Bar Futo
(website, facebook, instagram) will open for business on Friday—reservations are available via Resy. The Japanese-inspired bar and grill is located at 425 Fore Street in the space formerly occupied by Five Guys. It is being launched by chef Jordan Rubin and Marisa Lewiecki, co-owners of Mr. Tuna and partners in Crispy Gai.

The food menu (see below) offers a mix of yakitori skewers prepared over a binchotan grill and other small plates like the fluke crudo, kohlrabi salad and a koshikari rice bowl topped with duck sugo and pickled squash. For dessert there’s kakigori—Japanese shaved ice (apple pie and bananas foster on the opening night menu) and chocolate cake.

The bar program features an extended sake list (see below) curated by Advanced Sake Professional Alyssa Mikiko DiPasquale as well house-designed cocktails (see below), wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks and brewed loose-leaf tea options. Sommelier Courtney O’Neil will be Bar Futo’s GM and in charge of the wine program. Ian Driscoll is the head chef and Bryce Summers is the bar manager.

The restaurant seats approximately 60 people with a combination of booths, tables, bar, and kitchen counter seating. In season the patio on Fore Street will provide room for another 40 seats.

Rubin launched Mr. Tuna as a food cart in 2017. The Mr. Tuna sushi counter opened in the Public Market House in 2018. Rubin, Lewiccki Sasha Brouillard, and chef Cyle Reynolds launched Crispy Gai in the summer of 2021.

Night Moves & Lambs in South Portland

Kerry Hanney the baker/owner of Night Moves, and Wade Ritchey have leased 695 Broadway in South Portland where they plan to launch two businesses.

Hanney will be building out the right (white) side of the building where she’ll relaunch the acclaimed Night Moves Bread (website, facebook, instagram). She focuses on bread and baked goods made with sustainably grown local grains which she mills in-house. In 2020 Food & Wine named Night Moves one of the 10 Most Essential bakeries in the nation.

Can a loaf of sourdough have terroir, just like wine? If yes, Kerry Hanney’s would be Maine in bread form. One of the region’s most forward-thinking bakers, she leans heavily on local grains and mills them herself. And her loaves, packed with fruit and nuts or subtly flavored with maple syrup, are essential breakfast slices—just add some local butter.

In addition to her breads and baked good, Hanney will sell coffee, tea, espresso-based drinks to go, and bottles of wine and cider. Home bakers will also be able to buy bags of fresh house-milled grains.

Ritchey will be renovating the left (blue) side of the building where he’ll be launching a bar called Lambs (instagram). Lambs will serve a full bar program of beer, wine and cocktails with a pop-up oyster bar in warmer months and food collaborations with Night Moves year round.

695 Broadway is located along the waterfront and is an easy walk/bike/drive from Portland and has ample parking. It sits adjacent to South Portland Greenbelt which is connected to the Eastern Trail. Hanney and Ritchey plan to have waterfront outdoor picnic table seating.

Construction has already begun and the hope is to open both businesses this spring. Leslie Benson is the architect for the project and Jim Rodney is the builder. Among other projects Benson was the architect for Oxbow Beer in Oxford Maine and Rodney recently completed the build-out of Bar Futo.

Stay tuned for more information on Ritchey’s and Hanney’s exciting plans as they get closer to an opening date.

Trudy Bird’s Ølbar in North Yarmouth

A new restaurant called Trudy Bird’s (website, facebook, instagram) opened Friday night in North Yarmouth.

Trudy Bird’s is a Scandinavian-inspired restaurant and bar. They’ve launched with their full bar program and initially with a limited food menu (see below) of apps and bar snacks. The full food menu is expected to be available in the next week or two. Take a look at the Trudy Bird’s instagram account for some food photos.

The kitchen is led by chef Michael McDonnell who was the sous chef at Natalie’s in Camden, and the executive chef at the Blair Hill Inn in Greenville and at Tempo Dulu in Portland.

The beer list includes options from Allagash, Oxbow, Norway, Sacred Profane and other breweries. There’s cider from Absolem, Eden and Fable Farm, and a by the glass and bottle wine list. Trudy Bird’s sets itself apart with its selection of on-market and house-made aquavits (see list below)

Brothers Alan and Jonathan Hines are the owners of Trudy Bird’s. As they’ve shared on their website, the initial impulse to launch the business began with a trip to Europe. The restaurant is named for their maternal grandmother.

Back in 2017 we made a trek to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We finished our trip in Copenhagen and while there, we made a stop at the Torvehallerne KBH food market where we stumbled upon Hallernes Smorrebrod. The food stand was packed so we knew it was a “must try”. The open-faced sandwiches were not only visually appealing but were down-right delicious. Everywhere a Smorrebrod was spotted, it was almost always accompanied by either a beer or Aquavit or BOTH! It was during this trip that a lightbulb went off and Trudy Bird’s started to come to life.

Trudy Bird’s will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 9 pm. Hours will eventually expand to include a Sunday brunch service.