Maine Food & Dining News

Here are some food and dining highlights from around the state:

  • The Lincoln County News reports that Sarah’s Cafe in Wiscassett served their last meal on last Friday . Sarah’s was launched by owner Sarah Heald in 1987.
  • The Danish at Jackrabbit got a shoutout in the July edition of Food & Wine. The recognition came via fellow Biddeford baker Kelsey Mari Morgan who wrote, “It’s tough to forget a beautifully made pastry that celebrates seasonal fruit. I’m a sucker for summer berries, and Jakrabbit’s strawberry Danish, filled with locally grown strawberries, is a special kind of treasure.”
  • The Bangor Daily News shared a report on two Midcoast restaurants featuring French cuisine: Bistro La Cave (website, instagram) which recently opened in Camden and Alsace (instagram) which is expected to open later this summer in Union.
  • Mainebiz reports that Waterville-based Sunrise Bagel will be  opening a second location in Augusta.

Wine List Geekiness at Leeward

Leeward gets a mention in this Wall Street Journal article about restaurant wine list geekiness.

Chiaramonte told me the idea to ask for such a list came to him while reading an earlier Wine Berserkers post, about a real wine list that had been labeled geeky by another forum member, Dan Kravitz. Indeed, according to Kravitz, Leeward restaurant in Portland, Maine, has an “aggressively geeky” wine list because—at the time of Kravitz’s post on Wine Berserkers—few wines from familiar grapes like Cabernet, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir were listed. “[They] refuse to put anything well-known or popular on the list,” Kravitz said in an email.

F&W: Best Lobster Rolls

Food & Wine has included Bite Into Maine in their list of America’s Best Lobster Rolls.

The Portland Head Light historic lighthouse in Fort Williams Park is a backdrop for this tiny food truck, which offers no fewer than six varieties of lobster rolls. Along with curry, wasabi, and chipotle, Bite Into Maine’s signature picnic-style includes a layer of homemade coleslaw and a brushing of drawn butter.

Other Maine establishments on the list are: The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Thurston’s in Bernard,

New Restaurant in OPT Space

Wills Dowd and Jared Dinsmore, the owners of Bird & Co, have leased the former Old Port Tavern space where they plan to open a new restaurant. The menu and concept are still to be determined.

Dinsmore and Dowd have begun a complete renovation of the 5,000+ sq ft space. They don’t expect to launch the new restaurant until spring 2024.

Bird & Co. launched March 12, 2019. It’s located at 539 Deering Ave in Woodfords Corner. The Old Port Tavern closed on New Year’s Eve 2022 after 50 years in business.

Miyake Now Open for Lunch

Miyake (website, instagram) reopened for lunch today. The menu (see below) includes their bento box which was the much loved item from the lunch menu the Fore Street restaurant served before the pandemic.

Shown here is today’s chef’s choice bento which was served with miso soup. Bottom to top: sauteed mackerel, shrimp and broccoli tempura, sashimi, tuna and avocado roll, pork and onions, potato salad topped with corn.

Miyake is serving lunch Wednesday through Friday, 11:30 – 2; walk-ins only. The flagship Miyake restaurant reopened for dinner last December after an extensive renovation.

Best Bagels: Rose & Rover

Bon Appetit has named Rover in Biddeford and Rose Foods in Portland to their list of Very Best Bagels in the US outside of New York and the tristate area.

As a trickle of buzzy new bagel shops turns into a full-on bagel boom, bakers aren’t looking to mimic New York quite the way they might have 10 years ago. The New York bagel is as revered as ever, but new approaches are taking shape from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Bakers are blending influences and regional styles, getting creative with toppings, and treating bagels like a special event.

As part of their Great Bagel Boom feature Bon Appetit also talked with Chad Conley at Rose about the underlying costs of their Rivington bagel sandwich.

Interview with Tom Ruff

Mainebiz has published an interview with Tom Ruff, the founder of Orange Bike Brewing.

Entrepreneur and cycling enthusiast Tom Ruff shifted gears from medical recruiting to gluten-free brewing, with plans to launch Orange Bike Brewing in Portland later this year. With construction still in progress at 31 Diamond St. in Portland, he gave Mainebiz the lowdown.

For more information on Orange Bike Brewing see this report on the brewery.

Upcoming Events

June 26Little Brother Chinese Food will be holding a pop-up at Hunt + Alpine.

June 28 – GMRI will be kicking off their Sea State Series with a presentation on Ocean Climate Trends by Climate Center Director, Dr. Dave Reidmiller and Assistant Director for Ocean Policy, Deerin Babb-Brott.

July 4 – Portland’s 4th of July fireworks display will be taking place on the Eastern Prom.

July 6 – Author and cooking teacher Viola Buitoni will be the guest chef at a 5-course Italian dinner at Nina June in Rockport.

July 15 – Cook, author, and immigrant rights activist Louisa Shafia will be the guest chef for a Persian dinner at Nina June in Rockport. Shafia will also be teaching a pair of cooking classes at Nina June on July 9th and 10th.

July 23Maine Open Farm Day is taking place, and Maine Bakers for a Cause are holding an event at Ugly Duckling.

July 27 – Absolem Cider in Winthrop will be hosting chef Justin Smillie for a pizza pop-up called Slow Fires. Absolem will be serving a special line-up of cider, cocktail, and wine for the night and the crew from Table Bar is DJing the event.

July 27-29 – The Kneading Conference and Maine Artisan Bread Fair will be taking place in Skowhegan.

August 23 – An Outstanding in the Field dinner is taking place at Dandelion Spring Farm with guest chef Neil Zabriskie from Regards.

August 25-27 – chefs Sam Hayward, Evan Mallett and others will be leading Take a Bite out of Appledore: An Eco-Culinary Island Retreat.

September 10Maine Cheese Festival.

September 24The Saltyard is holding a cocktail brunch at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

September 30Tender Table is holding their 3rd annual food and art fair in Congress Square Park.

October 8Maine Open Creamery Day is taking place.

November 5Chaval is holding a late harvest dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

Maine Food & Dining News

Here are some food and dining highlights from around the state:

  • Oystehers (website, instagram) held their grand opening this past weekend in Bath. The oyster bar is located at 97 Commercial Street and features waterfront outdoor seating. Oysterhers is owned by sisters Sadia and Lauren Crosby; Sadia Crosby is the owner of Oysthers Sea Farm.
  • Winemaker and Pipette Magazine publisher Rachel Signer (instagram) will be at the Warren Wine Shop for a book signing event on Monday June 26th. Regards chef Neil Zabriskie will be popping-up in Warren with food for the event.
  • Nina Interlandi Bell from Woolwich and chef Shannon Brown from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset have been selected to compete in upcoming episodes of MasterChef and Alex vs. America.
  • Goods (website, instagram) a food-oriented retail shop that opened last summer in Camden now operates an afternoon bar from their location at 31 Elm Street. The Goods bar is open Thursday through Saturday, 4-8 pm. They’re serving a menu of cocktails, wine, beer—traditional and nonalcoholic options available for each—and some light snacks.
  • The Maine Oyster Festival (website, instagram) is taking place now through Sunday in Freeport.

Lake & Co. Moving to Yarmouth

After five years of working out of Fork Food Lab, Lake & Company (website, facebook, instagram) is moving to Yarmouth. They’ll be occupying the 3,000 sq ft commercial kitchen at 881 Route 1 in the building that had formerly been the home of Maples.

It’s bittersweet to leave our friends and colleagues at Fork Food Lab. To our incredible staff and devoted clients, we would not be the company we are today without you. It feels a bit like growing up and leaving your family home! This move is a symbol of how much we have grown and accomplished over the past 5 years and we are very humbled.

Owner Hannah Lake White expects to continue offering weekly menus, prepared foods, frozen meals, and desserts for both delivery and pick up.