5-10-15: February 2024

The Portland Food Map archive of posts provides a chronicle of the past 16+ years of the Portland restaurant scene. While a lot of the reporting here is about what’s happening now and coming next, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at what the hot topics were from 5, 10 and 15 years ago.

Here’s are highlights from February 2009, 2014 and 2019:

  • In 2009 One Longfellow Square and Rabelais Books announced the launch of a food film series. The idea was that each month they partnered with a local chef who’d select a food film that was meaningful to them and prepare a meal to complement the screening at One Longfellow.
  • Backyard chickens were a hot topic and in early 2009 the City Council passed an ordinance to make them legal to raise in Portland.
  • Rob Schatz launched his food blog Eating Portland Alive in 2014. A decade and 3,651 posts later and Schatz is still going strong as an Johnny-on-the-spot instagram account about the Portland food scene.
  • Ten years ago the Beard Foundation released the names of 7 chefs and restaurants semifinalist for the 2014 awards program: Fore Street and Primo for Outstanding Restaurant, Rob Tod at Allagash for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, Cara Stadler at Tao Yuan for Rising Star, and three chefs in the Best Chef:Northeast category: Brian Hill from Francine Bistro, Ravin Nakjaroen at Long Grain, and Masa Miyake from Miyake.
  • Cronuts (invented and trademarked by Dominique Ansel) were all the rage in 2014. South Portland bakery Little Bigs was selling out their weekly production in 30 minutes with customers driving from as far away as Brunswick to get their hands on the trendy baked good.
  • Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly served a pop-up Indonesian dinner at Nosh. The Pisha-Dufflys went on to help Big Tree Hospitality (then known as AMA) launch The Honey Paw in 2015 and then moved to Portland, Oregon where they have won acclaim for their restaurants Gado Gado, Oma’s Hideaway and The Houston Blacklight.
  • What was likely Portland’s first tortilla factory, Tortilleria Pachangalaunched on Industrial Way in 2014.
  • Word broke that Guy and Stella Hernandez, owners of Bar Lola, were working to launch of a new restaurant called Lolita.
  • The Press Herald hired Peggy Grodinsky to be the newspaper’s food editor. Grodinsky continues to lead the Food & Dining team at the Maine Trust for Local News to this day.
  • Chris and Paige Gould launched their new restaurant Central Provisions. It would go on to get a Best New Restaurant Beard Award nomination the following year.
  • An antique Maine law was unearthed that prohibited Maine establishments from listing the ABV of the alcoholic beverages on their menus. The legislature quickly passed an update to eliminate the outdated provision.
  • Five years ago the Beard Foundation released the names of 9 chefs and restaurants semifinalist for the 2019 awards program in the Best Chef: Northeast, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Baker, Outstanding Wine Beer or Spirits Professional and Outstanding Service categories.
  • In 2019, brothers Sam and Rob Minervino bought Pizza Villa from the sons of the founder Michael Regios. Pizza Villa was founded in 1965.
  • Word broke about the development of a new cocktail bar and restaurant in Biddeford called Magnus on Water, and also the first report emerged about Perennial Cider Bar in Belfast.
  • Evan Atwell opened his most excellent knife shop Strata in one of the Black Box incubator spaces on Washington Ave.

Check back next month for a look back at the hot news from the March of 2009, 2014 and 2019.