Under Construction: Legends Rest Taproom

Tom Minervino along with his sister Meg and business partner Mike Barton have leased 1000 sq ft of space at 855 Main Street in Westbrook where they plan to open Legends Rest Taproom (facebook, instagram, twitter). 855 Main is located in the same building as Big Fin Poké.

Legends Rest will feature smashed burgers and a rotating selection of local draft beers and will have a full bar.

The Minervino family also founded and operates Samuel Bar and Grill, and Tomaso’s Canteen.

Legends will be working with the creative folks at Might and Main to develop the branding for the business.

Legends Rest will join Quill Books & Beverage and Veranda Thai (672 Main St), both of which are also under construction in Westbrook.

This Week’s Events: Frederiksdal Kirsebaervin, P’Alante Maine, Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap, Beaujolais Nouveau, Sweet Tooth Truffles, 1820 Wines, Thanksgiving List

MondayEighteen Twenty Wines will be interviewed on WMPG’s radio show Food Stories, and Bier Cellar is holding a Frederiksdal Kirsebaervin cherry wine tasting. Bier Cellar describes he tastes as “wines [that] live in the union of red wine and Port”.

Tuesday – Restaurants across the state are collaborating in P’Alante Maine to raise money for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

WednesdayMark Winne will be speaking at USM about Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap: Exploring Myths, Realities, Solutions, Old Port Wine Merchants is holding a Thanksgiving wine tasting, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayMJ’s is celebrating the release of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau and Petite Jacqueline is holding a Beaujolais Nouveau wine dinner. A Fall wine tasting is taking place at Maine & Loire, and there will be a release party for Same Sun at The Thirsty Pig.

FridayOxbow is releasing Native/Wild Barrel Select: 89, Sweet Tooth Truffles is holding a launch party at Fork Food Lab and Eighteen Twenty Wines is opening their tasting room.

SaturdayFalafel Underground is holding a Turkish Pop-up Dinner in Biddeford, Bolster Snow is kicking off their new brunch service this weekend, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thanksgiving – see the our list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving Day dinners.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Winter Farmers’ Market (Updated)

The Golden Dish has posted an article about the upcoming Winter Farmers’ Market which according to the article won’t be located in East Bayside this year.

The market organizers are waiting for the city of Portland to determine which of several sites under consideration will qualify as the new home for the winter market. At this writing, the top contender, however, is the Maine Girl’s Academy on Stevens Avenue.

Updated: The Press Herald has also now published an article about the upcoming location for the Winter Farmers’ Market.

Reviews: Cong Tu Bot, El Corazon, Rose Foods, Bayou Kitchen

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Cong Tu Bot,

Yet even as it makes culinary references to its peers, Cong Tu Bot manages to produce something wholly original. Take the pho ga ($13), a chicken-based soup bowl teeming with flat, fettuccine-like rice noodles and irregular shreds of tender chicken meat. Dobui and Zohn intentionally construct their version of this classic using techniques borrowed from Japanese ramen shops…It is both delicate and decadent – and phenomenally good.

The Bollard has reviewed El Corazon,

I ordered chilaquiles ($10.95), a once favorite dish I hadn’t eaten since leaving California. Piled onto a bed of crisp tortilla chips were two scrambled eggs simmered in a mild red sauce (a green sauce is also an option), topped with crumbly queso fresco and Mexican crema, and served with sides of beans and homefries. For an extra $1.50 the chef added a generous portion of chorizo on top. I had a few minor quibbles — using chips, rather than tortilla strips, made the dish messy and difficult to eat, and a hefty dose of hot sauce was necessary to provide sufficient heat — but otherwise it was very good.

the Portland Press Herald has reviewed Rose Foods, and

The Uncle Leo was a hit. The bagel was crispy outside, soft and chewy inside… The frittata was perfectly round, obviously cooked in a mold, but had just the right amount of lox in it, so the flavors were well balanced – especially with the schmear of herbed cream cheese as a finishing touch. I would order this again…

the Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Bayou Kitchens.

Quick, easy, tasty, and reasonably priced, Bayou Kitchen hits all the marks. They make simple food including cajun favorites that consistently satisfy and also offer items that shock and amaze – particularly those specials – which might just throw a wrench into your usual brunch order.

Under Construction: Ice It Bakery

Yarmouth’s Ice It Bakery (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) will be opening a second location at 502 Stevens Ave, reports the Press Herald.

Alan Fried, who owns Ice It! Bakery in Yarmouth with his wife, Sharon Kuhrt, said the new location at 502 Stevens Ave. will feature everything sold at the Yarmouth bakery – pastries, cupcakes, custom cakes – but it will also be a coffee shop with full espresso bar service. Fried and Kuhrt plan to emphasize more prominently their savory hand pies at the Portland bakery, and they’ll add some breakfast sandwiches and light lunch items to the menu.

See the Portland Food Map Under Construction page for a complete list of new food businesses in various stages of development.

Under Construction: Forage Market

Forage Market (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has leased space at 123 Washington Ave where they plan to open a Portland branch of their popular Lewiston bakery and cafe.

Owner Allen Smith is excited to open on Washington Ave because as he explains, “it feels like a place we can be part of a neighborhood and get to know our customers by name. And we love the camaraderie of the amazing group of food entrepreneurs already on the street.”

Forage is perhaps best know for the bagels which Saveur tipped for the best in the country. In addition, Smith and his team lead by Portland store manager Laura Posiak also plans to serve breakfast sandwiches and hand-made pastries in the morning and European-style market sandwiches along with soups and salads for lunch.

Smith has ordered a wood-fired masonry oven from Spain which is expected to arrive in the Spring and hopes to open Forage “as soon as the mortar is dry”.

Hardshore Distilling Co.

MaineBiz has published a profile of the Hardshore Distilling Company, a gin distillery located on Washington Ave.

[Owner Jordan] Milne starts with juniper, the basis for all gin, and infuses it with rosemary and mint. It’s distilled three times, the third to soak in the botanicals. Each batch is quality tested so it’s identical to the one before it. In the year he’s been selling it, he’s had success convincing local stores, supermarket chains and bars and restaurants to stock it.

Good Food Awards: 3 Maine Finalists

Congratulations to the 3 Maine food producers that have earned a place as Finalists for the 2018 Good Food Award:

The winners in all categories will be announced at the GFA awards ceremony and gala on January 19, 2018 in San Francisco.

Here’s some background on the Good Food Awards program,

The Good Food Awards were created to redefine ‘good food’ as being tasty, authentic and responsible. We aim to set criteria for entry that are realistic and inclusive of food and drink producers who have demonstrated a commitment to be part of building a tasty, authentic and responsible food system, going far above and beyond the status quo for their industry, while not making them so strict that eligible participants are limited to a small handful of products.

Mike Fraser

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Mike Fraser.

His first position in Portland was at Cinque Terre on Wharf Street. There, he met Guy Streitburger, the current General Manager of The Roma Cafe, and Jason Loring, another Portland restaurateur. The three have remained close friends. Mike served and bartended at Fore Street for nine years. Four or five years into his Fore Street tenure, Mike decided it might soon be time to open his own place. His first foray into ownership was Bramhall, a successful bar and lounge on Congress Street. When Mike and Jason first looked at the Roma, they were considering the space for a private club. They spoke to the Quimbys who owned the space; at that time, they envisioned it for some other use. In the meantime, Mike helped finance the Rhum Tiki Bar and Big J’s Fried Chicken at Thompson’s Point — ventures which proved to be immensely popular.