Allagash x The Purple House/Bresca

Chef Krista Kern Desjarlais from The Purple House/Bresca & the Honey Bee and Allagash Brewing Company have joined forces to produce a special Valentine’s beer and ice cream event.

The collaboration features two Allagash beers and the frozen treats that Desjarlais has produced with them:

  • My One And Only paired a beer-infused custard ice cream made with wood roasted plums, raspberry and cherries.
  • Heart of Hearts paired with a vegan darkest chocolate ice cream made with beer-infused dark chocolate and raspberry truffles.

The event is taking place on Saturday February 12 (noon – 4) at the Allagash tasting room on Industrial Way.

Upcoming Events: Three Openings, Panel Discussion, Women Winemakers, Valentine’s Day List

TuesdayDila’s Kitchen (instagram) is scheduled to open at 11 am at the Public Market House. The Grateful Cup (websitefacebookinstagram)  is scheduled to open at 7 am on Veranda Street. Regards (websiteinstagram) is also opening on Tuesday at 5 pm…having shifted out their opening day due to Saturday’s storm.

Thursday – there will be a webinar on the Changing Foodservice Landscape in Maine with panelists Jack Barber, Maeve McInnis and Daron Goldstein. Emily Leighton from Rosemont will be leading a bread tasting and education event. Friends & Family is holding a free tasting (5 – 7 pm) featuring wines by women winemakers and cheeses made by Maine women cheesemakers.

February 10The Yard is hold a pre-Valentine’s Day Dueling Pianos event, Evo is holding a dinner in support of the Dempsey Center with seatings at 5:30 or 7:45, and there will be a gluten-free tasting event at Apres.

Valentine’s Day – this list continues to grow as restaurants announce their plans.

  • Apres – raw bar operated by the Lady Shuckers and live music.
  • Black Tie – a Valentine’s take-out menu for two; order by February 8th.
  • BlueFin – is serving a menu of “featured Valentine’s Day cocktails”.
  • Blue Spoon – with have some Valentine’s Day specials along with their regular menu.
  • Bravo Maine – is holding a French Bistro cooking class.
  • Brickyard Hollow – 4-couse menu.
  • Butter and Kale – 4-course meals for 2; vegan ($185) and omnivore ($195) option both available.
  • Cellardoor Winery – “Valentine’s Flight features six wines for $25 a person; every two flights purchased includes a sharable charcuterie board.”
  • Chaval – will be serving a special Valentine’s Day menu, details are still TBD.
  • Elda – Valentine’s Day tasting menu; $125 per person.
  • Evo Kitchen + Bar – a 6-course dinner for $120 per person, also available for takeout.
  • Fork Food Lab – a Valentine’s Day collaboration between Lady Shuckers and Galatic Hobo Sauce featuring Maine-grown oysters from two women-owned farms.
  • Isa Bistro – 3-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Knotted Apron – 4-course prix fixe dinner; $79 per person.
  • Lake & Co – “romantic ready to reheat dinner and dessert for pick up or delivery” on Saturday the 12th; order deadline on the 8th.
  • Maria’s – pre-order takeout dinner for pick-up on the 12th or 13th, and open on the 14th.
  • Rosemont – has a Valentine’s Day pre-order menu.
  • Ruby’s West End – 3-course dinner with vegan and non-vegan options, and optional wine pairings; available February 11 – 14.
  • Stroudwater Distilling – 3-course meal and “comedy line up features Mike Gray, with Ray Harrington headlining, and Ian MacDonald hosting”.
  • The Maker’s Galley – 4-course prix fixe dinner.
  • Tiny Feats Confections – Chocolate Raspberry Tortes available for pre-order.
  • Top of the East – a 3-course take-out dinner; order by February 11th.
  • Vena’s Fizz House – a Valentine’s Day mixology class.
  • Verbena’s – will be serving a Valentine’s weekend menu featuring the flavors of Southeast Asia.
  • Wine Wise – a Black Truffle Wine Dinner for two in collaboration with Chaval; $250, delivery included.
  • Yardie Ting – will be serving a surf and turf dinner for two at the Public Market House; $80 for a couple.
  • Other Restaurants – some restaurants may also be open serving their usual menu, check in with your favorite spots to find out if they are open Monday the 14th.
  • Chocolate shops and bakeries – check in with your favorite chocolate shops and bakeries to find what Valentine’s Day special candies and baked goods they may have available.

February 17The Porthole is holding a wine dinner.

February 24 – Judy Gibson is holding a Portuguese wine dinner.

March 1 – 12Maine Restaurant Week.

March 29 – Maine’s newest cidery the Absolem Cider Company and Oxbow Brewing will collaborating on a beer/cider dinner at the Oxbow Beer Garden in Oxford.

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

Upcoming Events: Valentine’s Day, Cider Dinner, Portland Wine Week

February 10The Yard is hold a pre-Valentine’s Day Dueling Pianos event, and Evo is holding a dinner in support of the Dempsey Center with seatings at 5:30 or 7:45.

February 13Cocktail Mary is holding a Champagne Brunch.

Valentine’s Day – this list continues to grow as restaurants announce their plans.

  • Black Tie – a Valentine’s take-out menu for two; order by February 8th.
  • BlueFin – is serving a menu of “featured Valentine’s Day cocktails”.
  • Bravo Maine – is holding a French Bistro cooking class.
  • Brickyard Hollow – 4-couse menu
  • Chaval – will be serving a special Valentine’s Day menu, details are still TBD.
  • Elda – Valentine’s Day tasting menu; $125 per person.
  • Evo Kitchen + Bar – a 6-course dinner for $120 per person, also available for takeout.
  • Isa Bistro – 3-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Tiny Feats Confections – Chocolate Raspberry Tortes available for pre-order.
  • Top of the East – a 3-course take-out dinner; order by February 11th.
  • Vena’s Fizz House – a Valentine’s Day mixology class.
  • Verbena’s – will be serving a Valentine’s weekend menu featuring the flavors of Southeast Asia.
  • Wine Wise – a Black Truffle Wine Dinner for two in collaboration with Chaval; $250, delivery included.
  • Yardie Ting – will be serving a surf and turf dinner for two at the Public Market House; $80 for a couple.
  • Chocolate shops and bakeries – check in with your favorite chocolate shops and bakeries to find what Valentine’s Day special candies and baked goods they may have available.

February 17The Porthole is holding a wine dinner.

March 29 – Maine’s newest cidery the Absolem Cider Company and Oxbow Brewing will collaborating on a beer/cider dinner at the Oxbow Beer Garden in Oxford.

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

Upcoming Events: Frying Dutchman, Business Workshop, Pig Roast, Sushi Class, Valentine’s Day

Monday – The Frying Dutchman is scheduled to open today at 10 am.

TuesdayFork Food Lab is kicking off their food business webinar series.

Sunday – Pig Roast on the Patio is taking place at Thoroughfare, and Great Wave Sushi chef Alex Herzog is teaching a sushi making class.

February 10The Yard is hold a pre-Valentine’s Day Dueling Pianos event, and Evo is holding a dinner in support of the Dempsey Center with seatings at 5:30 or 7:45.

Valentine’s Day – this list will be continuously updated as restaurants announce their plans.

  • Black Tie – a Valentine’s take-out menu for two; order by February 8th.
  • Bravo Maine – is holding a French Bistro cooking class.
  • Chaval – will be serving a special Valentine’s Day menu, details are still TBD.
  • Elda – Valentine’s Day tasting menu; $125 per person.
  • Tiny Feats Confections – Chocolate Raspberry Tortes available for pre-order.
  • Top of the East – a 3-course take-out dinner; order by February 11th.
  • Wine Wise – a Black Truffle Wine Dinner for two in collaboration with Chaval; $250, delivery included.

March 29 – Maine’s newest cidery the Absolem Cider Company and Oxbow Brewing will collaborating on a beer/cider dinner at the Oxbow Beer Garden in Oxford.

Upcoming Events: Cooking Party, Wine Dinners, Dueling Pianos

WednesdayMaker’s Galley is holding a winter cooking party.

ThursdayRoma is holding a 5-course Piedmont wine dinner., and Judy Gibson is holding a 4-course Croatian and Slovenian wine dinner–both wine dinners are priced at $75 per person.

January 18Fork Food Lab is kicking off their food business webinar series.

February 10The Yard is hold a pre-Valentine’s Day Dueling Pianos event.

Valentine’s Day

  • Bravo Maine – is holding a French Bistro cooking class

Upcoming Events: Smalls, Wine Dinners, Good Food Awards

Wednesday – it’s the official opening day of Smalls.

January 13Roma is holding a 5-course Piedmont wine dinner., and Judy Gibson is holding a 4-course Croatian and Slovenian wine dinner–both wine dinners are priced at $75 per person.

January 14 – The Good Food Foundation will be announcing the winners of the 2022 awards program; 10 Maine food producers are finalists this year, and Black Tie is kicking-off a spring cooking class series.

The 2021 Year In Review: Pandemic, Food Trucks, Openings, Closings, Etc.

It’s been another busy and challenging year. Here’s an attempt to provide a high level overview of the 2021 year in food:

  • Covid-19 – the pandemic continued to have a big impact on all our lives. With surge in cases that bookended the year in Maine and a peak in the spring Covid-19 continued to have a ripple effect across the industry from outdoor dining in the depths of winter to supply chain issues to a challenging labor market. Vaccines improved conditions during the summer but the delta and omicron variants have driven up case numbers and hospitalizations resulting in customers becoming more cautious and less numerous as we head into winter. A small number of restaurants have implemented their own proof of vaccination policies and in late December a petition is began circulating among Portland restaurants that calls on the City Council to make that a city-wide approach for indoor dining. Despite all the headwinds, new food business projects continue to get launched—a sign that food entrepreneurs feel a sense  of hope and optimism about what’s to come in 2022.
  • Food Truck Boom – Food truck launches continued to surge in 2021. The Press Herald, Mainebiz, Maine Public, Bangor Daily News all wrote and discussed this trend. At one point this past summer there were almost 50 trucks on the streets or under development in Portland. Over the past decade, many businesses that started as food trucks have transitioned into brick and mortar businesses. It will be interesting to see if that’s also the case with this new set of mobile food entrepreneurs.
  • Knightville – There always seems to be some section of town which is a focal point for new restaurant development. In 2021 that new bright spot has been the Knightville neighborhood in South Portland. SoPo Seafood, BenReuben’s Knishery, Cafe Louis opened and Taco Trio moved to new digs. They all joined the Knightville veterans like Smaha’s Legion square Market, The Bridgeway, The Snow Squall, Verbena’s, Cia Coffee and relatively recent opening by Solo Cucina, Judy Gibson, and Foulmouthed Brewing. The former Taco Trio space is now vacant and there are other store fronts that may come on the market so we’re likely to see more growth here into 2022.
  • John Woods – John Woods passed away at the age of 57. Woods was a co-founder of Full Plates Full Potential and was tireless fighter in the battle against childhood hunger in Maine. His work touched the lives of so many people and made Maine a better place. In his memory Full Plates established the John T. Woods Innovation Fund.
  • Upcoming in 2022 – For the full list of new food businesses under development see PFM Under Construction list. Here are some of the current highlights:
    • Bread and Friends – a brick and mortar bakery/cafe being launched by a pair of couples who moved here from the Bay Area. In 2021 they started selling wholesale and at some local farmers’ markets. B&F will be located at 505 Fore Street and is slated to open in late summer.
    • Dila’s Kitchen – a Turkish eatery located on the second floor of the Public Market House. Watch for them to launch in early 2022.
    • Hi-Fidelity Beer – a low ABV brewery  and community space in East Bayside.
    • Lenora – a taco bar focusing on Mexican-inspired street food being launched by partners from from Lone Star Taco Bar and Deep Ellum in Boston. Watch for them to launch in early summer.
    • Twelve – located in the reconstructed Pattern Storehouse from the Portland Company Complex, Twelve will feature the culinary talents of Matt Ginn and Colin Wyatt.
    • TBD – Gin & Luck (the parent company of Death & Co.) is opening an as yet unnamed restaurant and bar in the Danforth Street location formerly occupied by Little Giant.
    • Wicked Fresco – a food truck that was originally slated to open this past summer. Wicked Fresco co-owners Camila Sohm and Eric Mendoza plan to tap into their Colombian and Salvadoran food cultures and Maine seasonal ingredients to serve a menu of sweet and savory salads as well as sides and hand-crafted sodas.
    • Zu Baker – a neighborhood boulangerie in the West End being launched by Barak Olins this spring.

There are also several other exciting new projects that are currently under wraps but will go public soon. Check back later this year for details.

Top 10 Articles

The most popular articles published on Portland Food Map in the past year.

  1. Valentine’s Day List (February 6th)
  2. Vy Banh Mi food truck (January 20th)
  3. Stacks Pancake Company (April 19th)
  4. Lucky Pigeon gluten-free brewery (January 21st)
  5. Apres in East Bayside (April 19th)
  6. Luna and Salt Yard (March 11th)
  7. Jackrabbit Cafe (March 31st)
  8. BenReuben’s Knishery (March 11th)
  9. Wayside Tavern (April 22nd)
  10. Launch of Truckalico (March 14th)

Notable Events of 2021

Passings

For additional perspectives on the past year in food see the Maine Sunday Telegram A to Z annual round-up, and their restaurant critic’s list of the Best of 2021.

This is the 12th year running that Portland Food Map has published a year in review article. Take a walk down memory lane by checking out these past editions that covered 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Upcoming Events: Buzz Coffee, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, KitNA

Wednesday – the new Buzz Coffee shop is opening for business.

New Year’s Eve – Here’s a growing list of options for your New Year’s Eve celebrations–more will be added as restaurants announce their plans—send us a message if you see some place missing from the list.

  • Batson River – entertainment and “passed appetizers, food stations, late night snacks, and a sparkling toast at midnight”; $70 per person.
  • Blue Spoon – will be open; menu TBD.
  • Broken Arrow – 5-course dinner ($95 per person) at 6 pm, and 7-course dinner ($145 per person) at 9 pm, both with optional pairings.
  • Crispy Gai –fried chicken and caviar.
  • Dizzy Bird – has preorder takeout.
  • Evo Kitchen + Bar – 6-course dinner with optional wine pairings; $150 per person.
  • Free Street
  • Friends & Family – a Tour d’Alps tasting menu; $48 per person.
  • Gather – available on site or to go.
  • Gross Confection Bar – will be open on New Year’s Eve.
  • Isa Bistro – 3-course tasting menu; $75 per person.
  • Judy Gibson – a 6-course tasting menu plus snacks; $100 per person with optional beverage pairing for $45 per person.
  • Knotted Apron – 4-course dinner with champagne toast; $79 per person.
  • Luna – entertainment, appetizers and sparkling wine toast; $100 per person.
  • Magnus on Water – extensive NYE champagne list
  • Mr. Tuna – a range of sushi options for 2 – 10 people.
  • Old Port Sea Grill – 5-course dinner; $65 per person.
  • Petite Jacqueline – 4-course dinner and champagne toast.
  • Roll Call at Austin Street
  • Roma – is offering a special menu.
  • Smalls – will be open serving “wine, beer and bubbles” starting at 5pm. They’re a new market/cafe located at 28 Brackett Street.
  • Top of the East
  • Verbena’s – 4-course takeout dinner; $52 per person.

New Year’s Day – a few restaurants have announced special brunch and brinner options.

  • Broken Arrow – serving Brinner, their “favorite brunch meets dinner items”
  • Crispy Gai – is serving New Year’s Day brunch.
  • Ghee – will be serving brunch, noon to 8 pm.
  • Little Tap House – is serving New Year’s Day brunch.
  • Other Side Diner – will be serving brunch 8 – 2 with  specials like roast duck hash and beef tenderloin and eggs.
  • The Pink Waffle – is teaming up with Fork Food Lab to offer take home waffle kits and a New Year’s Day brunch option.

January 2KitNA (instagram) will be releasing their first beer On Your Mark American Blonde at a variety of beer retail locations.

January 14 – The Good Food Foundation will be announcing the winners of the 2022 awards program; 10 Maine food producers are finalists this year, and Black Tie is kicking-off a spring cooking class series.

Upcoming Events: Free Street, New Year’s Eve, KitNA

Tuesdayopening day at Free Street (instagram), the new restaurant and bar at 77 Free Street located in the renovated space formerly occupied Binga’s Stadium. The menu includes a 25-tap draft beer list, house designed and classic cocktails, and a menu of casual appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees like chicken and waffles, fish and chips, and salt and pepper tofu.

Saturday – Christmas.

New Year’s Eve – Here’s a growing list of options for your New Year’s Eve celebrations–more will be added as restaurants announce their plans—send us a message if you see some place missing from the list.

  • Batson River – entertainment and “passed appetizers, food stations, late night snacks, and a sparkling toast at midnight”; $70 per person.
  • Broken Arrow – 5-course dinner ($95 per person) at 6 pm, and 7-course dinner ($145 per person) at 9 pm, both with optional pairings.
  • Crispy Gai –fried chicken and caviar.
  • Evo Kitchen + Bar – 6-course dinner with optional wine pairings; $150 per person.
  • Friends & Family – a Tour d’Alps tasting menu; $48 per person.
  • Judy Gibson – a 6-course tasting menu plus snacks; $100 per person with optional beverage pairing for $45 per person.
  • Knotted Apron – 4-course dinner with champagne toast; $79 per person.
  • Luna – entertainment, appetizers and sparkling wine toast; $100 per person.
  • Mr. Tuna – a range of sushi options for 2 – 10 people.
  • Roma – is offering a special menu, details TBD.
  • Verbena’s – 4-course takeout dinner; $52 per person.

New Year’s Day

January 2KitNA (instagram) will be releasing their first beer On Your Mark American Blonde at a variety of beer retail locations.

January 14 – The Good Food Foundation will be announcing the winners of the 2022 awards program; 10 Maine food producers are finalists this year, and Black Tie is kicking-off a spring cooking class series.