Old Stalwarts

Portland magazine makes the case for not forgetting the “old stalwarts” of the city’s restaurant culture while we celebrate the newer establishments in town,

I could, and will, go on: Lolita, the Blue Spoon, and Union have never let me down. When I’m feeling raw and blue, I can always count on the chicken tacos with a side of bacon at the Front Room to cheer me up. The Parisian-feeling outdoor café at the Regency is a nice place for a lunch date on a balmy day. And whenever you get a hankering for top-notch homey German food (and who doesn’t?) there’s nowhere like Schulte & Herr for bratwurst and sauerkraut. As for sushi, no one does it better than Masa Miyake. But Benkay and Yosaku are damned good, too. As for Vietnamese, whether you’re Team Thanh Thanh or Team Saigon, it’s okay—they’re both great.

Saving Fork Food Lab

The Press Herald has posted an update on the efforts to save Fork Food Lab,

A group of entrepreneurs and investors is in negotiations to take over the operation of the Portland shared commercial kitchen as a nonprofit on or about Oct. 1, said Bill Seretta, president of The Sustainability Lab in Yarmouth and chair of the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge. He emphasized that the deal is still not done and no papers have been signed, but added that he’s “pretty confident this is going to work out.”

Chocolatier for a Day

Black Dinah Chocolatiers is kicking off their Chocolatier for a Day sweepstakes today,

The prize is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. The winning chocolatier will work side by side with Kate and her team, receiving one-on-one instruction on how to make ganache (the chocolate-and-cream center of a truffle), cook caramel, enrobe truffles, temper chocolate, and mold bonbons. The winner will also take home a selection of what they make over the course of the day, plus Kate’s award-winning cookbook “Desserted” and their very own Black Dinah Chocolatiers chef’s cap and apron.

For more information and to enter visit the sweepstakes web page.

Effort to Save Fork Food Lab

Maine Startup Insider reports that there’s an effort afoot to save Fork Food Lab,

The group, spearheaded by Bill Seretta, president of The Sustainability Lab and chairperson of the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge, is in negotiations with both Pilotworks, the New York-based company that acquired Fork last summer and recently announced it would close the kitchen incubator at the end of September, and the owners of the East Bayside building in which Fork resides.

Business Is Booming

The Press Herald checked in with restaurants across town on the impact Portland being named Restaurant City of the Year. No surprise, business is booming with restaurants and other businesses mentioned in the Bon Appétit are scrambling to ramp up production and add staff to accommodate the enthusiastic surge of new customers.

Portland restaurants, especially those named in Bon Appétit’s September Best New Restaurants issue, have been rejoicing – and reeling – from the after effects of the magazine’s glowing coverage of the city’s food scene. Business is up – way up, in some cases. Summer tourists are seeking out the restaurants mentioned by Bon Appétit, and locals are visiting for the first time, discovering the gems in their own backyard. Social media has exploded with love for Portland, with restaurants gaining hundreds of followers from all over the country, practically overnight.

Allen’s Coffee Brandy

The Daily Beast has posted an article about Maine’s abiding love for Allen’s Coffee Brandy.

As it turns out, Fireball is actually made in Maine—at a Lewiston facility that the Sazerac Co. acquired a few years ago. Allen’s Coffee Brandy is made in Massachusetts, the state to the south that many Maine residents consider loathsome. Offering a potential future challenge, Sazerac Co. has stepped up its production of Mr. Boston Coffee Flavored Brandy, using coffee extract made in nearby Portland and touting “Made in Maine” on the label. (Sales of Mr. Boston coffee brandy to date remain less than one-tenth of Allen’s.)

Outdoor Dining in Westbrook

Legends Rest is launching their outdoor seating area tonight along River Walk in Westbrook at 4 pm.

What makes this notable is that there outdoor dining option takes advantage of a new state law that allows restaurants to serve alcohol outdoors even when the dining area isn’t immediately adjacent to the restaurant. Legends Rest may in fact be the first  restaurant in the state to make use of the new provision.