NYT: 12 Restaurants America Loves

Eventide is featured in a New York Times article about 12 Restaurants America Loves.

Like fan favorites Maison Premiere in Brooklyn and Petit Marlowe in San Francisco, Eventide pushes all the vintage-oyster-bar buttons, complete with marble counters, tin ceiling and a chalkboard with dozens of shellfish varieties. But it also has an overlay of Japanese flavors and New England tradition that produced its stellar chowders.

Group Advocates Earlier Opening Date for Restaurants

The Press Herald reports that an organization called the Restaurant Workers of Maine sent a letter to the Governor sharing concerns that “the industry could collapse if restaurants are not allowed to operate at full capacity by July 1”.

The group, which says it has 5,000 members since forming in 2017, wants the state to allow the industry to reopen in mid-May rather than having to go an entire month with curbside pickup only and entering June not knowing what levels of customer capacity will be allowed inside eating establishments. The letter asks the governor to evaluate COVID-19 activity levels every two weeks and to make adjustments accordingly, rather than her phased reopening that goes month by month.

June 1st Set for Restaurants to Re-Open

Governor Mills has unveiled her phased approach to re-opening the Maine economy. On point for the food community are stages 2 and 3:

  • Stage 2 begins on June 1st. It allows for the re-opening of restaurants and for gathering of up to 50 people.
  • Stage 3 begins on July 1st and anticipates the re-opening of bars.

I’m counting down the days—all 33 of them—until I can go to a Portland restaurant for a meal. In the meantime some takeout and a haircut (barbers and salons get the green light in stage 1) will fill the gap.

The Rise of the Restaurmart

‪A growing number of takeout restaurants now sell groceries too. If a restaurmart sounds like a good match for your needs, then check out this list:

  • Botto’s Provisions – is selling “Baking Essentials: flour, sugar, breadcrumbs, and YEAST!” Order online.
  • Drifters Wife – will begin selling provisions and meal kits in early May. Order online.
  • Frog and Turtle – sells a variety of canned goods, cheeses, breads, meats. Order online.
  • Lake & Co – sells a wide variety of groceries. Order online.
  • Local 188 – is selling groceries and provisions, “toilet paper, flour, eggs, butter, yeast, OJ, milk, half and half, paper towels, honey, olive oil, sugar, English muffins, corn tortillas, flour tortillas, canned tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, carrots, peppers, garlic, peppercorn, salt, dried beans, rice, hot sauce, potatoes AND fresh local fish from our fish monger”.
  • Maine Beer Co. – sells flour, rice, cheese and other provisions. Order online.
  • Mainely Burgers – has pick-up and delivery for a wide variety of provisions. Order online.
  • Market Street Eats – is selling a regular and burly sized Basic Box consisting of eggs, flour vegetables, chicken, toilet paper, etc. Order online.
  • More & Co. – is selling weekly Care Packages which include “Wine/beer/sparkling water, coffee, bread, cake, cheese, carrots, micro greens, flowers, tea and honey”. Order online.
  • Novare Res – is selling ice cream, waffles, pasta, slim jims, nitrile gloves, potato chips, toilet paper, and other items. Order online.
  • Po’ Boys & Pickles – Po’ Boys & Provisions sells “Eggs, Sugar, AP flour, Rice, Butter, Frozen Gumbo, Hot Sauce, and more items coming”. Order online.
  • Sur Lie – sells “weekly, rotating selection of vegetables and meats from our local farmers at Stonecipher Farm and LP Bisson and Sons. There are two options…a vegetable farmer’s basket or a meat & vegetable farmer’s basket.” Order online.
  • The Garrison – is selling staples like eggs, butter, pasta and paper towels along with chef Christian Hayes food. Order Online.

Update: The James Beard Foundation and the Bangor Daily News have now written about the trend of restaurants selling groceries.

Family Meal

Family Meal is a new weekly delivery service providing free meals to restaurant and bar staff in Portland who have lost their job due to the pandemic. The program will launch on Sunday, April 26th. Complete this form to sign-up.

Each week Family Meal will deliver “either a homemade lasagna or mac n’ cheese, two drinks (Rising Tide beer or soda) and a baked item.” Food will be provided on a first-come-first-serve basis. If the demand exceeds the supply the organizers will cycle through the list on the second week.

Family Meal is being launched by Those Familiar Spirits and the first week is sponsored by Hardshore Distilling and Rising Tide Brewing. To become a sponsor, or for more information contact brianarocks@gmail.com.

That Restaurant Sound

Restaurant critic Andrew Ross has written an article about the sound tracks restaurants use to reinforce the brands of their establishments.

To some, the opening bars of “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens sound like a station identification break from some long-forgotten, Deco-era radio station, the kind of tinkling glockenspiel theme you’d hear played live, every 15 minutes. But to me, that song will always sound like milky coffee and scones.

Fire at Browne Trading

A fire broke out at Browne Trading Thursday night. The 3-alarm blaze was mostly contained to the retail store but the wholesale facility also sustained some damage, reports the Press Herald.

The flames were centered on the one-story retail store, Gautreau said. Fire heavily damaged the interior of the building and roof. Most of the three-floor production facility sustained smoke and soot damage, but firefighters were able to save about $250,000 worth of caviar that was stored inside, [Portland Fire Chief Keith] Gautreau said.