No Reservations

Peggy Grodinsky from the Press Herald explores why some restaurants don’t take reservations.

These restaurant owners and managers gave a similar set of reasons for adopting no-reservations policies, which add up to a blend of ambience, flow and management strains. They explained that, to them, hospitality doesn’t equate to taking a reservation. It means treating customers well – to good food and good service – once they get in the door. And while deep down I still wish everybody would copy proprietor Stella Hernandez at Lolita, who keeps about half the space for walk-ins and the rest for reservations, next time I am dining out in Portland and balk at waiting for a table, I will chew on these reasons, served with a side of understanding…

Maine Calling: Vegan & Plant-Based Living

Maine Calling has aired a show on Vegan & Plant-Based Living with guests Avery Yale Kamila, Chris Bassett, Sarah Skovran and Victoria Moran.

More people are turning to vegan diets for their health and for philosophical reasons. By the same token, others are embracing more plant-based eating, which may not qualify as vegan or vegetarian but might minimize meat as part of each meal. We’ll learn how to be vegan or to shift to plant-based living.

Apple CSA Sign-up

Heirloom apple CSA, Out on a Limb, is selling shares to new members for the Fall season. I participated in Out on a Limb for 5 years. It’s a great way to learn about and get access to unusual apples from all over Maine.

Chef’s Moms Share Stories

The Press Herald sat down with chef’s moms hearing stories about how their interest in restaurants and love for food played out at an early age.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Chefs have moms, too, obviously. So we wondered: Back when the rest of us were handing our moms lame homemade cards and flowers we picked from her own garden, were chefs-to-be dazzling their mothers with gourmet dinners? Did their moms see any signs that their little one would overtake their parents in the kitchen one day?

Eye Appeal: Chefs and Instagram

The Press Herald has published a report on how chefs use instagram as a research and marketing tool for the dishes they create.

Chefs have always considered the eye appeal of the food they serve – nearly every chef interviewed for this story repeated the old saying “you eat with your eyes first” – but social media has turned up the heat on the visual aspect of their dishes. From bistros and burger joints to higher-end Portland restaurants, chefs say they are thinking more visually in the kitchen. They are doing so to satisfy both their online followers and the customers who insist on photographing their meals to, as chef-turned-food photographer Derek Bissonnette puts it, “convey certain bragging rights: ‘I was here. Look at what I’m doing.’ ”

Growing Number of Vegan Options

The Press Herald has published a report on the growing options for vegans served up in Portland restaurants.

I’ve been writing about vegetarian and vegan food trends for the Press Herald for more than a decade, and interest in vegan food has steadily climbed during that time. But something has changed lately. With only a few exceptions, every Maine chef, restaurateur and purveyor I’ve talked with in the past six months has mentioned a marked increase in demand for vegan food.

2018 Phoenix Readership Poll

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2018 Best of Portland readership poll. The Phoenix follows a modified 2-step process: an open voting/nominations process now through April 17. On the 18th, the Phoenix culls down the list in each category to the top 6 and voting continues.

There are dozens of food and drink categories ranging from burgers and barbecue to sushi and salad. Portland Food Map is listed as a nominee in the Best Blog category in the City Life section.

New Name For Foley’s

It’s been three and a half years since Ed and Molly Foley sold the business to their baker Andrea Swanson. Now Foley’s will be undergoing a name change to Scattoloni.

Scattoloni is family name and an homage to Swanson’s father who ran a bakery by the same name. She doesn’t plan to make any major menu changes as a result of the name change.