Beautiful Swimmer Pop-up

Ordering is now live for the Beautiful Swimmer (instagram) pop-up takeout dinner by chef Ben Jackson.

Visit to place your order.

The menu for the 3-course takeout dinner for two will feature:

  • Steamed greens and clams agrodolce
  • Chicken meatballs over sprouted lentils
  • Fishcake and scallops, turnip and laminaria, swimming in broth

Pick-up for the dinner will be on March 5th with time slots available from 5 – 7:30 pm. Tandem Coffee is lending out Little Tandem in East Bayside (122 Anderson Street) for Beautiful Swimmer to use as pick-up location for the night.

Beautiful Swimmer is being launched by Ben and Alexis Jackson. Ben is a Beard-award nominated chef. In Brooklyn he worked at Marlow and Sons and Diner before becoming the executive sous chef for Reynard at the Wythe Hotel. He moved to Maine in 2016 to become the chef de cuisine at the now closed Drifters Wife. He received a James Beard award Best Chef nomination in 2020 for his work at Drifters.

Beautiful Swimmer is a new and evolving concept. Follow Beautiful Swimmer on instagram to stay in the loop on future events and milestones in its development.

Restaurant Bonds

Two local restaurants, Woodford F & B, and A & C Grocery are offering a chance for customers to support them now that comes with a payout with interest down the road.

  • A & C Grocery is selling special $100 gift certificate for $90. The gift certificates are after Maine lifts the pandemic state of emergency. Call (207) 329-4314 or visit them on Washington Ave to purchase. Anyone buying two or more also get an A & C t-shirt.
  • Woodford F & B is selling a special type of gift certificate that are worth more the longer you wait to redeem them. A $100 gift certificate bought this month will be worth $115 on April 1st (the soonest it can be redeemed), $125 on July 1st, $135 on October 1st and if held to maturity on December 1st are worth $150.

Permanently Closed

Many hospitality businesses have closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most will re-open, but not all.

While we’re staying focused on who is open and how the community is evolving in response to the current situation, that picture wouldn’t be complete without documenting the closings and consolidations too.

So here’s the beginning of the pandemic casualty list which will  document the losses as they happen through the remainder of the year.

2020 Beard Award Nominees from Maine

The James Beard Foundation has released the list of nominees for the 2020 awards program. Of the 11 semifinalists here are the 2020 nominees from Maine, all in the category of Best Chef: Northeast:

  • Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot
  • Ben Jackson, Drifters Wife
  • Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House
  • Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley, Palace Diner

This is the second time as a final nominee for Krista Kern Desjarlais, and the first time for everyone else.

It’s also nice to see that Gado Gado in Oregon make the Best New Restaurant list. Gado Gado was opened by former Maine culinary couple Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly. Thomas was the original chef at The Honey Paw.

Prior award winners, award committee members and regional judges will now complete the final ballot. Based on those results, the award winners will be announced on September 25th.

Related information:

Review of Elsmere BBQ

The Press Herald has reviewed Elsmere BBQ.

I was happy to see that the online menu still had all of my family’s favorites. I had the pit-smoked brisket sandwich with pickled onions on a bun for $13. Plus, I got coleslaw on the sandwich for just 50 cents and a side of mac and cheese for $1 more. My wife got the Elsmere Tornado sandwich with brisket, pulled pork, sausage and cole slaw on pretzel bun for $13, and my daughter Dinah got the pulled pork sandwich for $11. All came with barbecue sauce on the side.

Fire at Walkers Maine

Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick suffered a fire on April 1st. Here’s a statement from owners Justin and Danielle Walker,

On April 1, 2020 Walkers Maine suffered from fire damage. The good news is no one was hurt and we have an incredible community resource in the York fire department who responded within minutes during a pandemic. We can’t thank them enough.

Danielle and I are saddened that we won’t be able to cook for you during this tenuous time, but rest assured; we will work quickly to get our restaurant up and running again.

We’ve even begun the process of investigating how to keep our take out business alive while the restaurant undergoes repairs. I’m able to cook with a small kitchen or high end facility and while the fire may interrupt our business; it can’t take away my creativity and ingenuity when it comes to doing what I love.

We can’t tell you how much the outpouring of support during this time has meant to us. Even under our current circumstances, we know with you in our corner we will prevail.

Stay tuned for more updates and stay safe.

Justin & Danielle Walker