2021 Pocket Guide Now Available

The newly revised and expanded 2021 PFM Printed Pocket Guide is now out. This handy paper reference highlights many of the restaurants, bakeries, breweries, coffee shops, cocktail bars, and cafes that make eating and drinking in Portland so compelling. This year it includes a new food truck section and an expanded list of places to dine elsewhere in Maine.

2021 remains a very dynamic environment for the Maine restaurant industry so please consult the online version of Portland Food Map for the latest information and updates on openings as well as a full list of eateries in the city…and consult restaurant websites for the latest on days and hours of operation.

Many thanks to the 2021 Pocket Guide sponsors. Their generous support plays a crucial role in making the guide available in 2021:

While supplies last you can pick-up a free copy of the guide at these local businesses: Portland Trading Company, Bresca and the Honey Bee in New Gloucester, Tandem Coffee on Congress St, Strata (the new shop opens next weekend), Leeward, ChavalRose Foods, Speckled Ax on Thames Street, The Shop, and Oxbow Brewing on Washington Ave.

The pocket guide wouldn’t be as good as it is, in fact it wouldn’t exist at all, without the skills and contributions of Dawn Hagin from Rare Bird Strategic, writer Angela Andre, and graphic designer Sofija Razgaitis. Congratulate them on their work the next time you see them in town.

Il Leone on Peaks

A new outdoor pizzeria pop-up is operating on Peaks Island this summer called Il Leone (website, instagram)

Owner and chef Ben Wexler-Waite is serving Neapolitan-style made with naturally leavened dough. He uses a portable Forza Foni pizza oven from Italy which cooks the pizzas in 60 – 90 seconds at 850 degrees. The menu includes classic like Margherita and Funghi pizzas as well as their take on a lobster pizza—the Aragosta. They also serve  salads and Gelato Fiasco gelato.

Il Leone is leasing space from the Peaks Island Lions Club which is the inspiration for the business name. They are open Wednesday through Sunday: 12:30 – 3:30 for lunch and 5 – 8 for dinner. Wexler-Waite expects to operate through to October.

Erik Desjarlais at Owl & Elm

Erik Desjarlais
has been hired as the new chef at Owl & Elm (website, facebook, instagram) in Yarmouth.

At Owl & Elm Desjarlais and owner Caitlin Henningsen are planning an elevated village pub menu. Fans of the burger and fish and chips can rest easy that those items will remain on the menu unchanged as will the daily ice cream sundae. The new menu will include items like frisée salad with a duck egg, fried quail with buckwheat waffles, steak frites, fish baked in parchment and a pavé of pork belly with beans on brioche toast, with specials woven into the menu on a regular basis.

Owl & Elm opened 5 years ago and is expected to reopen in the first week of June. The restaurant is located at 365 Main Street in Yarmouth. In addition to their dining room Owl & Elm also has a outdoor dining space on their back deck.

Desjarlais was the chef/owner of Bandol, Ladle and Evangeline in Portland and went on to found Weft & Warp. Most recently he’s been the general manager and chef at the New Gloucester Village Store.

Caribbean Taste

A new restaurant called Caribbean Taste opened late last week in South Portland in the Cash Corner neighborhood.

Caribbean Taste serves a menu of oxtail, curry goat, fried chicken and jerk chicken with a variety of side dishes and daily specials. They’re open Monday through Saturday, noon to 10 pm.

La Fritanga

La Fritanga (instagram), the new food truck from the team at Maiz quietly launched on Thursday.

Their menu when we caught up with them on Friday included carimañola, buñuelo, empanada, chicharon con yuca, arepas, and a beet salad. The overall concept for the truck is modeled after  the street food carts in Cartagena.

Pigeons Now Open

Here’s a look at Pigeons (websiteinstagram) the new restaurant from Maine & Loire owners Peter and Orenda Hale that opened Wednesday. Pigeons is located in the former Drifters Wife space on Washington Ave.

Pigeons is a day bar (open noon to 6 pm, Wednesday through Saturday) and restaurant serving a menu of French bistro fare (crudite, mussels, bavette steak, nicoise salad, etc), cocktails and natural wines as well as ciders, beers, spritzes and other drinks.

Pigeons has both indoor and outdoor seating.


Opening This Week: Pigeons and Buzz

Two more businesses are launching this week:

Pigeons (website, instagram) the new concept being launched by Peter and Orenda Hale in the space formerly home to Drifters Wife, is opening on Wednesday. The daytime bar and French bistro will be open noon to 6 pm Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations for Pigeons can be made online.

Buzz Coffee (instagram) is launching their new coffee cart this Saturday at the Eastern Promenade 8 am to 1 pm. Corey Koch and Christopher Weiss will be serving cold brew prepared with coffee from Rwanda Bean.

BenReuben’s & Paddy Wagon

Two new businesses are launching this weekend:

BenReuben’s Knishery  (websiteinstagram) will be opening their doors Sunday morning (7 am to 3 pm). Owners Graeme and Caitlin Miller  will be serving a menu of 8 different types of knishes plus sides, cookies, cakes and drinks. BenReuben’s is located at 145 Ocean Street in South Portland.

The Paddy Wagon (instagram) food truck will be at Goodfire Brewing in East Bayside starting at noon on Sunday. Owners Luke Benning and David McGuirk will be serving pub fare like “Fish and Chips, Battered Sausages, Mushy Peas, and Chip Butties.”