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.”

Soul Food Paradise Launching Friday

A new takeout restaurant called Soul Food Paradise (website, instagram) is launching this Friday. They’re operating out of Fork Food Lab, the food business incubator and commercial kitchen in Bayside.

Owner Martin Beavers is serving up a menu that includes oxtail, jerk chicken, fried catfish and smothered pork chops.

Our menu pays homage to the comfort foods my mother made for our large family growing up in the Bronx. Now we’re excited to bring these flavors to Maine. We invite you to give us a try and become apart of our extended family.

Online pre-ordering is live for pick-up on Friday and orders can also be placed on May 7th. The Soul Food Paradise menu will also be available for delivery through Doordash or Grubhub.

Cheese Louise Opens Today

Cheese Louise (websitefacebookinstagram) is holding their grand opening today at 11 am. The restaurant is located at 363 Fore Street in the space formerly occupied by Cheevitdee. The menu includes 6 grilled cheese sandwich options which you can order online.

Cheese Louise was founded by  James Gaudreault, Ian Lubkin and Bryce Harrison as a food truck in New Hampshire and have two restaurants in Conway. Hours for the Old Port location will be Sunday through Thursday 11 – 9, and Friday/Saturday 11 – at least midnight.