Chef Marilou Ranta, Maine Street Bistro, Brickyard Hollow

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a feature article about Marilou Ranta who is the chef and owner of The Quarry in Monson. The Restaurant won the James Beard award for Outstanding Hospitality in 2023.

In the dining room, there are unforced smiles all around. Regulars get big bear hugs. Newcomers get hugs, too. “She’s a great hugger,” said Martha Lerman, a hug recipient who was dining at The Quarry for her first time on a Thursday evening in mid-September. Ranta was especially delighted to meet a Filipino couple who had driven from Massachusetts to check out The Quarry. Word about the 5-year-old restaurant “in the boonies,” as Ranta puts it, is getting around.

The Sunday Telegram also includes a 3½ star review of Maine Street Bistro in Brunswick,

Lean into Maine Street Bistro’s French menu and you’ll be rewarded. Co-owners and co-chefs John Holm and Brandon Franklin built their impressive skillsets of classic French techniques separately, but together in Brunswick, they’ve come up with a largely traditional menu that holds promise.

and an article about the rapid expansion of Brickyard Hollow Brewing which has added five locations in the last 12 months.

As Moll and his partner were first launching Brickyard Hollow in 2018, they realized the significance of the winter carnival photo. “We were trying to create a craft brewery that was a gathering place for this little community, and that picture really helped present that,” Moll said.

Wander at Longwoods

The Forecaster has published an article about Wander at Longwoods, the new restaurant that opened in August.

He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to partner with Atwood on Wander, the new farm-to-table restaurant that opened this summer on the 55-acre LongWoods Preserve in Cumberland. Its neighbors are nature trails, gardens, fields, woods and a farm and the pair wanted to make sure the restaurant honored its location.

The Good Dog

Today’s Bangor Daily News has a report on The Good Dog (instagram), a new hot dog cart operating in Tommy’s Park.

While he’s taking over Gatti’s old patch of park, Steinberg is also keeping up with Portland’s modern foodie culture. Instead of just steamed dogs with the regular fixings, Steinberg, who calls his business The Good Dog, is offering more exotic fare including a kimchi-and-sriracha mayo dog and a special he calls the Hawaiian Hoagie. That’s sliced-and-grilled spam with pineapple and Thai chili sauce.

The Great Lost Bear

The Bollard has published an article about The Great Lost Bear and the recent change in ownership at the beer bar.

“It was Chip’s idea,” Dave said of the bar’s embrace of craft beer. Geary’s Pale Ale went on tap as soon as it was available, and Gritty McDuff’s Pub Style followed two years later. Dave recalled a few early breweries that didn’t last, including Casco Bay and Sparhawk. And he remembered driving to Massachusetts for beers that were not yet distributed in Maine, like Sam Adams, Ipswich, Commonwealth and Watch City. 

Oga Suya

Ajambo Africa has published an article about Oga Suya, the mobile Nigerian barbecue business owned by Young Francis and Rose Barboza.

Francis grew up in Nigeria surrounded by a big family, where food played a significant role in his upbringing. He worked in restaurants growing up, and his skills and passion for cooking – combined with Barboza’s business savvy – are a winning combination. “Young is just an amazing chef. Since we’ve met, I just don’t cook anymore. … He carefully blends a mix of spices and peanuts to create a nutty, smoky, and spicy flavor that is unmatched,” said Barboza.  

Author Lillian Lama has also profiled several other restaurants for Ajambo Africa including one of Tostones CafeFloresSal de la Terre, and Yardie Ting.

Harmon’s Lunch in Falmouth

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Harmon’s Lunch the venerable burger spot in Falmouth.

Each burger at Harmon’s starts with one or two two-ounce locally sourced beef patties, cooked on a flat top and served on a steamed bun with or without cheese. Wormell said he can fit 22 burgers on the restaurant’s flattop at one time, and can work through about 85 burgers in an hour.

Top of the East

Down East has published an article about the Top of the East which reopened this summer after extensive renovations.

Could it be that my new favorite cocktail bar in Portland is a chain hotel’s lounge? Those sorts of places are supposed to be for weary business travelers too uninspired to venture elsewhere, and yet the question weighed on me as I sipped a very good old-fashioned — subtle sweetness, restrained bittering, judicious dilution — at Top of the East, in Marriott’s downtown Westin. I tried to talk myself out of it: the vests and bowties on the staff were, perhaps, symptomatic of trying too hard at sophistication, and ouch, 20 bucks is awfully steep for an old-fashioned, even in our inflationary age. But Top of the East is the rare exorbitant cocktail joint that’s probably worth the price of admission, especially on account of the stellar views from 15 stories up.

Review of Jing Yan, Ice Cream Trucks, Foodtopia

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Jing Yan,

You won’t find menu categories for countries or cuisines; instead you’ll find inventive twists on techniques and ingredients. Start with a plate of numbing Sichuan chicken wings with prickly, tingly spice: some of the best wings anywhere in town. Then go for a bowl of brothless Korean “spaghetti” (really a gochujang-seasoned mazemen ramen) and a clay pot of Eslami’s lush, confit Persian-Peking duck fesenjoon. Thanks to Eslami’s breadth of experience, Jing Yan isn’t a haphazard pan-Asian joint. It’s a tightly conceived restaurant that unites comforting flavors and rock-solid technique.

as well as article about the Deering Ice Cream truck and an article about the book Foodtopia.