The New Roma Cafe

Today’s Press Herald includes a feature article about the memories of the old Roma Cafe and new incarnation.

The first weeks of the restaurant’s second life were filled with diners who told the staff that the Roma, closed for more than a decade, was where they’d celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, held wedding rehearsal dinners and romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations, and gotten engaged. Teenagers trying to impress each other suffered through awkward prom dates at the Roma.

See more photos of the new Roma Cafe.

Ice Cream Delivery

Today’s Press Herald includes a feature article on ice cream delivery services with a special focus on Rosanna’s, the craft ice cream operation run by Salli Wason.

While having ice cream delivered to your home is convenient, Wason’s customers say her creative flavors play just as big a role in enticing them to pick up the phone and order intriguing flavors like Thai iced tea, fresh nectarine and honey lavender. Wason posts her daily menus on her Facebook page, and changes flavors often. Like a musician, she also takes requests from customers. Most recently she tried her hand at a flavor she calls “rose red” – made with raspberries and housemade beach rose syrup – because someone told her it was popular in Paris. A customer request for blueberry-lemon with gingersnaps sold so quickly she still makes it.

Portland Barrel Co.

Mainebiz has published an article about the Portland Barrel Co. and its owner Ed Lutjens.

Lutjens works alone, planing staves so they fit together tightly, sculpting the staves’ inside and shearing off some wood outside so they’ll form a round barrel when set into hoops. He starts from the top of the barrel, placing the staves, which are of different widths, inside a metal hoop that he also hand makes. No glue is involved, so the sides of the staves need to be planed flat and fitted carefully.

The Lost Kitchen

The Boston Globe and Plate have published articles about The Lost Kitchen.

French brings out lit tapers in white candlesticks to each table. She tells her guests the story of their dinner: what they are eating, where it comes from. Then she offers a toast. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she says. “This is my favorite place in the world.”

Scott DeSimon and Long Grain

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Nancy Harmon Jenkins about Long Grain in Camden,

If I told you that one of the most captivating Asian restaurants in the country is a hole-in-the-wall in a pretty little town on the coast of Maine, would you believe me? Forget lobster rolls, I tell skeptics; you’re going to love the kao klug kapi. And the always come away from Long Grain, in Camden, with a one-word reaction: “Wow.”

and the Lewiston Sun Journal has published an interview with A-list food writer and editor, and Maine native Scott DeSimon. He will be a judge at the Down East lobster roll competition in early July.

It’s your first time judging a lobster roll competition. What will make the winner stand out? For me, the ideal roll is all about the perfect mix of mayo to perfectly cooked meat, with very little in the way of other ingredients or seasonings. And the bun needs to be hot and buttery, with a touch of crispness from the flat top. Simple, but so many people screw it up. Of course, if someone does some brilliant take on a lobster banh mi, I could be swayed.

Coffee Me Up

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Coffee Me Up and its owners Alba Zakja and Mateo Hodo.

What sets this gem apart are three things: First, the owners, Alba Zakja and Mateo Hodo are two of the most beautiful humans I have encountered. Their smiles are warm, welcoming and real. Second, their pastry offerings are homemade and Albanian; Albania is their birthplace, although they have both become American citizens. Two of their pastries are especially delicious: Byrek is a traditional phyllo savory pastry. It’s light, unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in Portland, and you can rely on seeing it at Coffee ME Up seven days a week. The other is Alba’s mother Simina’s Baklava.

Pho Co. & Chau Du

The Press Herald has published a feature article on Pho Co. and its owner Chau Du.

By 9:15 a.m., the broths are all simmering, chicken, beef and vegetarian just barely at a bubble. Chau Du is preparing for what she expects will be an average lunch at Pho Co. in Portland, a prediction based mostly on the weather. It’s not raining, it’s not particularly cold and so she is making merely enormous, rather than gigantic, vats of broth in a trio of approximately 30-quart stockpots. They already smell good, with notes of cinnamon and star anise rising up. In the beef broth, a couple big chunks of ginger root bob at the surface, floating alongside five long bones.

Bugs, They’re Whats for Dinner

The Press Herald has published an article about Entosense, a local firm that sells edible insects.

The Broadbents are the team behind Entosense, home of a large online marketplace at edibleinsects.com for people who like to chow down on crickets, grasshoppers, ants, beetles, scorpions, tarantulas and other critters with lots of legs and plenty of crunch. They even sell (may your gag reflex forgive us) housefly pupae.

Visit entosense.com to learn more, and edibleinsects.com to buy their products.