NYT: 36 Hours in Portland

The New York Times has featured Portland in the latest of their 36 Hours travel articles.

From the fishing piers and wharves lined up like piano keys along Commercial Street to the ocean views and historic Queen Anne-style homes atop Munjoy Hill, Portland offers a lot for visitors to take in. And then there is the food. Maine’s largest city has long been nationally known as a top food destination, and just this year two Portland bakers won James Beard Awards…

The article highlights: Cong Tu Bot, Ugly Duckling, Il Leone, Luke’s Lobster, Bar Futo, Hot Suppa, Bite into Maine, Oxbow, Anoche, Rabelais, Onggi, Strata, Terlingua, Izakaya Minato, The Shop, and the recent Beard Award wins by Atsuko Fujimoto and Zu Bakery.

The NYT 36 Hours column has previously written about Portland in both 2010 and 2016.

Review of Little Tap House

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of the Little Tap House.

Highlights among the menu’s new items include sous-vided sirloin with vividly herbal garlic-scape chimichurri; roasted asparagus with prosciutto chips and Sauce Choron; and risotto with locally sourced chestnut mushrooms. For those who want a comfortable and convenient place to drink, Little Tap House still has 14 active tap lines that it fills with beers and ciders from Maine, plus a few from New Hampshire and Vermont. If you visit, don’t skip pastry chef Allie Wanek’s desserts, especially the sweet-and-savory maple pot-de-crème topped with candied walnuts and stewed plums.

Zu Bakery Wins Beard Award

Congratulations to ZU Bakery and its owner Barak Olins on being James Beard Awards winner in the Outstanding Bakery category. Zu Bakery was a nominee in the category along with bakeries from California, Oregon and New York. Olins initially launched Zu Bakery in 2000 and opened its present day West End location in November 2022.

For more information: Watch this instagram story for a look at Zu Bakery and the work Olins and his team do, and read this interview with Olins from earlier this year.

There were four nominees from Maine this year which were selected from 10 chef and restaurant semifinalist in the 2024 James Beard Foundation Awards season. For more information on Maine’s Beard Awards history, see this complete list of award winners, nominees and semifinalists.

Fujimoto Wins Beard Award

Congratulations to Atsuko Fujimoto from Norimoto Bakery on being James Beard Awards winner in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker category. Fujimoto was a nominee in the category along with bakers and pastry chefs from Washington DC, Illinois, Arizona and Florida. Fujimoto has been a baker in Portland for 20 years. She launched Norimoto in 2019 and opened her bakery on Stevens Ave in October 2021.

For more information: Read this interview with Fujimoto from 2020 and see this instagram story from her South Portland bakery.

There were four nominees from Maine this year which were selected from 10 chef and restaurant semifinalist in the 2024 James Beard Foundation Awards season. For more information on Maine’s Beard Awards history, see this complete list of award winners, nominees and semifinalists.

4 Star Review of A&C Soda Shop

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a 4 star review of A&C Soda Shop.

Boozy milkshakes and floats lend the menu an adult appeal (although all of the ice cream-based treats can also be ordered without alcohol). So do the salads – a Delicata squash version through the cold months, and now that the weather has turned, an oozy, creamy burrata version with a superb charred-lemon vinaigrette. But here, just as at co-owner Joe Fournier’s other A&C (the grocery that closed in 2021), it’s all about sandwiches.

Bon Appetit: Lobster Rolls

The June/July issue of Bon Appetit includes an article about lobster rolls in the Portland area.

It doesn’t get more Maine than a lobster roll. And Portland, a maritime hub and center of the state’s dining scene, is where you’ll find the highest concentration of excellence. Whether you grab-and-go from a no-frills food truck or sit down at a fancy restaurant on the waterfront, enjoying a lobster roll (or two while you’re here is a must-have experience.

The article features the lobster rolls or roll-adjacent dishes at High Roller, Two Lights, Twelve, J’s Oyster, Eventide, Bite Into Maine, Regards and SoPo Seafood.

The article isn’t available on their website yet.

Thai Tree Review

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Thai Tree.

Cocktails like the bourbon-and-galangal Vogue and Thai-tea-based Open Your Heart are nods to the iconic pop star (as are all the boozy drinks on the cocktail menu). But you don’t need to be a Madonna fan to eat here. The food menu features some impressive cooking, most of which is prepared from scratch, like fragrant, well-spiced red curries; pad kee mao with wide, supple rice noodles, homemade brown sauce and torn holy basil; and delightful pandan-infused mango sticky rice.

Boston Globe on Biddeford

The Boston Globe has published an article about Biddeford.

We tend to like Biddeford, Maine, more for what it’s not than what it is. The former mill town, along the Saco River, is not glossy, overly refined, touristy, or crowded. It doesn’t shout its charms.

But look close enough and you’ll discover a buzzing energy, a town that welcomes new ideas, and a community dependent on collaboration. Biddeford has been quietly, slowly rising from its ashes (many downtown buildings stood derelict and shuttered for years), emerging as an under-the-radar hot spot for makers, artists, chefs, and entrepreneurs. The result is a destination worth checking out.

The article mentions Magnus on Water, Palace Diner, Lorne, Fish and Whistle, Dizzy Bird, The Hamburger Stand, Time and Tide, Elements, Nibblesford, Banded Brewing, Sacred Profane, Lucky Pigeon Brewing, and Round Turn.