Review of Gather

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Gather.

Despite a small menu, food at Gather lags behind the beverage program and is, unfortunately, sometimes subpar. Stick to dishes like panko-crusted cod with smashed fingerling potatoes and olive relish, or the Boursin-and-smoked-gouda-topped smash burger, both of which are solid choices. Skip dessert and instead buy a drink for Cole, whose hustle and dedication are unparalleled.

Review of Mitr

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Mitr.

Lucky for Libbytown, this COVID-delayed, skewers-and-charcoal-grill-centric casual dining spot made it to its debut. Food is solid at Mitr, especially skewers like marinated chicken livers or lemongrass beef, crisp Han Yat-style fried chicken, and deceptively light, balanced desserts like cream-topped coconut cake. Combine that with the miniature dining room’s Instagram-worthy 19 coveted seats, and it’s easy to imagine Mitr becoming an attraction on an otherwise unlovely stretch of Congress Street.

Review of Bistro Leluco

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Bistro Leluco, and

Cocktails are very good, but the star here is chef Will Durst’s menu that seamlessly brings together New England ingredients and European cooking. Unmissable dishes like puffy, ultra-cheesy Parisienne gnocchi and superb steak à poivre with house-smoked fingerling potatoes match up well with the restaurant’s eclectic, affordable wine list. Not sure what to order? Ask a server. They’re friendly and really know their stuff.

an interview with John Naylor and Mark Law about Rosemont Market.

We sat down in late June with Law and Rosemont co-founder John Naylor – who led the company for 18 years before stepping aside for Law, though he remains involved as president and chairman of the board – to talk about Rosemont’s role in the local community, where the company is headed, and what five items are their must-haves in a Rosemont shopping basket.

F&W: Best Lobster Rolls

Food & Wine has included Bite Into Maine in their list of America’s Best Lobster Rolls.

The Portland Head Light historic lighthouse in Fort Williams Park is a backdrop for this tiny food truck, which offers no fewer than six varieties of lobster rolls. Along with curry, wasabi, and chipotle, Bite Into Maine’s signature picnic-style includes a layer of homemade coleslaw and a brushing of drawn butter.

Other Maine establishments on the list are: The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Thurston’s in Bernard,

Best Bagels: Rose & Rover

Bon Appetit has named Rover in Biddeford and Rose Foods in Portland to their list of Very Best Bagels in the US outside of New York and the tristate area.

As a trickle of buzzy new bagel shops turns into a full-on bagel boom, bakers aren’t looking to mimic New York quite the way they might have 10 years ago. The New York bagel is as revered as ever, but new approaches are taking shape from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Bakers are blending influences and regional styles, getting creative with toppings, and treating bagels like a special event.

As part of their Great Bagel Boom feature Bon Appetit also talked with Chad Conley at Rose about the underlying costs of their Rivington bagel sandwich.

Review of Lenora

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Lenora, and

Chef Rian Wyllie’s Mexican-street-food-inspired menu features the dishes you’d expect, served on cute, funky melamine dishes you might not. Baja fish tacos, housemade tortilla chips to dunk in green-apple-and-tomatillo salsa cruda or guacamole, and a Oaxacan twist on a Nashville hot chicken sandwich are all standouts, as are cocktails like the grapefruity Luna Rosa.

a a round-up of vegan/vegetarian food news from around Maine.

With summer in the air, seasonal spots selling plant-based eats are open. At the same time, Maine entrepreneurs are adding vegan products and expanding vegan menus. Here’s the latest vegan and vegetarian news from Maine.

Barrel-Aged Coffe & A Review of Bar Futo

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Bar Futo, and

Chef Ian Driscoll’s menu is made up of classics like bouncy, funky tsukune meatballs and binchotan-grilled vegetables like asparagus (seasoned with very nontraditional horseradish ranch). Everything really does come out when it’s ready (pardon the restaurant cliché) because the grill is set to a steel-warping 1,200 degrees. On the cold side, Driscoll’s rhubarb crisp kakigori mountain is as visually spectacular as it is tasty. Bar manager Bryce Summer’s ice-cold cocktails, especially the hojicha daiquiri, hold up nicely against the inventive menu.

a feature article about barrel-aged coffee collaborations between coffee roasters and Maine’s distillers and brewers.

Normally, coffee beans are ready for sale after roasting. But with barrel-aged coffee, the raw beans spend weeks or months in empty spirits barrels provided by distillers, where they absorb residual liquor flavors along with notes of the barrel’s charred wood interior. Only then are the beans are roasted and bagged for sale.

Soft Serve Ice Cream & Review of Paper Tiger

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Paper Tiger, and

Rattan, neon signs, graphic wallpaper, cozy booths, dark lighting, balanced cocktails and a menu of well-executed, Asian-inspired small plates – what’s not to love? Paper Tiger might have opened just one year ago, but this Fore Street lounge and restaurant already feels like an established hangout for Portland’s cool kids…Paper Tiger is an under-the-radar charmer.

a feature article about soft serve ice cream.

Now, a new era in soft serve has arrived in Maine. A growing number of chef-created, scratch-made soft serve options in worldly flavors with leveled-up toppings are as likely to put a period on your restaurant meal (make that an exclamation point!) as to be seasonal beachside or after-the-game treats.

Tasting Table: Room for Improvement

Tasting Table has included Room for Improvement in their list of the 17 New US Bars You Can’t Miss In 2023.

All that said, it’s difficult to nail down what kind of experience imbibers are looking for these days, but for these newcomers on the U.S. bar scene, the common thread is clear: A heavy pour of nostalgia with your Negroni cocktail. Whether it’s a low-lit spot that recalls jazz-age NYC, disco ball-adorned digs, vinyl-stocked revivals of the Japanese listening bars of the ’50s and ’60s, or hideaways that look like your parents’ basement in the best way, the spots on our list range from classy to cheeky. No matter what your preferred sipping style is, you’ll find a bar where you’ll want to pull up a stool.