Interview with Claire Stretch

Tuesday’s Portland Daily Sun included an interview with Claire Stretch, bartender at The Back Bay Grill,

What’s Underrated: Bubbly, like champagne, Prosecco, brut. Maine is number 50 in sales of bubbly, at the very bottom. Fresh squeezed juice isn’t used enough either.

and article that gathered opinions from diners restaurateurs and restaurant workers on this year’s Maine Restaurant Week.

Martha Bryon, co-owner of The Salt Exchange, has been very pleased so far. “It’s absolutely amazing. About half of the people who come in are for restaurant week and they’ve been very enthusiastic about making reservations. The experience has been beautiful, particularly coming off of a very hard winter. “

Winter Market Off to a Good Start

The new indoor Winter market got off to a good start yesterday. Attendance was strong and as you can see from the links below, Portland bloggers were also out in force:

  • Commune Tested, City Approved – reportage on the last minute licensing snafus and photos of the event
  • Portland Daily Photo – photos of the market
  • Food for Thought – “Despite the best efforts of the City of Portland to thwart the Winter Market from happening, stronger forces prevailed and the Portland market began with great gusto.”
  • LocalRootZ Project 2010 – an overview of the market and vendors as well as photos of the event and items purchased.

This Week’s Events

Monday — The Foreside Tavern in Falmouth is celebrating their 5 year anniversary.

Tuesday Bar Lola is collaborating with Allagash on a beer dinner.

Wednesday — there’s a wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, Grace is holding a Flights & Bites wine social event and Maine Kombucha Works is teaching a combined kombucha and sourdough bread class.

Thursday — The Great Lost Bear is hosting the annual Brew Pub Cup challenge, Leavitt and Sons and Browne Trading are holding a wine tasting and it’s the first night of the Ice Bar at Eve’s at the Garden.

Friday — the Ice Bar continue at Eve’s and there will be a performance of the psychogeographic dinner theater Dual Site at the Whitney Art Works.

Saturday — it’s the final night of both the Ice Bar the Dual Site dinner theater. Author Kenneth Helphand will be reading from his book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens In Wartime and signing books at Whitney Art Works.

Sunday — Masa Miyake and Rob Evans are cooking an 8-course snout-to-tail pork tasting dinner at Hugo’s.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

This Week's Events

Monday — The Foreside Tavern in Falmouth is celebrating their 5 year anniversary.
Tuesday Bar Lola is collaborating with Allagash on a beer dinner.
Wednesday — there’s a wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, Grace is holding a Flights & Bites wine social event and Maine Kombucha Works is teaching a combined kombucha and sourdough bread class.
Thursday — The Great Lost Bear is hosting the annual Brew Pub Cup challenge, Leavitt and Sons and Browne Trading are holding a wine tasting and it’s the first night of the Ice Bar at Eve’s at the Garden.
Friday — the Ice Bar continue at Eve’s and there will be a performance of the psychogeographic dinner theater Dual Site at the Whitney Art Works.
Saturday — it’s the final night of both the Ice Bar the Dual Site dinner theater. Author Kenneth Helphand will be reading from his book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens In Wartime and signing books at Whitney Art Works.
Sunday — Masa Miyake and Rob Evans are cooking an 8-course snout-to-tail pork tasting dinner at Hugo’s.
For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Cookie Swaps

Meredith Goad’s article in today’s Press Herald catalogs the 3 types of cookie bakers and interviews Julia Usher, author of Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year.

When it comes to holiday cookies, there are three types of bakers.

The first type sticks to an old family recipe like Taylor Swift trying to hold onto the microphone at the VMA Awards.

The second type is more like Adam Lambert at the American Music Awards — always pushing the envelope with something new and more, um, challenging.

The third type is like a karaoke performer. These folks buy pre-mixed, pre-sliced cookies in the grocer’s freezer, pop them in the oven, and they’re done. They like to call themselves singers, but they’re not fooling anyone but themselves.

Do you want to participate in a cookie swap? Rabelais is holding a cookie swap and book signing with Julia Usher this Sunday.

Ken Courtney, The Essay

Portland Food Heads has published a new installment of the site’s essay series. Ken Courtney, a waiter and bartender at Bar Lola, is the author of an essay about surfing, hunger and the nature of food.

If we make sense of our lives in story-form, we’re bound to care about the tales surrounding what sustains us. Narrative lifts food from filling to fulfilling. Though my fast had hardly been worthy of Mahatma Gandhi or Kafka’s hunger artist, it was the remembrance of this principle that brought me back down to earth. I noticed that the lingering aromas from the kitchen had once more assumed their full powers of seduction, and after I was handed an IPA – as if on cue – glasses clinked all around and someone simply said, “To life.”