Wander at LongWoods in Cumberland

A new restaurant call Wander at LongWoods (instagram) is under construction in the town of Cumberland. The overall venture—which will include an on-site farm—is a collaboration between chefs Mike Allen and Rich Maggi, farmers Molly and Jordan McDuffie, and general manager Joe Atwood. The team hope to launch Wander by early June.

The farm will be an integral part of Wander at LongWoods providing food for the restaurant, an experiential component to the property and a farm store selling Longwoods products as well as those from other farms and food producers. The McDuffies plan to operate a small scale farm employing regenerative farming techniques raising pigs, chickens and cows in addition to the market garden.

Chefs Allen and Maggi will draw as many of the menu ingredients from the LongWoods farm as well as from other nearby farms to serve a seasonal elevated farm-to-table menu. While emphasizing local sourcing they expect to still utilize ingredients (e.g. citrus) that aren’t grown in Maine. The beverage program will feature wine, 6-8 taps of local beer, and cocktails produced in collaboration with Portland area distilleries. In addition to a dining room that will seat 70+, Wander will also have a terrace with outdoor seating, and a communal area extending out into the farm field with picnic tables, fire pits, Adirondack chairs.

Wander at LongWoods will be located at the LongWoods Preserve (instagram) which is being developed as a multi-use (restaurant, recreation, farm, etc) resource for the area. The 55 acre preserve is in land conservation through a collaboration between the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust and the Maine Farmland Trust. The project was initiated and envisioned by land owner by Alex Timpson who spearheaded the conservation efforts on the property.

The building (shown above) that will house Wander was designed by Paul Designs Project. LongWoods Preserve is located at 76 Longwoods Road in Cumberland Center.

BiziBuns Food Truck in Brunswick

Chef Bijan Eslami is planning to launch a food truck called BiziBuns (instagram) in Brunswick this spring.

Eslami will be serving a menu of buns and rice bowls. Options will include dishes like a lamb bun with sumac, onions and tahini, and rice bowls such as Persian green curry (ghorme sabzi) and a sour chicken with barberries and pickled sour grapes.

Eslami is currently the chef at Jing Yan where his cooking helped earn the restaurant 4 stars from Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic Andrew Ross. Watch the Jing Yan instagram account for word of a BiziBuns pop-up which will take place in February.

Eslami plans to locate BiziBuns on the Main Street Mall in Brunswick and be open through dinner hours closing at 10 pm.

Ruby’s Moving to 642 Congress St

Owners Matt and Corrinna Stum plan to move their West End restaurant Ruby’s (websiteinstagram) to 642 Congress Street to the storefront that was formerly occupied by Ada’s. The last service at the Pine Street Ruby’s West End will be on January 29th.

The Stums have put together a team that includes chef Garret LeClair, baker Nee-Nah Hall, barista Aly Shannon and bartender Ethan Cory. Ruby’s will be serving brunch, lunch and dinner.

The menu for the 40-seat restaurant is still under development with the working theme of “Maine roots, French inspired”. Some classic French dishes like cassoulet, duck confit, coq au vin, and loup du mer are expected to be part of the dinner menu as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Lunch and brunch menus will expand with options for soup, salads and sandwiches.

The team hope to open the new Ruby’s in February. They plan to initially be open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 am – 9 pm.

The Stum’s opened  Ruby’s West End in April 2021 at 64 Pine Street, and recently launched a new restaurant called Back River Bistro in Wiscasset.

Bake Maine Pottery Cafe

Portland Pottery Cafe on Washington Ave will be reopening under new ownership as the Bake Maine (instagram) Pottery Cafe. Owners Doug Perry and Kristen Perry have been doing some light renovations and hope to reopen as soon as this weekend.

The menu (see below) includes a variety of sandwiches, wraps, toasts and baked goods for breakfast—yes, the raspberry scones will continue to be available—and soups and sandwiches for lunch.

The Perry’s grew up in Wells, Maine. Before taking over the Pottery Cafe they operated the 1690 House Bakeshop and Cafe and subsequently A Cafe and Bakery, both of which are in Wells. Kristen Perry had previously worked at both Flour Bakery and the Tatte Bakery in the Boston area.

Baked Maine will be open seven days a week, 8 am – 3 pm.

 

Bistro Leluco Opens Friday

A new 36-seat restaurant called Bistro Leluco (website, instagram) is under development at 347 Cottage Road in the building that was formerly the home of Enio’s. Leluco is scheduled to open this Friday January 13th.

Bistro Leluco will be serving Mediterranean-inspired dishes utilizing seasonal and local ingredients. There will be a full bar program including craft cocktails, wine and local beers. Some example of dishes from the menu include Bluefin Crudo with burnt orange, Sicilian olive oil, Calabrian chili, Squash Toast with farmers cheese boursin, maple, aleppo, pepitas, Octopus with paella rice, preserved pepper, saffron aioli, and Parisienne Gnocchi with maitake mushrooms, ripe cheese, mustard greens

Leluco is being launched by owners Michele Trizzino and Antonio Rappazzo with chef William Durst. Rappazzo and Trizzino both have a background in the hospitality industry. Their move to Portland from NYC has opened the door to act on a long-term dream to open a restaurant of their own. Durst moved to Portland from Vermont where he’s worked at Hen of the Woods, and was the sous chef at Prohibition Pig. His career has also taken him to the west coast where he worked in Portland, Oregon.

The name of the restaurant is inspired by the names of Trizzino and Rappazzo’s three children Leo, Lucca and Coco.

Bistro Leluco will begin taking reservations on Resy.com later today. In the meantime call (207) 536-1690 to reserve a table.

George + Leon’s in Westbrook

Logan Abbey the owner of the George’s North Shore food truck has leased space in Westbrook where he plans to open a restaurant called George + Leon’s Famous Roast Beef. The new restaurant will be located at 9 Cumberland Street in the building that’s currently home to the Brea Lu Cafe. Abbey hope to open the restaurant in mid-summer.

George + Leon’s will serve an expanded menu and will also have a full bar. In addition, Abbey plans to use the space to host pop-up events with other food trucks. George + Leon’s is named for Abbey’s dog (George) and 3-month old son (Leon).

Abbey expects to continue operating the The George’s North Shore food truck in addition to the new restaurant. Brea Lu Cafe itself is moving to a larger space on Larrabee Road that will open this spring.

Ruby’s Moving

Ruby’s West End (websiteinstagram) owners Matt and Corrinna Stum have announced plans to move their West End restaurant. They have not yet released the new location for Ruby’s.

Ruby’s is currently located in the former Aurora Provisions building at 64 Pine Street and that space was recently listed for lease. The Stum’s opened  Ruby’s in April 2021, and recently launched a new restaurant called Back River Bistro in Wiscasset.

The 2022 Year In Review

Here’s a look at the highlights, themes and key moments from the 2022 year in food:

Concept Shift – with the pre-pandemic closure of Five Fifty-Five and the 2022 shuttering of Back Bay Grill and Hugo’s, Portland’s fine dining ranks have thinned quite a bit. Twelve is the new standard bearer for white table cloth dining in Portland. In the meantime, daytime cafes and combination restaurant/markets are increasing in number. Smalls and Friends & Family are a prime examples, and coming online in 2023 are the Bread and Friends bakery/cafe, The Ugly Duckling in the West End, the Night Moves/Lambs collaboration, and the new LB Kitchen.

National Recognition – while none of the nominees came home with the gold in June, the 2022 James Beard Awards season saw Maine honored with 10 semifinalists (just shy of the record 11 set in 2020) and a record 5 finalist nominees—a confirmation of the strength of the Maine restaurant industry and hopefully an indication of what’s to come (watch for the 2023 semifinalists list in February). National recognition came in other forms as well this year: Bon Appetit included Regards on their list of the Best New Restaurants in America, the NY Times identified Leeward and Twelve as two of the “50 places in America we’re most excited about right now,” Food & Wine and CN Traveler shared their love of Biddeford, and Esquire magazine has named Twelve to their 2022 list of the Best New Restaurants in America.

Maine Food Map –Biddeford will continue to be a hot spot, and new restaurants are opening in South Portland and the Portland suburbs. However, there’s also been a growing drumbeat of new and interesting food and beverages businesses opening outside the Portland area, and in 2022 that seemed to have gone into a higher gear…here are just a few examples from the past year: Table Bar in Gardiner, Aboslem Cider in Winthrop,  Nomad in Brunswick, Solo Pane in Bath, the new Dennett’s Wharf in Castine, The Alna Store in Alna, Sidereal Brewing in Vassalboro, Wolfpeach in Camden, Sophia in Belfast, Perch in Waldoboro, Hey Sailor in Searsport, and The Rooting Pig in Bristol.

Upcoming in 2023 – For a rundown of new food businesses under development see PFM Under Construction list. Here are some of the more exciting ones in the pipeline:

  • Bread and Friends – an elevated bakery/cafe located on Fore Street.
  • Lambs/Night Moves – Kerry Haines is bringing her bakery to South Portland and her partner Wade Ritchey is opening a bar in the adjoining space.
  • LB Kitchen – Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind are reopening LB Kitchen in an expanded space on the corner of Congress and Smith Streets.
  • Lenora – a taco bar focusing on Mexican-inspired street food from the creators of Lone Star in Boston.
  • Mr. Tuna – a new iteration of Mr. Tuna located on Middle Street is slated to open this summer.
  • Papi – a Puerto Rican-inspired bar and restaurant expected to open early in 2023.
  • Quanto Basta – a brick and mortar version of the popular Neapolitan pizza food truck which will be located in the original LB Kitchen space.
  • Room for Improvement – a modern dive bar being brought to life on Wharf Street by Arvid Brown and  Nick Coffin.
  • The Continental – European pub food meets cocktails and featuring slow pour nitro ales and stouts in the Oakdale neighborhood.
  • The Ugly Duckling – Chaval owners Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti are launching this daytime cafe and bakeshop on Danforth Street in early 2023.
  • Vertical Harvest – a 70,000 square-foot hydroponic vertical greenhouse in Westbrook.

There are also several other exciting new projects that are currently under wraps but will go public soon. Check back later this year for details.

Top 10 Articles

The most popular articles published on Portland Food Map in the past year.

  1. Eastern Prom Food Trucks – early report by the Portland Phoenix that the city was considering new rules to manage food trucks on the Eastern Prom (March 30th)
  2. Somebody Feed Phil – debut of the Somebody Feed Phil episode from Maine (April 7th)
  3. Sacred Profane Brewing – first report on Sacred Profane Brewing being under construction in Biddeford (February 21st)
  4. AC Moving to SoPo – first report on A&C Grocery moving to South Portland (March 2nd)
  5. The Danforth – interim report on The Danforth (February 15th)
  6. The Continental – first report on The Continental (April 14th)
  7. Indy’s Sandwich – first report on Indy’s (February 6th)
  8. Paper Tiger – first report on Paper Tiger (January 6th)
  9. Fish & Whistle – first report on Fish & Whistle in Biddeford (February 1st)
  10. Tobi Open – report on the opening of Tobi (June 3rd)

Notable Events of 2022

Passings

For an additional perspective on the past year in food see the Maine Sunday Telegram Best of 2022 article.

This is the 13th year running that Portland Food Map has published a year in review article. Take a walk down memory lane by checking out these past editions that covered 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Dedalus Wine in Portland

Dedalus Wine (website, facebook, instagram) from Burlington, Vermont has leased a 3,040 sq ft space at 127 Marginal Way where they are expected to open a Portland outpost of their business. They filed as an LLC in Maine in September 2021.

Dedalus was founded by Jason Zuliani in Burlington in 2007 and has since added shops in Stowe and Middlebury. Dedalus acquired Cured in Boulder, Colorado and it became the base for them to expand into Colorado. Dedalus has also reportedly bought a property in Brooklyn in August.

Allspeed Cycle and Snow will be moving into a new building on Brighton Ave that they purchased earlier this year.