Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook

Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz, authors of several books including The Portland Maine Chef’s Table, and Don Lindgren, owner of Rabelais Books, have teamed up to launch the Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook (website, facebook, instagram, twitter). The project “will explore the foodways of the indigenous people of Maine, include recipes drawn from the state’s historic community cookbooks, and reveal the tastiest flavors from our newest Mainers.”

The deadline for you to submit your own recipe is January 10th.

The organizers also have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help pay for the “creation, production and printing costs” and intend for “a portion of every book sold after publication will go to fight hunger in Maine”. They’ve gotten commitments of $11,221 so far towards a goal of $30,000.

You can also pre-order a copy of book through the Kickstarter page.

Radici Pizzeria Coming to Washington Ave

You’ll recall that back in September we reported that Randy and Ally Forrester, chef/owners of Osteria Radici were shuttering their Allentown, NJ restaurant and moving to Portland to open a new establishment.

Now the words out that the Forresters will be taking over the space at 52 Washington Ave when Terlingua moves into their new larger digs in the former Silly’s building. The new venture keeps the Radici (website, instagram) name and will be a pizzeria. The word “radici” means root in Italian and indicates the restaurants intent to pair ancestral food traditions with the “sustainability and versatility of Maine’s harvest from the land and sea”. The Forresters hope to open the pizzeria this coming summer.

Forrester shared that they plan to hand-mixed naturally leavened dough, and that they’re looking forward to the the opportunity to incorporate locally milled hard Maine wheat into their pizza dough.

Osteria Radici was a James Beard awards semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2018, and Randy Forrester was a semifinalist for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic in 2019.

Changes at Royale Lunch

The Royale Lunch Bar plans to add regular dinner service and focus their menu on fried chicken, according to a report from the Press Herald.

FitzGerald said customer surveys also indicated that its fried chicken sandwich was by far the most popular item. The new menu will serve the chicken as pieces with sides. Other popular items, such as mac and cheese, poutine and Caesar salad, will remain on the menu.

Two Fat Cats Moving to Bayside

Two Fat Cats (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) will be giving up their India Street location—where the bakery was founded—and moving to new digs in West Bayside this spring.

The new location at 195 Lancaster Street will provide Two Fat Cats much needed room to continue to grow their business. The 3,000 sq ft building will have space for seating and has onsite parking for customers. Owner Stacy Begin is working with Barrett Made to design and build-out the space with open bakery concept.

Two Fat Cats was founded in 2005 by Dana Street, Alison Pray, Matt James, and Kristen DuShane. Begin and Matthew Holbrook bought Two Fat Cats in 2012, and in 2018 TFC added a South Portland location.

David Turin Explores Edgecomb Project

Chef David Turin is exploring an opportunity to launch a new restaurant in the Midcoast. Turin recently spoke to the Edgecomb Planning Board about the former Muddy Rudder building which now operates as the Water’s Edge Banquet & Function Facility.

According to a report in The Lincoln County News, if the project moves forward the restaurant will likely be named David’s Water’s Edge with a target opening date in April and a menu that is “similar to David’s Restaurant in Portland, while likely being a little more seafood-oriented” with the possible addition of a raw bar.

Turin operates three restaurants in the Portland area: David’s, David’s Opus Ten and David’s 388 in South Portland.

Andy’s Old Port Pub to Reopen

John and Tanya Lowell are in the process of buying Andy’s Old Port Pub with plans to reopen it “with the same operations that had been enjoyed by so many and bring back jobs to those that were suddenly displaced, yet, have loyally committed to return.”

John Lowell was a manager at Andy’s for a year prior to its closure on October 31st.  He hopes to reopen in early 2020.

Via Vecchia on Dana Street

Blyth & Burrows owner Joshua Miranda has announced the concept for his new restaurant in the Old Port, Via Vecchia (instagram, facebook, website).

Located at 10 Dana Street in the 3,900 sq ft space formerly occupied by Vignola/Cinque Terre, Via Vecchia will be a “modern take on a European bistro serving small plates Italian food, classic cocktails, and Italian wines” with a focus on the bar and cocktail program.

For the design of Via Vecchia, Miranda and his team are “drawing inspiration from pre-WWI European bistros” with the aim of making it “feel both elegant and comfortable” The front room (see floor plan below) will have a long curved marble bar. In back restaurant area, “guests will eat in a greenery-filled space under skylights, akin to a courtyard in Venice or Rome.”

Principle members of the staff will be Randa Vashon as general manager, Chris Peterman as sommelier, and chef Mitchell Ryan. Ryan was the previously the executive chef at Vignola / Cinque Terre.

Here’s a look at the draft menu supplied with the liquor license application to the City:

Here’s a look at the floor plan. The front room (formerly occupied by Vignola) has a long curved bar with with some large format booths and a few tables looking out onto the cobble stoned streets outside. The back restaurant area maintains the layout formerly used at Cinque Terre.

George’s North Shore

A new food truck call George’s North Shore (instagram, facebook) is now under development. Owners Logan and Alison Abbey relocated from Massachusetts several years ago and the North Shore roast beef sandwich is a taste of home they’d like to introduce in Portland.

The feature item on the menu will be a Super Beef Threeway: a grilled buttered bun, thin-sliced rare roast beef, topped with white American cheese, mayo and James River BBQ sauce.

The food truck will launch this coming spring, and the Abbeys plan to do some pop-up events in the meantime. George’s is named for their dog, George Castanza.

Nielsen Joins Magnus on Water

Magnus on Water (websitefacebookinstagramtwitter) has announced they’ve hired chef Ryan Nielsen.

Nielsen has spent the last year working for chef Bowman Brown at Elda and prior to that was the executive sous chef at Armsby Abbey in Worcester, Mass.

Nielsen shared that he finds inspiration in Latin American cuisine but that we should also expect to see notes of Nordic and Japanese/Asian influences on the Magnus menu as well.

Magnus on Water is in the final stages of construction and is expected to open early next year.