This Week’s Events: Collaboration Dinners, Sea Dog Ribbon Cutting, Turamali Pop-up

TuesdaySea Dog Brewing is holding a ribbon cutting for their new location on Broadway in South Portland, and there will be a whiskey blending workshop.

Wednesday – Izakaya Minato and Hugo’s are collaborating on a Kaiseki dinner, Eaux, Belleville and Austin Street are collaborating on a dinner, and Root Wild is teaching a Saurkraut/Kimchi class.

Friday – there will be a surf n turf collaboration between Highroller and Fire & Co.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayGuest chef Johnny Spero from Reverie will collaborating with Evo on a dinner, and Turamali is holding a pop-up dinner at Eaux.

Beard Awards – the list of semifinalists for the 2020 James Beard Awards are scheduled to be released next Wednesday, February 26th. Here’s a look at last year’s list. Do you have some favorite chefs or restaurants you’re hoping to see on the 2020 semifinalist list?

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.

4½ Star Review for The Back Bay Grill

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed The Back Bay Grill.

The surprisingly affordable wine list and Matthews’ stellar cooking are, as ever, the restaurant’s two biggest draws. Sweet, pan-seared scallops in aromatic, leek-strewn crème fraiche broth; and a crunchy, baseball-sized crab cake fashioned from freshly picked Maine crab are two of the menu’s many standouts, although with Matthews in the kitchen, it is hard to go wrong.

This Week’s Events: Acorn Workshop, Sparkling Wine Dinner, Yardie Ting Supper Club

Monday – The Portland Food Co-op will be teaching an Acorn Workshop that will cover “identification, collection, storage, processing, cooking, and consumption” with acorn snacks to sample.

TuesdayTipo is serving a 4-course sparkling wine dinner.

SaturdayYardie Ting is launching their Supper Club at the Public Market House, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

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.

Interviews with Chef Sara Jenkins

Cheftimony has published a podcast interview with Sara Jenkins the chef and owner of Nina June in Rockport.

Born in Maine, Chef spent much of her childhood in Italy, from Tuscany to Rome. To me Sara’s childhood sounds idyllic, and today you’ll hear Chef describe her history with food, from waking up at 4:00am in Rome to the aroma of baking bread, to experiencing Italo-American food when she returned to the US, to making her mark on the culinary scene through her restaurants Porchetta, Porsena, and Nina June. Chef is also a cookbook author, and has recently co-authored The Four Seasons of Pasta with her mother.

Date Night Destinations

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published some advice on picking the right location for a date.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we wondered which local restaurants and bars are best for making a love connection? Does Cupid prefer craft beer or Champagne? White tablecloths, low lighting and whispered sweet nothings, or a casual vibe with lively music, noisy chatter and a down-to-earth menu? Here are a few ideas for igniting, or re-igniting, that spark over food and libations, no matter what your dating status.

Ishi Ishi Opens Friday

Ishi Ishi Ramen (instagram) is scheduled to open for business on Friday, 11 am to 9 pm. The 9-seat ramen bar is located on Washington Ave in The Black Box space that became available when The Cheese Shop moved to larger quarters. Ishi Ishi is looking to fill the gap in the East End line-up of restaurants left when Ramen Suzukiya closed in 2018.

Owners Matthew De Fio and Andrew Doolittle are planning for the shop to be a cellphone-free zone.

De Fio spent 3 years working at Ramen Tatsu-ya in Austin Texas, and has worked in Maine at Enoteca Athena and Vessel and Vine in Brunswick as well as operated his own fresh pasta enterprise Il Dono. Doolittle is the owner of Pot and Pan Kitchen.

Lib’s Midwinter Dairy Experiment

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Lib’s Dairy Treats and their recent mid-winter opening on National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

“I know other places open in the winter, but it’s new for us. We have seven dogs and we each work other part-time jobs off season,” Palwoski said. “We were blown away by how busy we were this past Saturday. We intended to stay open until 8 p.m., but ran out of ice cream around 5. We completely underestimated it. And really, the best part was seeing all the familiar faces and people I’ve known for years with their own kids who have grown up in line here.” 

According to the article Lib’s will be open again this Saturday.

Brew Bus Goes International

The Brew Bus has announced a merger with Dave’s Travel and Events from Sydney, Australia. The newly formed joint company, Vestigo Travel Group, have also announced plans to purchase a majority stake in the North Carolina firm Brews Cruise which was founded in 2006 and “licenses brewery tour operators around the United States, with nine current locations in cities such as Asheville, Boise, Charlotte, Denver, and Raleigh.”

The Brew Bus was founded in Portland in 2012 and now runs tours in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dave’s Travel and Events “was originally founded as Dave’s Brewery Tours in Sydney, Australia in 2014, and has grown to become the largest provider of tours and activities in Sydney.”

“We have always wanted to work together in some way since we met at a beer tourism conference several years ago,” said Zach Poole[, founder of The Brew Bus]. “Dave has quickly become part of the Portland community and we have plans to create new opportunities not only here in Maine but in other parts of the country.”

Vegan Restaurant Under Construction in Biddeford

A new vegan restaurant called Robin’s Table (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction in Biddeford.

Robin’s Table with serve breakfast and lunch  as well as offer cooking classes to “teach the ‘hows and whys’ of vegan transitioning” and provide a meeting space for community events. Owner Robin Adams plans to serve familiar, homestyle dishes and baked goods that just happen to be vegan.

Adams previously owned the Adams Homestyle restaurant in Salem, NH. She’s a longtime adherent to a plant-centered diet.

Robin’s table is located at 420 Elm Street. Adams is hoping to open Robin’s Table sometime in February.

This Week’s Events: Serragrilli Winemaker Dinner, From Maine with Love

ThursdaySolo Italiano is holding a Serragrilli winemaker dinner.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

From Maine With Love – Allagash is holding week long series of events to celebrate Valentine’s Day including a spent grains baking workshop, a truffle making class with Black Dinah.

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.