Reviews: Blue Spoon, Eaux, Bonobo

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Blue Spoon,

Occasionally though, everything comes together as it should, and it’s possible to see Lavey’s skills in full flight. Take the grilled Broad Arrow Farm pork loin served with bacony white beans, roasted Brussels sprouts and a creamy dill-and-mustard sauce ($28). It’s a precisely balanced plate, with lightness from sherry vinegar and a breadth of textures and flavors that draw you back until suddenly, it’s all gone.

The Bollard has reviewed Eaux, and

It’s not strictly traditional; the chicken is boneless, which I know is blasphemy to purists. But from the spicy, crunchy coating — fried just to the brink of burnt — to the moist and succulent meat inside, this is damn near perfect. The waffle is just as good. Crisp on the outside, impossibly light and fluffy on the inside, the only thing these beauties need is a smear of the sweet, earthy cane syrup that’s gently drizzled around the edge of the plate.

Portland Phoenix has reviewed Bonobo.

Let’s talk about that pizza. Fired in a wood oven at lower temperatures than the standard 700-800°F range, the dough gets a bit more time to set before exiting the heat, resulting in a thin, slightly chewy and pleasantly sweet crust with just a touch of smoke and sourness to it. Perhaps most akin to the end product served at Lazzari, the pizza at Bonobo — more restrained in toppings and thus lighter in feel — is unique to itself and without any true analogs in the area

Also, the Press Herald has published an article about Baxter Brewing new pub in Lewiston.

Sticky Sweet Kickstarter Success

Sticky Sweet (website, facebook, instagram) has successfully completed a $22k Kickstarter campaign. Co-owners Kelley and Ashley Dow raised the funds to expand the production capacity of their dairy-free, gluten-free vegan ice cream business.

The Dows have leased a 600 sq ft space at 115 Cumberland Ave—just around the corner from the restaurants on Washington Ave—where they’ll be opening a Sticky Sweet scoop shop.

2019 Good Food Award Finalists

Congratulations to the Maine food producers named finalists in the 2019 Good Food Awards:

  • Beer – Liquid Riot for their Blushing Star Barrel-Aged Lager
  • CharcuterieA Small Good for their Cider Brined Coppa
  • Cider – Portersfield Cider for their Ridlon 16/2
  • Coffee – Bard Coffee for their Organic Costa Rica La Mirella
  • Spirits – Liquid Riot for both their Old Port Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Fernet Michaud

The winners will be announced January 11 at a gala in San Francisco.

Canning Beverages

Today’s Press Herald reports on the expanded use of canning in favor of bottles, including for beverages like kombucha and cocktails.

“Cans are undoubtedly a more sustainable packaging vehicle,” Emmerich said. “They cost less to make. They cost less to ship. They’re more easily recyclable.” Canning is also faster than bottling. Madden said Lone Pine initially hand-bottled its product at a rate of 10 cases per hour. A canning line can produce 40 cans per minute, he said. “All the beer styles we do right now lend themselves to cans,” Madden said. “They’re made to be consumed soon. Fresher is better, and cans promote that idea.”

Maine’s first craft brewery to go all in with cans was Baxter Brewing back in 2010.

10 Years Ago in November

Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in November 2008:

    • Olive Cafe took over the space formerly occupied by Mike Keon’s restaurant One-Eyed Jack on Commercial Street.
    • Steve Corry was quoted in an article for Single Edition, “The way we see it is that if someone is willing to come in alone to dine with us then he/she has an elevated level of expectation that we will strive to exceed.”
    • Hugo’s held the 8th Annual Potato Dinner, “7-course meal featuring Maine grown potatoes and other root vegetables”
    • Dean’s Sweets opened at the original location on Middle Street on November 22nd.
    • The Maine episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern aired.
    • Both Binga’s Wingas and Al-Mustaqim Halal Market were damaged by a three-alarm blaze in Bramhall Square. The Binga’s building was replaced by Peloton Labs, but the Al-Mustaqim space has just undergone considerable renovation and is now in 2018 available for lease.
    • A campaign called Take Back the Tap was having some success in getting restaurants to stop serving bottled water.

This Week’s Events: Beer Week, Elda Wine Dinner, Food System Challenge, Brewmaster, Stars and Stripes, Claire Z. Cramer

MondayPortland Beer Week is taking place through Saturday.

Tuesday – Elda is holding a Austrian wine dinner featuring wines from Netzl.

Wednesday – the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Friday – it’s the opening day of the 2018 New England Food System Innovation Challenge at Saint Joseph’s College, and Rosemont is holding a wine tasting at their West End location.

Saturday – Space Gallery is screening the movie Brewmaster, there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and  the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayStars & Stripes Brewing is holding the Grand Opening of their tasting room in Freeport, Two Fat Cats is teaching a pie baking class, and friends of the late food writer Claire Z. Cramer will be gathering at Tiqa to remember her and her life.

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.

Now Open: Totally Tubers, De Nada Empanadas

Two new businesses launched over the weekend:

Totally Tubers, a new food vendor on the second floor of the Public Market House. Totally Tubers sells Russet and sweet potato based dishes. Totally Tubers is run by the same owners as Daily Greens.

De Nada Empanadas (instagram) launched on Saturday at Bunker Brewing. De Nada is Winter business run by the owners of the Fishin Ships food truck. They will be making the rounds at various Portland breweries.

Reviews: Bob’s Clam Hut, Pizzarino, 3 Poké Restaurants

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bob’s Clam Hut,

When you’ve finished that, move on to any of belly clam dishes. Sure, you could stick to a remarkably tender clam strip roll ($15.95) and not be disappointed, but the goal here is complete satisfaction – you’re in a fried seafood shack, after all. So head right for the Clams 2 Ways ($24.95), a generous basket that lets you pit Lillian’s puffed, crispy version of fried whole-bellies against Bob’s, which is a shade or two more caramel in color, with a fuller salinity. The two preparations differ by just a couple of ingredients and an extra minute in oil, but the difference in taste is striking.

the Press Herald has reviewed Pizzarino, and

Located in Zapoteca’s old space, Pizzarino is owned by three Milanese friends, one of whom also started Paciarino, a pasta-centric restaurant down the street. Opened in August, this place focuses on pizza, rice-based dishes and gnocchi. The bar area is lovely, with comfortable wooden barstools with backs and purse hooks underneath the bar. There’s even a tiny outdoor seating area. One of the owners greeted me and my two friends when we arrived and clearly wanted to make sure we enjoyed ourselves.

Portland Phoenix has reviewed Big Fin Poké, Poké Pop and Crunchy Poké.

And what you get is pretty good, especially if you don’t choose yourself. While Crunch and Pop emphasize the house’s pre-designed combinations, Big Fin’s chalkboard is dominated by a “build your own” section, nudging you to select from dozens of “mix-ins” and toppings and proteins. Inevitably you choose too many, and the toppings pile up in the wide paper bowl. What are you gonna do, not get more stuff? If we had that kind of restraint we would not be in this mess.

Rock Row Food Hall

Plans for Rock Row, the new development in the former gravel pit off Brighton Ave, is slated to feature a 25,000 sq ft “food hall” with space for 15 food vendors, 7 beverage tasting rooms and seating for more than 500 people.

Inspired by the great public markets of the past and the future of Greater Portland’s deeply authentic food culture, Rock Row’s Beer and Food Hall will be an unparalleled dining, tasting, beer and wine experience. Curated by Colicchio Consulting, purveyors will offer a wide selection of local ingredients, artisanal goods, and onsite brews, while chef driven cuisine will mix with live music to bring together a vibrant mix of locals and visitors.

They’re now accepting vendor applications from “purveyors [that] will offer a wide selection of local ingredients, artisanal goods, and onsite brews…[and]…chef driven cuisine”. They’re now accepting vendor applications.