Thrillist Eating Guide to Portland

Thrillist has published an eating guide to Portland entitled Everywhere You Need to Eat in Portland, Maine Right Now.

Old-timers might tell you that it’s a shame that Grace or Silly’s are no longer around (and it is), traditionalists might come to the city looking for blueberry pie and fresh catches straight from the sea (of which there are plenty). But to rely too heavily on tradition would run the risk of overlooking the creative and wide-ranging work that’s been done in the city over the past decade or so, not to mention what’s happening right now. So read on and discover the best restaurants in Portland, Maine right now.

Highlighted in the article are: Candy’s, Central Provisions, Cong Tu Bot, Duckfat, Eventide, Fore Street, Hugo’s, Izakaya Minato, Local 188, Mr. Tuna, Rose Foods, Ruski’s, The Holy Donut.

Night Moves, Best Bread Bakeries in America

The Food Network has named Biddeford-based Night Moves Bread (website) to their list of the Best Bread Bakeries in America.

Though baker Kerry Hanney’s bread baking style is rooted in European tradition, the flours she uses are all from Maine-grown grains, particularly rye (Maine has the same growing zone as many European countries associated with rye.). Before opening Night Moves Bread in Bitteford, a coastal town about 25 minutes south of Portland, she made a name for herself with those rye-based loaves. Try the Baltic rye, a slowly fermented sourdough loaf made with 100% rye freshly milled in-house and sprouted rye berries as well as local ingredients such as blackstrap molasses, coffee grounds from Speckled Ax and beer from Banded Brewing Co. For another regional taste, opt for the Anadama, a New England-style cornmeal bread made with nixtamalized corn — Hanney uses buttery, sweet Abenaki flint corn — and black strap molasses. The bread is also served at top restaurants around Portland.

Haole Ice Launching This Spring

A new food cart selling Hawaiian shaved ice will be opening this spring. Haole Ice (instagram, facebook) is the creation of Julie and Don Martin who got inspired to open the cart while on a trip to Hawaii for a wedding. They plan to serve “the traditional pineapple, strawberry, lychee and mango to macha tea, sage and passion fruit, basil, sweet corn, and – in tribute to Maine – blueberry and maple.” according to a report in the Press Herald.

Five Fifty-Five to Close

Steve and Michelle Corry have announced plans to close Five Fifty-Five in mid-April.

After much consideration Steve and I have come to the decision to close 555 in its current location in mid-April.
This decision has been extremely difficult and very emotional, but ultimately we want to focus on our family and future projects. We are so appreciative of our supporters, including all of our guests, many of which are now friends, and the wonderful people who have worked with us over the last 17 years. We were touched that when we told our staff yesterday they were all very understanding and supportive. It will be a priority for us to find placement for our entire crew, which is why we have given them several weeks before closing. We hope to see many people in the next few weeks to be able to say goodbye properly. Petite Jacqueline will remain open and several of our signature dishes, including the lobster mac and cheese, will be added to their menu.

Five Fifty-Five opened its doors in 2003. Steve Corry was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2007. The couple went on to also open their French bistro Petite Jacqueline in Longfellow Square 2011, and PJ’s has subsequently moved to its present day location in the Old Port.

For questions about the Five Fifty-Five space, contact Joe Porta at the Porta Company.

Rose Foods Guest Chef Series

Rose Foods is launching their 2nd annual guest chef program later this month. Each week a guest chef will create a signature bagel sandwich that will be featured on the menu Friday – Sunday.

Here’s the 2020 schedule:

  • March 27 – 29, Mr. Tuna
  • April 3 – 5, The Honey Paw
  • April 10 – 12, Noble BBQ
  • April 17 – 19, Cong Tu Bot
  • April 24 – 26, Drifters Wife
  • May 1 – 3, Ramona’s
  • May 8 – 10, Izakaya Minato
  • May 15 – 17, Duckfat
  • May 22 – 24, Central Provisions

This Week’s Events: MRW, Bar Madness, French Wine Dinner

MondayMaine Restaurant Week continues through Thursday.

Tuesday – there will be a French wine dinner at Tipo.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – the Semifinals for the Bar Madness bartender competition 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.

Reviews: Miyake, Dos Naciones

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Miyake, and

Portland’s Miyake has earned a reputation as one of the state’s best Japanese restaurants, thanks in no small part to the skill and creativity of its chef/owner, Masa Miyake.

the Press Herald has reviewed Dos Naciones.

This is another addition to the Portland restaurant scene that seems to be well worth supporting. The owner has said that it has long been her dream to own her own restaurant, and the love and care she puts into the food shows.

Bill Leavy Departing from East Ender

Bill Leavy, co-owner and chef of East Ender has shared plans to leave the restaurant for a new career outside the hospitality industry at the end of this month.

Leavy’s business partner and co-chef/owner Karl Deuben will continue operating the restaurant along with GM Janet Webber.

After 20 years in the industry, 16 of them in Portland, ME, I’ve decided it’s time to try something new. The lessons I’ve learned from the chefs I had the pleasure to works under will undoubtably assist me in future endeavors. From my beginnings at Hugo’s and Rob Evans, to Back Bay Grill with Larry Matthews to Masa Miyake, I will always feel incredibly fortunate to have spent time in their kitchens and learn from their experience.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve the chance to work with throughout my culinary career (looking at you Camille Mann). Most importantly my wife Janet Webber and my business partner and friend Karl Deuben. I am delighted with what we have achieved at the East Ender over the past five years and excited to witness the continued success from across a table.

Leavy and Deuben co-founded the Small Axe food truck in 2013 as part of the first crop of entrepreneurs to launch mobile food businesses after the city approved the ordinance the prior year. They expanded their business and built on their prior success by taking over the East Ender in 2015.