Review of Yobo

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Yobo,

Had I been hungry, I would have been delighted to order more. The food was outstanding, and I can hardly wait to return. I couldn’t help but notice that it was slow the entire time we were there, but it’s a mistake not giving yourself the opportunity to try Yobo. If you like spicy, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Fear not however, as the spice, while obviously present and strong, stops short of painful in favor of good, old fashioned flavor…and lots of it. Yobo will make your bellies full and your taste buds sing.

PPPE has also published his annual Eating Awards for 2018.

Phoenix: Looking Forward to 2019

Erik Neilson with the Portland Phoenix has highlighted 5 restaurants due out in 2019 that he’s most looking forward to.

Even discounting Bon Appétit magazine’s “Restaurant City of the Year” honors and the aftermath, 2018 was yet another stellar time for the Portland dining scene. It was also a good year for openings, with Lio, Drifters Wife (in its new space) and Crown Jewel leading the pack in terms of new and worthwhile experiences. And while the list of establishments set to open in 2019 is sparser than recent years, there are still a handful of interesting developments to keep an eye on in the coming months. 

NYE Entertaining

Forbes magazine talked with Andrew and Briana Volk for some New Year’s Eve entertaining advice.

1. Pre-batch your cocktails
“Not every drink needs to be made one at a time,” says Volk, “just multiply the numbers and make a big batch. People will get excited pouring their own Old Fashioned directly from a pitcher. Overall, stick to about three cocktails — too much choice can be its own problem, and it also encourages people to overserve themselves. Better to have two great things than five ok things, and save the 12-ingredient cocktails for another time.” See Briana’s recipes for batching a Slow Gin Fizz and Mexican Trike below.

Federal Spice Closed Christmas Eve

Federal Spice (website, facebook) has gone out of business. A sign posted at the restaurant by owner Eric Martin indicates that the restaurant closed December 24th because the owner was “unable to reach an amicable lease renewal” for the new year. The message goes on to say that,

The Federal Spice team would like to sincerely thank all our customers for their support and patronage over the years and wish you well.

ABCs of 2018

The Press Herald has published their alphabetical take on the past year’s food trends and events.

No doubt, the new year will bring plenty of fresh food news. But before we ring in 2019, let’s hit the pause button and review the biggest Maine food news, events and trends of 2018. What restaurants opened this year? Which closed? Which foods captured our hearts, minds and taste buds? Here’s a recap, from A to Z…

The big news from MaineToday Media (the parent company of the newspaper) is their decision to discontinue the Source section of the Sunday Telegram, and to fold the Wednesday Food & Dining section and food coverage from Source into a single weekly Food & Dining section which will be published on Sundays.

This Week’s Events: Seven Fishes, MBC Tap Takeover, NYE List

Monday – Bolster Snow is back for one night to serve a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner.

Tuesday – it’s Christmas.

Thursday – Bao Bao is holding a Maine Beer Company tap takeover.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

New Year’s Eve – restaurants have been announcing their NYE dinner options:

  • Baharat – will be serving a special NYE menu.
  • Blue Spoon – 4-course dinner with champagne toast, optionan wine pairing $60 per person.
  • Central Provisions – 7-course dinner with pairings, $150 per person. Two seatings at 6 pm and 10 pm.
  • Evo – 6-course dinner, $100 per person with optional $40 wine pairings.
  • Falmouth Country Club – chef Nick Verdisco is serving a New Year’s Eve dinner, $80 per person.
  • Five Fifty-Five – 4-course dinner for $90 per person, 7-course for $125 per person.
  • Grace – 4-course dinner with bubbles for $85 per person.
  • Isa – 3-course dinner for $65 per person.
  • Lio – 5-course dinner.
  • Local 188 – open serving their regular menu.
  • Lolita – 6-course dinner for $110 per person (tax and tip included).
  • North 43 Bistro – 4-course dinner.
  • Novare Res – will be serving “our best lambics and spontaneous bottles” by the glass.
  • Petite Jacqueline –  3-course dinner for $55 per person, 5-course dinner for $75 per person.
  • Piccolo – 5-course dinner for $85 per person.
  • Sur Lie – serving both their standard and a special NYE menu.
  • Terlingua – 5-course dinner and champagne toast for $85 per person.
  • The Honey Paw – is serving a dim sum menu all night.
  • Tiqa – 3-course dinner with champagne for $55 per person with seatings at 5, 7, and 9:30.
  • Vinland – 5-course dinner for $95 with optional pairings for $55; two seatings at 6 and 8:30.
  • Woodford F&B – serving their standard menu ” enhanced with festive specials”

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.

Best of 2018

In lieu of his weekly review, Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic Andrew Ross has posted a round-up of his  favorite restaurants and food of 2018.

So reflecting on my favorites this year has been a different exercise than it was in the past. I’ve spent the back half of 2018 thinking and talking with people about places I adore and why I love them, recently departed restaurants I’ll miss dearly and dishes I can’t wait to try again.