Upcoming Food & Dining Events

ThursdayThe Cheese Shop will be teaching a beer and cheese pairing class at Allagash.

SundayPo’ Boys & Pickles is holding a Crawfish Boil at Baxter Brewing in Lewiston.

June 10-16Portland Wine Week is taking place.

June 17 – The 3rd Annual ChopTails Competition will be taking place at Batson River.

June 22 – The Great Falls Brewfest is taking place in Lewiston.

June 29 – The 3rd Annual Mast Landing Wavy Days Festival is taking place.

July 25/26 – The Kneading Conference is taking place in Skowhegan.

August 3/4 – The Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend is taking place.

August 30September 1Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

September 8 – The Maine Cheese Festival is taking place in Pittsfield.

September 20-22 – The Common Ground Fair will be taking place.

October 13 – The 16th Annual Open Creamery Day is taking place.

Thai Tree Review

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Thai Tree.

Cocktails like the bourbon-and-galangal Vogue and Thai-tea-based Open Your Heart are nods to the iconic pop star (as are all the boozy drinks on the cocktail menu). But you don’t need to be a Madonna fan to eat here. The food menu features some impressive cooking, most of which is prepared from scratch, like fragrant, well-spiced red curries; pad kee mao with wide, supple rice noodles, homemade brown sauce and torn holy basil; and delightful pandan-infused mango sticky rice.

Maine Food & Dining News: Waterville, Wiscasset

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know:

The Maine Food Map List

Over the last couple years we’ve road-tripped through all of Maine’s sixteen counties to see the state and explore Maine’s food and dining scene. While there’s still so much more to do in that regard, we’re pleased to introduce the Maine Food Map, a growing guide to notable coffee shops, bars, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and other food and dining businesses from all around the state.

The list is a work-in-progress—just like the Maine restaurant scene itself—it will continue to grow as the new establishments come to light and as we work through our extensive backlog of businesses to write-up.

The Maine Food Map currently has 83 entries representing nearly 60 communities from all of Maine’s sixteen counties. We hope you can put it to good use this summer to plan your own eating and travel adventures in Maine.

Check the Maine Food & Dining column each week for a list of new additions, and please keep sending in your recommendations for places across the state that we should visit, share on social media and add to the list.

Lil Chippy on Washington Ave

A  fish and chips shop called Lil Chippy (instagram) is under construction at 52 Washington Ave in the space formerly occupied by Radici (and before that Terlingua).

Owners Ashley Wolf and William Durst hope to open Lil Chippy by the end of June. Fish and chips will be the signature dish at the 30-seat counter service restaurant but Durst and Wolf also plan for a menu that also features seafood-centric small plates, sandwiches and a selection of wine and beer.

Wolf is currently the GM of Liquid Riot and when the couple lived in Vermont she was the GM at Hen of the Woods in Waterbury. Durst also worked at Hen of the Woods, and was the original chef at Bistro Leluco is South Portland when it opened in 2023.

Supper Club Cocktail Lounge

Cocktail Mary (websiteinstagram) founder Isaac MacDougal along with Jake Bosma, Brecken Macdougal and Zach Myers and  have leased the former Guitar Grave space at 441 Congress Street where they plan to open the Supper Club Cocktail Lounge (instagram) in early fall.

In creating Supper Club Cocktail Lounge we hope to add an anchor of community life in the heart of downtown Portland. Our aim is to become the “third place” for people living in Portland by offering hearty, affordable, locally sourced whole foods coupled with thoughtfully executed, delicious cocktails.

Our wine list will host producers from underrepresented communities making wine with sustainability in mind as well as a comprehensive champagne list for curious palettes and special occasions. Our beer menu will be composed of package and draft domestic and imported beer. Our cocktail menu will cover a wide range, with highballs that capture affordability and mindful ABVs, and martinis of every kind, for celebrations large and small. There will also be a variety of alcohol free options representing each of these categories.

The 2,400 sq ft space will have (see floor plan below) a main dining room with a 10-seat bar and banquette seating along the opposite wall with two large tables for communal seating in the front of the room. A curtain enclosure will enable the left side table to be a semiprivate space. An additional lounge area with its own 6-seat bar will be available for special events, private dinners, and overflow seating on busy nights. Outdoor seating is also part of the plan.

Isaac MacDougal grew up in Portland where his family owned and operated Vaughan Street Variety. He launched Cocktail Mary on November 8, 2019. Prior to returning to Maine he worked in the restaurant industry in NYC including time at Maialino, WD-50 and Diner. Bosma will serve as the beverage director for Supper Club, Brecken MacDougal as its operations manager and Myers as its contractor and facilities manager.

Supper Club is just starting to build out their team. Anyone interested in becoming part of “an organization that fosters community through breaking bread and social engagement” should contact them at info@supperclubcocktaillounge.com.

Duckfat Changes Hands

Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh have sold their restaurants Duckfat and Duckfat Frites Shack and retired from the restaurant industry. The team at Duckfat and overall philosophy of the business will remain the same. A 16-year veteran team member and front of house manager, Trevor Lilly, will be the overall GM of the business and the new owner of Duckfat is David Shryock. The sale was completed on April 30th.

We caught up with Pugh and Evans recently. They shared their pride in what they’d built at Duckfat and their confidence in the team’s ability to independently carry their vision for Duckfat in the coming years. In fact it was the commitment and skill of the Duckfat staff that made Evans and Pugh comfortable that company could continue on without them under new ownership.

Trevor Lilly shared some similar sentiments about the path forward for Duckfat,

The Duckfat team is passionate about building upon Rob and Nancy’s legacy. We couldn’t be more excited to be stewards of the collaborative, respectful, and dynamic culture they’ve fostered over the years. We look forward to continuing to cultivate approachable menus with a focus on consistency, technique, and a commitment to supporting the Maine food and beverage community. More than anything, our staff is thrilled to continue to provide delicious food and exceptional service to our friends in Portland – in our hearts, we see both locations as neighborhood spots.

Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh moved to Portland and took over Hugo’s in 2000 and for nearly a quarter of a century have been central figures in the Portland restaurant community. The couple launched Duckfat in 2005 and Duckfat Frites Shack on Washington Ave in 2018. Evans was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2004, and he won a James Beard award in the Best Chef North East category in 2009. A legion of their former employees at Hugo’s and Duckfat have gone on to make their own mark in the industry.

There’s a Lot Going On

Even when factoring in for the normal rapid base of developments in the Portland restaurant scene, there’s been a lot going on this spring. If you’re feeling like nearly every day there’s a new opening or news of another new business development, well that’s because that’s not far off from being the case.

To get caught-up and to see the scale of what’s been happening, here’s a summary of recent/upcoming opening:

And here’s a quick list of other business changes in Portland that have emerged in April and May:

Magissa to Open Thursday

Magissa (instagram), the new Greek restaurant in East Bayside, is set to open on Thursday. It’s located in the former Baharat space at the corner of Fox and Anderson Streets.

Owners Nancy Klosteridis and Emily Otero have held a series of preopening dinner services to tune up the restaurant and are now ready to open to the public. The restaurant will be open Thursday through Monday, 5 – 9 pm.

The menu (see below) includes modern renditions of Greek dishes with mezze, small plates, entrees and flexible gyro and salad options. Many of the dishes are gluten-free. Across the board the menu taps into the Klosteridis’ family recipes and taste memories as a guide. The bar program will include cocktails, draft wines by the glass/carafe, and draft beer. Low ABV and nonalcoholic drinks are also available.

Shown above are Tomato Martini (Ford’s gin, reyka, vermouth, tomato water), Mezze Plate with skordalia, briami, halloumi, taramosalata), Paros Chicken served with brussels sprouts, lemon rice and mustard veloute. The last two photos are of the Pavlova (rosemary, lemon, pistachio) and of the Baklava (pistachios, walnuts, almonds, orange, honey) on the dessert menu.

Five of Clubs Has Opened

The Five of Clubs (instagram) cocktail bar opened on Friday. It’s located on the ground floor of the 48-room Longfellow Hotel at 754 Congress Street in the West End.

The bar menu (see below) features a selection of cocktails, beer, cider, wine by the glass and bottle and a list of nonalcoholic drinks (see the functional cocktails section). Shown above is the Mas Vida (mezcal, aperol, coconut, lime) cocktail. Five of Clubs opens daily at 3 pm.

The food menu at Five of Clubs and the daytime Twinflower Cafe at the Longfellow Hotel will launch Thursday, May 23rd. You can see menus for the bar and for the cafe created by chef Wilson Suliveras on the Longfellow Hotel website. The Twinflower Cafe will be open 7 am – 2 pm.