The Portland Phoenix has reviewed Punky’s.

But I consider myself somewhat of an eggplant parmesan connoisseur, at least among the local places, so Punky’s version is the first sandwich I try. The eggplant is crispy and amply salted, avoiding two frequent mistakes that leave the regal eggplant tasting more like bitter shoe rubber. Two thoughtful additions, sautûed green peppers and a controlled hand with the sauce, move Punky’s parm to the top of the heap.

Borealis Breads Bakery & Bistro

The Maine Switch has published a profile of Borealis Breads Bakery & Bistro on Ocean Ave. The Switch reports that Borealis is starting a monthly dinner speakers series.

“The first will feature the builders who constructed the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, who will talk about how to create one in a backyard and how to cook with wood. The second will likely feature Aroostook County wheat farmer Matt Williams.”

Ricetta's Pizzeria

Type A Diversions has reviewed Ricetta’s Pizzeria.

“Ricetta’s is not fine dining. The glasses and plates are plastic, patrons are asked to re-use their silverware, and the decor is rather basic – industrial carpet and wooden booths, tables and chairs. But if you’re seeking consistently well-prepared pizza and reasonable prices, Ricetta’s is worth a visit.”

Photo Credit: Type A Diversions

This Week's Events

The grand opening for Paciarino is taking place today as is the first of the new season of cooking classes from Piatto per Tutti.  On Wednesday the biweekly Winter Farmers’ Market will be held in Monument Square. Wednesday evening the Slow Food Portland Book Group is meeting to discuss The Fly-Truffler by Gustaf Sobin, and there’s a cooking class at Black Tie. Friday morning the Ready brothers will be speaking at the Egg & Issues event about their business Catch a Piece of Maine. On Saturday there’s a class on gluten-free Italian cooking in Falmouth.  For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

January Bollard

The new issue of The Bollard includes a another installment in the Land of Forgotten Cocktails series by mixologist John Myers, a few more details about the new restaurant that Binga’s hopes to open on Washington Avenue, as well as a review of the caprine cuisine at Federal Spice and Hamdi Restaurant and Grocery. The goat dish at Federal Spice is one of the Jamaican items on the menu added by owner Eric Martin.

“The Curried Goat Platter at Federal Spice in downtown Portland is a pile of braised goat chunks served beside a pile of rice and peas…the curried goat at Federal Spice is the real deal.”

“Gastronomically, the goat plate at Hamdi is remarkably similar to the one served at Federal Spice: a big plate of flavorful meat falling off the bones, and a mound of tasty yellow rice. “