Portland in a Snap has published a profile of Barava, the new Somali restaurant located on Congress near Longfellow Square.

Along with the tea, Ahmed gave me a primer on Somali cuisine, which calls on a wide-range of influences. These include food traditions from India, other African nations and other Middle Eastern countries, which reflect Somalia’s long history as a trading hub. Somali cuisine also contains elements of Italian cooking, picked up during the years of Italian colonization.

PSO Wine Dinner

The Portland Symphony’s annual wine dinner and auction is scheduled for March 30 at the Haraseeket Inn in Freeport. This year’s talented line-up of chefs are:

Jonathan Cartwright, Executive Chef, White Barn Inn
Steve Corry, Proprietor & Executive Chef, Five Fifty-Five
Mitchell Kaldrovich, Executive Chef, Inn By the Sea
Gallit Sammon, Chef de Cuisine, Harraseeket Inn
Melody Wolfertz, Proprietor & Executive Chef, In Good Company
Each year, the 5-course dinner centers around the wines from a different part of the globe. This year’s geographic focus is Australia.
Tickets are $150 and you can make reservations by calling (207) 773-6128 x309.

RWME This Year and Next

There’s a post on Portbrio about the mussels and porter tasting at Brian Boru last night.

It was an evening of first-time tastings: me with the mussels and everyone else with the porter. Though I don’t think any of them panicked with their first sip of beer.

The Portland Daily Sun has a report on RWME’s success this year and plans for next year.

Organizers of Restaurant Week announced yesterday that the event will be back in March 2010, again staged from March 1 through March 10 where it is positioned between winter and spring.

Port City Life

coverThe March/April issue of Port City Life includes a brief profile of Local 188 illustrated with photos by Stacey Cramp. It also has the recipe for 188’s saffron mussels. The articles are only available in the print issue of the magazine.

A few months ago, I caught up with owner Jay Villani, who gave me a tour of the new Local. He likens his restaurant to a Turkish ballroom. Vintage glass light fixtures tinted lime green and tangerine hang from the ceiling. Banquettes scattered with throw pillows make for cozy dining.”

Paciarino in The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe has reviewed Paciarino.

The maccheroni pomodoro at Paciarino, a brand new pasta restaurant here, is a simple, perfect dish. Similar to rigatoni, maccheroni is handmade daily in the restaurant’s big open kitchen. The sauce, bright red and summertime sweet – even in winter – is made with garlic, plenty of olive oil, fresh basil, and the best imported canned tomatoes. This specialty comes out in a big warm bowl topped with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. Italian soul food.

This Week’s Events

RestaurantWeekME winds up this week on Tuesday. In addition to the prix fixe menus at 30+ Portland restaurants there are also special events on the schedule for RestaurantWeekME on Monday and Tuesday. Piatto per Tutti is teaching a cooking class on Monday.  Bar Lola is hosting a beer dinner on Tuesday night. RSVP is holding a wine tasting on Wednesday. The second class of the Maine Food & Drink Institute’s cheese course is also on Tuesday night, and on Thursday The Cheese Iron is teaching a class on blue cheeses. International Stout Bout is on the calendar for Thursday at The Great Lost Bear. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

The Farmer’s Table Review

farmers-table-portland-maine-frontType A Diversions has reviewed Chef Landry’s new restaurant The Farmer’s Table.

The sign outside The Farmer’s Table the night we dined advertised “comfort food” – the perfect description for the simply prepared cuisine found inside…Bottom line: For those seeking simply prepared, well-executed comfort food, The Farmer’s Table fits the bill; it is a great new addition to Portland’s food scene.

Photo Credit: Type A Diversions