Fit to Eat Update

Portland in a Snap has published an update on Fit to Eat. The Old Port eatery was recently bought by Mike Mastronardi who resume includes stints at Five Fifty-Five and the Haraseeket Inn.

“Five Fifty-Five really taught me how to cook,” Mike says of the fine dining restaurant, where he still works Sunday brunch.

Recently he was offered the opportunity to take over the reigns at Fit to Eat, and he jumped at it. He re-opened the shop two weeks ago with a pared down menu and scratch made breads.

Vegetarian Food Festival

Mitten Machen has published an illustrated report on last weekend’s Vegetarian Food Festival.

In the last few months, Portland’s growing appetite for vegan cuisine has made way for a raw vegan restaurant and two dairy-free bakeries. Representatives from the recently-opened GRO Cafe were mobbed by people scarfing down their handmade coconut-filled and chili-laced raw chocolates. Further down the rows of tables, I tried some cornbread and a brownie made by K’s Vegan Treats, a bakery offering whole grain, sugar-free quickbreads, brownies, cookies, and cakes that will open later this summer in the Public Market House.

Jacques de Villier, Farms and Lobster

There’s a really nice profile in today’s Press Herald on Jacques de Villier the owner of Old Port Wine Merchants.

Tell Jacques de Villier what kind of wine you like, what you’re going to drink it with and how much you want to pay, and he’ll give you what you really want.

He’ll probably throw in a good yarn, too, because a love of stories is the other thing de Villier is known for among his regular customers. Some of his ostensibly true tales are a bit hard to believe – was this unpretentious, garrulous wine merchant really in military intelligence? – and he seems to get that. When he senses skepticism about the claim that he graduated from The Citadel, the famous military school in South Carolina, for example, de Villier pulls up a photo of himself in uniform on the computer.

Also in today’s paper is a timely reminder that this Sunday is Maine’s Open Farm Day–think Maple Sugar Sunday but with animals and orchards instead of syrup. There are 100+ participating farms across the state and 11 are here in Cumberland County.
There is also a Bill Nemitz column on the proposed lobster boat tie-up and the price of lobster, as well as a front page story on the recent shooting incident involving a pair of lobstermen.

The shooting appears to be the most extreme example of growing tensions all along the coast as Maine lobstermen and their families face historic financial pressures related to the global recession and a drop in demand. Some lobstermen are trying to organize a mass work stoppage to force prices higher.

Lobstermen May Organize a Tie-Up

According to an article in today’s Press Herald Maine lobstermen are “talking about a possible work stoppage to start as soon as next week.”

Frustrated with prices that continue to sink because of weak demand, lobstermen said they might stay on shore temporarily in an effort to reduce supplies and make their catches more valuable.

Lobstermen have threatened such shutdowns, known as tie-ups, in the past, and some have organized small-scale tie-ups in recent years to protest low prices or reduce excess supplies. But the fishermen also are notoriously independent, and there has not been a large-scale tie-up in decades.

Kon Asian Bistro Review

Erik Desjarlais, the chef/owner of Evangeline, has published a review on his blog of Kon Asian Bistro.

The food began to arrive. Spicy Tuna tartare, with fried tempura batter that was crumbled in to a tasty, crunchy little pile. Yes, a pile of tempura crumble. (mind you all, I know absolutely nothing about asian cooking AT ALL…krista explained what it was.) We devoured the whole thing. The tuna was just spicy enough, and the three sauces were perfect. (???????????perfect????????) Was I buzzed from my Sapphire and Tonic? I looked over and saw that I was only half finished, so no. The dish was GOOD. (I still can’t believe I am writing this.) I ate what was left of the pile of crumbled batter.

This Week's Events

There’s a lot going on this week. The weekly Food and Drink Trivia Contest is at Bull Feeney’s tonight. Brooklyn Brewery will be at Novare Res on Tuesday where the bar will have nearly 20 Brooklyn beers on tap. Also on Tuesday the next Wine Flight 5k Training run is taking place. Both The Salt Exchange and Jones Landing are holding wine events on Wednesday.  There are wine tastings this week at Browne Trading and Black Tie Bistro on Thursday, Rosemont on Friday, and Kitcheen and Cork on Saturday. The next Cultivating Community Twilight Dinner is scheduled for Thursday at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth.  Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. Saturday afternoon the 7th Annual Festival of Nations will be in Deering Oaks Park. To wrap up the weekend Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe is holding a Portuguese Wine Dinner on Sunday. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

This Week’s Events

There’s a lot going on this week. The weekly Food and Drink Trivia Contest is at Bull Feeney’s tonight. Brooklyn Brewery will be at Novare Res on Tuesday where the bar will have nearly 20 Brooklyn beers on tap. Also on Tuesday the next Wine Flight 5k Training run is taking place. Both The Salt Exchange and Jones Landing are holding wine events on Wednesday.  There are wine tastings this week at Browne Trading and Black Tie Bistro on Thursday, Rosemont on Friday, and Kitcheen and Cork on Saturday. The next Cultivating Community Twilight Dinner is scheduled for Thursday at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth.  Farmers’ Markets are being held in Monument Square on Wednesday and at Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. Saturday afternoon the 7th Annual Festival of Nations will be in Deering Oaks Park. To wrap up the weekend Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe is holding a Portuguese Wine Dinner on Sunday. For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.