Upcoming Events: Hearts of Glass,Winter Market, Lists

Tuesday – The Press Hotel is screening Hearts of Glass a documentary about the Vertical Harvest greenhouse in Jackson Hole. Vertical Harvest is now building a 70,000 square foot greenhouse in Westbrook. Following the screening the Press Hotel will host a panel and Q&A with the filmmaker, a Vertical Harvest co-founder, employee Sean Stone, and Maine Medical Center’s Employee Relationship Specialist Chris Hynes.

Thursday – Miyake is set to re-open (rescheduled from Tuesday the 29th).

Saturday – it’s the first day of the Winter Farmers’ Market which is located at the Stevens Square Community Center.

December 10Bissell Brothers is serving a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

December 11Koji Alchemy author Rich Shih will be at Judy Gibson for a koji workshop and fermentation dinner.

December 18Helm is holding a prime rib dinner.

Christmas – here’s the start of our Christmas list. We’ll be adding entries as businesses announce their plans. Drop us a line if you know of a Christmas offering not yet on the list.

  • Sea Glass – 3-course dinner; $85 per person, $42 for children 4 – 12.

New Year’s Eve – here the start of our NYE list. We’ll be adding entries as businesses announce their plans. Drop us a line if you know of a New Year’s Eve offering not yet on the list.

  • Elda – tasting menu for $160 per person.
  • Helm – 4-course dinner for $80 with optional wine pairings for $45.
  • Wine Wise – a virtual wine dinner for two for $275.

Miyake Reopening Next Thursday


After an extensive renovation, Miyake (website, facebook, instagram) is set to reopen Thursday, December 1st. The new Miyake will seat 28 with a 10-seat beverage bar up front (shown above), an 8-seat sushi counter and table banquet seating.

Chef/owner Masa Miyake has prepared a menu that includes a variety of nigiri, sashimi and house-created rolls as well as sashimi and nigiri omakase options. The rice dish section of the menu includes a made to order kamameshi with king salmon and ikura fish roe. There are also a number of shareable plates which Miyake has adapted from traditional Japanese dishes such as a lobster chawanmushi. You can see a few photos of the dishes on the Miyake instagram account. The beverage program will includes sake, wine, house-designed cocktails, and a pair of draft beers.

Miyake will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 – 9 pm. The front bar will be held for walk-in customers and the remaining seats will be available for reservations. During their first week Miyake will be for walk-ins only—the Tock reservation calendar starts on December 6th and will go live on November 29th. Miyake is located at 468 Fore Street.

Chef Masa Miyake opened his first Portland restaurant Food Factory Miyake at 129 Spring Street in 2007. Pai Men Miyake followed suit in the fall of 2010, and Miyake on Fore Street opened its doors on July 13, 2011. Masa Miyake was a James Beard Awards Best Chef: Northeast nominee in 2015, and a semifinalist nominee in 2014.

Upcoming Events/Thanksgiving List

Wednesday – the last outdoor Portland Farmers’ Market of the season is taking place at Deering Oaks Park. Stop by for your last minute Thanksging shopping needs. The indoor market will kick-off on December 3rd and will be located at 631 Stevens Ave.

Thanksgiving – here’s the 2022 Thanksgiving dining and takeout list:

November 26 – it’s the official grand opening for Sweetcream Dairy in Biddeford.

November 29 – The Press Hotel is screening Hearts of Glass a documentary about the Vertical Harvest greenhouse in Jackson Hole. Vertical Harvest is now building a 70,000 square foot greenhouse in Westbrook. Following the screening the Press Hotel will host a panel and Q&A with the filmmaker, a Vertical Harvest co-founder, employee Sean Stone, and Maine Medical Center’s Employee Relationship Specialist Chris Hynes.

December 3 – it’s the first day of the Winter Farmers’ Market which is located at the Stevens Square Community Center.

December 10Bissell Brothers is serving a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

December 11Koji Alchemy author Rich Shih will be at Judy Gibson for a koji workshop and fermentation dinner.

December 18Helm is holding a prime rib dinner.

Reviews: Broken Arrow, Mi Sen

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed of Broken Arrow, and

The frequently updated menu showcases local ingredients and strikes a harmonious balance between comforting dishes like charred-allium smashed potatoes, roasted carrots with tahini, and polenta with wild-boar ragu (echoing the taxidermized boar that glowers bucktoothed over the bar), as well as more refined plates like a memorable tuna crudo with “deviled egg” aioli and sweet corn risotto topped with a quick-pickle-like local tomato salsa that is one of the best things I’ve eaten all year. The dining room is loud and dark, but excellent food and welcoming service make the tradeoff worthwhile.

the Mainer has reviewed of Mi Sen.

The menu and décor haven’t changed much in the last decade, and I love that. I know exactly what to expect and have rarely been disappointed with anything I’ve ordered.

The Cellars at Allagash

Allagash Brewing is launching a new tour of the Industrial Way brewery. Named Cellars at Allagash the “immersive and intimate beer-tasting experience” focuses on Allagash’s small-batch beers and includes a guided tasting of their barrel-aged, sour, and wild beers. The Allagash Cellars tours are set to launch on November 26th. Tickets are available online.

Back River Bistro

The owners of Ruby’s West End, Matt and Corrinna Stum, have leased 65 Gardiner Street in Wiscasset where they plan to open Back River Bistro (website, instagram).

Back River Bistro will serve a menu of seasonally-driven bistro fare prepared with ingredients sourced from farms within a 30-mile radius of Wiscasset. The bar menu will offer both traditional and natural wines, and cocktails.

The Stums have moved to Morris Farm in Wiscasset where they plan to grow produce for the restaurant along with additional sourcing from Tarbox Farm, Heritage Home Farm, Broad Arrow Farm, Morning Dew Farm, and others.

Aaron and Alison Hansen have joined the Stums in launching the restaurant. Aaron Hansen will be the chef de cuisine for Back River Bistro and Alison Hansen will be leading the bar program. Aaron Hansen and Matt Strum formerly worked together at restaurants in Indianapolis before moving to Maine.

The Stums opened Ruby’s in April 2021, and hope to open the Back River Bistro for dinner by the end of November. They plan to add a lunch service this coming summer. Back River will be open Thursday through Sunday, 5 – 10 pm.

Longfellow Hotel

The Longfellow Hotel (website, facebook, instagram) is currently under construction at 754 Congress Street. It’s located next to Tandem and across the Street from The Francis. Both The Francis and Longfellow are operated by Uncommon Hospitality led by Tony and Nate DeLois.

The first floor of the hotel will feature the Twinflower Cafe and Five of Clubs bar. The cafe will be “a wellness focused café serving clean and wholesome breakfast and lunch offerings, as well as espresso drinks and fresh juices” and the bar menu will focus on “classic cocktails, local seafood and charcuterie”. Both establishments will be run by Siobhan & Mike Sindoni the co-owners of the Wayside Tavern.

The Longfellow Hotel is expected to open this summer.

Esquire’s Best New: Twelve

Esquire magazine has named Twelve to their 2022 list of the Best New Restaurants in America.

Though it may be true that Eleven Madison Park is the performative Xanadu of a mad man, it is also one hell of a talent incubator. Before he moved to Maine – his wife, Selena, is a Mainer — Colin Wyatt was the executive sous there. Now he’s one upped EMP at Twelve, located in a reconstituted 150-year old brick storehouse at the water’s edge in Portland, ME. The technique is still there — Wyatt makes particularly good use of ferments and yeast — but Maine is the focus and there’s a New England modesty that prefers showing to telling. There are only twelve items on the prix fixe but Wyatt makes good use of his new home. The state shows up in the colors. The bright orange of sweet potato Parker house rolls mimic the foliage; the pumpkin-seeded butter that accompanies them recalls the fields. And goddamn if his soigne lobster roll — an entire half lobster impossibly folded into a small very buttery laminated dough — doesn’t turn the volume of the old Maine banger up to twelve.

Eastern Prom Food Trucks

The City held a meeting earlier this week to review a proposal for where food trucks will be allowed to operate in 2023 on the Eastern Prom. The Press Herald reports,

Portland city councilors on Tuesday heard feedback both for and against proposed changes to the city’s food truck program on the heavily trafficked and popular Eastern Promenade.

The council also heard from staff about their proposed plans for next season, which include reducing the number of spots available to trucks in the Eastern Prom’s Cutter Street middle parking lot from 14 to seven and implementing a new $3,900 fee for trucks to operate in the park on a first-come first-served basis.

The next meeting on the issue is taking place on December 1st and then the acting city manager is expected to make a final decision.

Botto’s Moving to Westbrook

Botto’s Bakery (website) is moving their operation to a 14,000 sq ft facility at 5 Karen Drive in Westbrook. The new bakery represents a 25% increase over their current bakery. It’s expected to go into production in April 2023. According to a report in Mainebiz,

The bakery produces 4,000 loaves of bread each week and an average of 100,000 rolls at the Portland location. The new space is being designed for ease and efficiency as well.

“I had to turn down business this summer,” said co-owner and Vice President Steve Mathews. “It was like a 3-ring circus trying to manage it all, and it hasn’t been easy on the employees. It was either expanding or downsizing and going backwards didn’t make sense. The new facility is going to provide a better working environment for a great team, and now there’s a plan in place for the next generation.”

Botto’s has been located on Washington Ave since the company was founded in 1949. There’s no word yet on whether the new Westbrook location will include a retail store.

The current 9,000 sq ft Botto’s building at 550 Washington Ave is listed for sale by Boulos for $1,200,000. It’s situated near the intersection of Washington Ave and Veranda Street in the East Deering neighborhood. The current configuration include an 800 sq ft retail space. The Roux Institute is planning a major build out at the former B&M factory property nearby.