Food Laws

There are numerous proposed changes/additions to Maine food law being considered by the Maine Legislature. Here’s some highlights:

Wine & Liquor Tastings—as Chow Maine‘s Bob Rossi recently explained there are two bills before the Legislature regarding wine tastings. The first would “repeal the provision in the wine tasting statute which limits wine shops to one tasting per calendar month.” The second is more far reaching and would allow tastings for liquor as well as change rules regarding wine tastings. There are also proposals regarding Maine wineries, hotel minibars, agency liquor stores, etc.

Force Feeding—LD 9 “makes force-feeding birds in order to produce the food product known as foie gras a civil
violation”. Hugo’s Chef Rob Evans was on site in Augusta back in February and spoke up in defense of the agricultural practices of his supplier Hudson Valley Foie Gras in this story on MPBN radio.

Nutrition—lawmakers are discussing a requirement for restaurants with more than 15 locations to post calorie counts on their menus. There’s also a bill that seeks to “defines ‘food containing artificial trans fat’ and prohibits the storage, distribution or use of these foods in an eating establishment”


Both the Portland Daily Sun and Portland Press Herald have run stories about RestaurantWeekME.
Also in today’s Press Herald is a news short on a pair of robberies at The Stadium and Five Fifty-Five.

Portland police are investigating the theft of $1,500 in fine wine from a downtown restaurant this week.

The owners of the 555 restaurant at 555 Congress St. reported Thursday that someone forced their way into the restaurant during the previous night and stole 30 bottles of wine, police said.

Details about the type of wine and vintage were not available.

RWME Hugo’s Review

Type A Diversions has published a RestaurantWeekME review of Hugo’s.

In addition to the three course prix fixe menu for $30.09, a supplemental course – either Maine Mussel Risotto or Mac & Cheese with Crimini Mushrooms – was offered for an additional $10. We chose one of each. Fresh peas graced the saffron-infused risotto, while a hint of lemon added wonderful lightness to the traditionally-heavy cheesy pasta dish.

RWME Cinque Terre Review

Type A Diversions has published a RestaurantWeekME review of Cinque Terre.

For our first two courses we tried the Arancini (crispy risotto and Maine crab balls served with romesco sauce and pesto) and the cajun-style Grilled Monkfish served with chickpeas, arugula pesto and Sicilian tapenade (fabulous!). As a bonus Chef Lee Skawinski has added a free cheese course – served with candied walnuts – to the prix fixe menu. Our only disappointment was the dessert.