This Week’s Events: Pop-ups, Events, Re-Openings

TuesdayEaux will be serving be serving a menu of po’boys, gumbo, cornbread and more at a Mardi Gras pop-up in Oxbow Alley. Chaval will be participating in the BBQ collaboration series at Terlingua.

FridayFred Eliot will be participating in the Small Axe guest chef series at East Ender (continues on Saturday).

Saturday – Terlingua is participating the guest chef series at Ramona’s (continues on Sunday), and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

March – The new pop-up series from Chaval called Con Todo will begin taking pre-orders on Monday March 1st, Fore Street, Street and Co, and Scales are re-opening after a long winter break on March 4th, as is Gather on March 10th.

Maine Restaurant Week 2021

Maine Restaurant Week is set to take place March 1 – 12. The Press Herald has published an article about how this annual event has adjusted to the pandemic and highlights some of the restaurants taking part in 2021.

Maine Restaurant Week organizer Gillian Britt, of gBritt PR, said the usual $495 participation fee for restaurants has been waived this year, with help from several sponsors. Maybe because that, there is a wider variety of eateries participating this year representing a wider geographic area, spreading a little more inland and little farther from Portland in all directions, Britt said, including Doolin’s Pub in Litchfield and Jonathan’s in Ogunquit.

For information on all the restaurants taking part visit the MRW website.

The Shuck Wagon

A food cart called The Shuck Wagon (instagram) is planning to expand their mobile oyster shucking business this summer.

In 2020 The Shuck Wagon was onsite at some Portland area breweries including Fore River, Austin Street and Bunker Brewing. This year they’re building a second food cart that they hope to locate along the Portland waterfront and use for catering.

The Shuck Wagon is run by Spartan Sea Farms, an aquaculture operation in Freeport that farms oysters, scallops, quahogs, and kelp.

Outdoor Dining in Winter

The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a feature on outdoor dining in February.

Actually, every diner but one interviewed for this story was ready to repeat the experience, in some cases surprising even themselves. “A year ago if someone had said, ‘Do you want to sit outside in the middle of winter and eat?’ I’d have said, ‘That’s what inside is for,’ ” Brewer said. ” ‘That’s what fireplaces are for.’ ” But now, weekly, he sits around fire pits in the yards of friends and eats outside at restaurants, too. He’s come up with a term to describe the phenomena: “fire-pit culture.”

Covid-19 Protocols and Guidance

The Maine Sunday Telegram talked to restaurants about the steps they’re taking and the guidance they have on how to operate safely and what to do when they have a potential Covid exposure.

Similarly, every one of the five food businesses I called to learn more about COVID-19 closures was eager to talk about their plans and procedures. “It’s an issue every restaurant has to think about,” Zak Taillon, general manager of Boda, said. “We did lots of pre-preparation and have always been a few steps ahead, all the way back to March of last year, when we closed for indoor dining way before we were even required to be. We’re doing our best and have successfully avoided spreading it in our tiny kitchen two times so far. We are really proud and don’t want to keep that hush-hush.”

Thrillist: Where to Eat in Portland

Thrillist has published an update to their guide on Where to Eat in Portland. The new version by author and Portland resident Mindy Fox includes: Helm, Sichuan Kitchen, Terlingua, Leeward, Ramona’s, Radici, Belleville, Rose Foods, Chaval, Minato, Mami, Mr. Tuna, Woodford, Solo Italiano, Scales, The Honey Paw, Judy Gibson.

It’s winter with a capital W in Portland, Maine—with cold temps and COVID challenges combined—but in true Portland style, our resilient restaurant community powers on, cooking up creative world-class fare along with inventive ways to serve us lucky diners. From curbside pick-up, takeout, and special pantry offerings to cook-at-home kits, to-go cocktails, and heated outdoor patios, there are many delicious ways to support the local food scene while following state guidelines and keeping safety top of mind. Here is our salute to Portland’s best new restaurants, including brave new stars, as well as faves from the past five-ish years.

Cheese the Day

A new food truck called Cheese the Day (facebook, instagram) is being launched by Aaron Milberger.

Initially Milberger will be operating at Forever Two Wheels in Windham but will be adding dates in Portland as the year progresses. Weather permitting he hopes to launch in the first week of April.

The concept for Cheese the Day is “grilled cheese for adults made with regionally sourced, seasonal, fresh, quality ingredients, with a bit of indulgence.”

The Big Takeout/Delivery List

Here’s the ever-changing and newly revised list of takeout options in Portland.








A New Home for Arcadia

Arcadia has announced plans to move their Preble Street barcade to new, much larger digs in the 17,000 sq ft space formerly occupied by Port City Music Hall at 504 Congress St.

To help fund the move, Aceto has launched a $40,000 crowdfunding campaign on Go Fund Me. As of the writing of this article, supporters have already raised $20,000+ of the goal. To make a contribution visit the Go Fund Me page for Arcadia.

Belleflower Brewing

As reported back in January, a new brewery called Belleflower Brewing (websitefacebookinstagram) has taken over the former Brewery Extrava space in East Bayside. Owners Zach Page, Melissa Page, Nick Bonadies and Katie Bonadies plan on launching later this year producing a line-up of hoppy beers and stouts to start.

Belleflower has now applied for a liquor license. In the cover letter submitted with the application they’ve indiciated that they will offer wine, cider and non-alcoholic drinks in addition to their house-made beer, and will have a changing menu of “pre-packaged snacks from local vendors”. The draft menu includes a cheese and charcuterie board from The Cheese Shop.