Rob Caldwell interviewed Joe Ricchio about some of his favorite food shops.
Since the pandemic began Joe Ricchio has been cooking at home. “Almost constantly,” he says. “Which is nice at certain times. But you definitely miss eating out when you get tired of your own food.”
Dining out has been a big part of his life for years, as you’d expect of a food writer and host of the Food Coma podcast, but Ricchio is also a talented cook, so we listen when he talks about some of his favorite vendors in Maine.
WCSH has aired an interview with Randy and Alison Forester, the owners of Radici, about opening their restaurant during the pandemic.
“We would’ve loved to have had that grand opening and we know one day we will; we will have those ribbons outside, but for now it’s been a quiet ‘getting to know our neighborhood’ and making those connections, instead of in-person, mostly through social media,” says Ally.
Big Tree Hospitality unveiled their latest restaurant concept today. XO Burger and Wings (website, instagram) will be a takeout and delivery restaurant serving a “menu full of crushable Americana.” XO Burgers and Wings is set to launch in early December, and will be operating out of the Hugo’s space in Portland and Eventide Fenway in Boston.
The menu include options like the Good Morning Burger (see above) with egg, red onion jam, hash brown and hot sauce, the XO Burger with XO sauce, banana peppers, and smoked cheddar, Chili Crisp Wings with house chili crisp and scallion, and a Grilled Caesar with grilled romaine, house mackerel caesar, mackerel “anchovies” and parmesan.
At a glance, XO Burger and Wings will offer a menu of delicious burgers, wings, salads and sides. Good food to fill your belly. But take a closer look and you’ll find we’ve applied the best of Big Tree Hospitality – high-end culinary technique, high-caliber creative chefs, and top of the line and house made ingredients – to our idea of the perfect neighborhood burger joint. Sure, you’ll find the familiar bacon and blue cheese burger, buffalo(ish) style wings, and fries, but you’ll also find creative takes on nearly every menu item. Our buffalo sauce is fermented with koji, made with fresh chilis and house-made yogurt. Our bacon is braised and made from humanely raised Winter Hill pork. We haven’t left Frank’s hot sauce off the menu, instead, we’ve dropped it into the fryer to create Red Hot Puffs…
Big Tree Hospitality is led by Andrew Taylor, Mike Wiley and Arlin Smith. In 2012 they bought Hugo’s from then owner Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh and in the same year launched Eventide. They went on to create The Honey Paw in 2015 and open Eventide Fenway in 2017.
Photo credit: Zack Bowen Photography
Conde Nast Traveller (UK edition) has included Rose Foods on their list of the Cheapest, Nicest Restaurants in the World.
‘The place for a dose of some of the best bagels and schmear outside of New York. The design is of another time – Formica tables in aquamarine and dusty pink, bright wallpaper and a black-and-white hexagonal-tiled counter backed with nostalgic deli items (Martinelli’s apple juice, Dr Brown’s soda, Raye’s mustard) for to-go orders. It’s easy to stock up on provisions for the day, but come for the bagels and latkes with a side of matzo-ball soup and make sure to buy some merch on your way out.’
Congratulations to the nine Maine food producers that are finalists in the 2021 Good Food Awards in these six categories:
This year’s finalists were “[s]elected from 1,928 entries to the 11th annual Good Food Awards, these 475 products represent 45 states plus D.C. and Guam and have passed vetting for category-specific sustainability standards.”
The winners will be announced at a virtual event on January 22nd.
Blue Lobster Urban Winery has released Tight Lines Cider. Described as a British-style 6.4% abv cider that is light, and bone-dry, the limited 2020 release was pressed last fall with Macintosh and Macoun apples sourced from Maine. A secondary col fondo fermentation in the bottle results in a sparkling cider.
The release of Tight Lines brings the number of Maine cider producers up to 21—with at least six more in various stages of development. See our Guide to Maine Cider Makers for more information.
Quiero Cafe owners Carlos Guzman and Alejandra Herrera are launching a new Latin American restaurant in Saco called Pacifico (website, facebook, instagram).
Located in a former mill building at 120 Main Street on Saco Island, Pacifico will “be offering Latin American cuisine in a casual fine-dining environment” that takes its “inspiration and flavor profiles from all over Central and South America”.
Chefs Geoff Briggs and Shane Walsh will be leading the kitchen staff, and Pacifico has hired LyAnna Sanabria to develop their cocktail program.
Pacifico is slated to open later this month for indoor dining.
Guzman and Herrera launched the Saco Quiero Cafe in 2017 and opened a second location in Portland in May 2019.
Wednesday – Kark Deuben from East Enders is Wednesday’s guest chef at the Duckfat Friteshack Grill, and the weekday Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.
Saturday – the weekend Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.
Thanksgiving Resource Guide – a growing list of which restaurants are doing in person or takeout Thanksgiving dinners, as well as bakeries, markets and other providers with special offerings for Thanksgiving. Email me with details at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of a business that should be added to the list.
- Thanksgiving Wine – top recommendations from six local wine distributors, and from several wine shop and wine bar owners. Additionally, Brittany Saliwanchik from Magnus on Water is offering free 30-min virtual wine consultations.
- Belleville – has set-up an online pre-order for Thanksgiving baked goods. Order online for pick-up on November 24th or 25th.
- Big Tree Hospitality – the owners of Honey Paw, Eventide and Hugo’s are offering a range of appetizers, sides, pastry, pantry items and meal kits to make your Thanksgiving dinner easier. They’re available for pick-up in Portland, Biddeford, at Casco Bay Ferries and in Boston on November 24th with an order deadline of November 20th. Order online.
- BlueFin – the restaurant at the Portland Harbor Hotel will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner(menu). There will be four seatings at 1, 2:45, 4:30 and 6.
- Botto’s Bakery – has some Thanksgiving breads and desserts which you can order online. Order deadlines: for breads November 24th, for pastry November 21st.
- Central Provisions – has a range of starters, sides, salads and dessert. Order deadline November 20th for pick-up on November 25th.
- Chaval – has some dessert options an apple tarte tatan with a side of vanilla cream, maple pecan pumpkin pie, and a chocolate tart
frangipan almond tart with poached pears and chocolate sauce. Email email@example.com to order.
- Churchill Catering – has a variety of mains, sides and desserts. Order online.
- Craft – has turkeys, sides and desserts for order online.
- Dizzy Bird – has Thanksgiving takeout available for pick-up on November 25th or 26th. Order online.
- Dandelion Catering – has everything you need from the turkey through to pumpkin pie. ORder deadline November 18th for pick-up on November 25th. Order online.
- Dockside Grill – has appetizers, sides and pies. Order deadline November 15th to pick up on the 20th, or November 22nd to pick-up on the 25th. Call (207) 747-5274 to order.
- Eighteen95 – the restaurant at The Portland Regency will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner (see the menu). Noon to 7pm.
- Figgy’s – has “everything but the bird” 10 side dishes for pick-up on November 24th or 25th. Orders must be in by November 20th.
- Hi Bar Bakery – has baked goods available for Thanksgiving. Order deadline November 22nd for pick-up on November 25th.
- Inn by the Sea –has a meal for 6-8 people for $199 plus tax and 18% gratuity for pick-up on November 24th or 25th. Call (207) 799-3134 to order by November 18th.
- Lake & Co. – will be offering “a Thanksgiving dinner for 2 for $65 as well as a la carte offerings of roasted turkey breast, mashed chive buttermilk potatoes, two potato gratin, green bean casserole with shiitake and crispy shallot, brussels with bacon, crispy fennel and apple salad, coconut-garlic delicata, gravy and cranberry clementine sauce. Plus 6 pie varieties, biscuits, breads and appetizers.” Along with options for ordering whole birds to cook at home, and home delivery. The deadline for for ordering a meal is Friday, November 20th.
- Little Giant – a takeout dinner for four, with 6 sides and 3 dessert, $260. Included in the purchase is four meals for those in need via Cooking for Community. Order deadline November 22nd.
- Mainely Macarons – has three flavors available for Thanksgiving.
- Norimoto Bakery – has a short list of baked goods available. Order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- North 43 Bistro – is offering takeout Thanksgiving dinner for 6 people for $225.
- Other Side Delicatessen – has available has turkey and a range of sides and desserts to make your home dinner easier. Order must be in by November 16th.
- Part & Parcel – order your pies for pick-up on November 25th. Order online.
- Petite Jacqueline – will be serving a “3 course menu with options, wine pairings, sides, etc. Some traditional offerings and some untraditional ideas.” Reservations recommended.
- Portland Food Co-op – the co-op is taking pre-orders for turkeys. They are sourcing their turkeys from Tide Mill Organic Farm, Pine Tree Poultry, and the Common Wealth Poultry Company. Order deadline November 16th.
- Prairie Baking Company – will be offering “cheddar herb gougeres and pumpkin madeleines by the dozen, fall themed decorate your own cookie boxes, and apple cake with maple buttercream and chai spiced crumble decorated with handmade wafer paper leaves and fresh flowers”..
- Rick’s Lobby Cafe – prepared sides and turkeys ready to cook. Order deadline November 14th. Rick’s has a delivery option.
- Rosemont – has turkeys, sides, pies and breads. Order deadline November 20th. Delivery or pick-up.
- Scratch Baking Co. – will have pies, bread and rolls for pick-up on November 24th or 25th. Order deadline November 20th.
- Sur Lie – “Ready to cook turkey and cooked sides along with dessert from Ilma Lopez of Chaval.” for pick-up on November 25th. Order deadline November 22nd. Sur Lie has a delivery option. $225 for a dinner for four people.
- Standard Baking – breads and desserts. Order deadline November 19th. Order online.
- Tandem Coffee – Call to place a Thanksgiving pre-orders (207) 760-4440. Deadline November 20th for pick-up on the 24th or 25th.
- Terlingua – a turkey dinner for four people, $185.
- The Harraseeket Inn – will be serving a “reverse buffet” Thanksgiving dinner. They will also have some Thanksgiving dinner specials that can be ordered to go.
- Timber Steakhouse – will be serving a 3-course meal for $49.
- Tipo – has a menu for your Thanksgiving Eve meal. Order online.
- Two Fat Cats – has started taking pre-orders. Order deadline November 19th.
- Union – will have a Thanksgiving takeout dinner available for pick-up on Wednesday, and will be serving a 3-course dinner on Thanksgiving Day.
- Westin – is offering a takeout meal for 2 for $70 for pick-up on November 25th. Order online.
- Woodford F&B – has a selection of 3 hors d’ouevres collections: surf, turf and vegetable with optional wine pairings. Call (207) 200-8503 to order for pick-up on November 24th.
- Southern Maine & New Hampshire – for those of you living in coastal New Hampshire and York County in Maine see this list assembled by the Portsmouth Herald.
- Lewiston – Boba is offering a package that will feed 6-8 people.
For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.
Hunt + Alpine is planning to take their cocktail bar on the road next year with a new airstream food truck. Co-owner Briana Volk told me they’re planning to hold off site events and “adventure-style Hush, Hush pop-ups”.
The Volks hope to launch the mobile part of their business in the spring, and are now taking reservations for mobile cocktail catering.
Chef Christian Hayes, owner of The Garrison, has announced he’s taken over the former Andy’s Handy storefront In Yarmouth where he plans to open Dandy’s Handy Store. As a first phase Hayes will be moving Thoroughfare, his takeout operation, to the new space, followed the opening of Dandy’s in the spring.