Chocolats Passion Opened Friday

Chocolats Passion (websitefacebookinstagram) opened their new West End chocolate shop on Friday. The new location is at 175 Spring Street in the former Mercy Hospital building.

Founder Catherine Wiersema, lead chocolatier Sarah Levine and their team now have twice the room for their retail shop and chocolate production area which will enable them to significantly increase production of their award-winning chocolates. The shop sits just off the public outdoor seating area for the building which customers can enjoy while sipping their French Hot Chocolate. Chocolats Passion has some vegan products and serves a dairy-free version of their hot chocolate.

The new shop will be open 1 – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, and then starting on Wednesday will be open everyday through to December 24th, 1 – 6 pm.

Chocolats Passion initially opened for business at 189 Brackett Street September 12, 2018.

Good Wine Bar Now Open

Good Wine Bar (instagram) opened for business on Friday. They’re located at 172 Main Street in Saco at the corner of Main and Water Streets. They had expected a slow start on opening day but had a full house by 5:30.

GWB serves wines by the glass and bottle, draft beer and a small selection of classic cocktails. The food menu includes a small selection of salad, snacks, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie plates all prepared by former Yobo chef/owner Sunny Chung. If you go try the Pear and Parma Ham salad.

Co-owner Kim Lully has put together a selection of primarily Old World wines from France, Italy, Austria and Spain with a few bottles from the US and South America in the mix.

Good Wine Bar will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 9 pm with a happy hour each day 4 – 6.

Chung and Lully formerly ran the Korean restaurant Yobo, and were partners with Sarah Gabrielson and chef Tony Pastor in the launch of Main Street Steak & Oyster in Brunswick.

Maine Food & Dining News

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know on what’s going on:

Solo Cucina Market for Sale

Owners of the Solo Cucina Market in South Portland have announced that the market is for sale. The announcement on instagram reads in part,

To our dear community: we have some challenging news to share. After a very positive year for Solo Cucina, we have had to make a difficult choice of putting the market up for sale. This is not because the market and what it offers is not deeply valued. To the contrary, and we have been honored by the community’s enthusiasm for the market’s offerings and your ongoing support and patronage…

And goes on to share that,

…This was our first year seeing tangible growth and progress, but building the market came with some legacy liabilities that we have been unable to sufficiently overcome. We also feel that we are a bit stretched thin and don’t want to do a disservice to the concept or to you, the community. A market as locally relevant and specialized as Solo Cucina that supports a dedicated year round community deserves full attention on behalf of its visionaries…

The market opened on March 25, 2020. A final day in business has not been set yet. See the announcement for whom interested parties should contact for details on a purchase.

Solo Cucina is part of a family of businesses that also include Solo Italiano in Portland and Solo Pane e Pasticceria in Bath.

Maine Chef at White House Event

Joseph Robbins, the chef at Bissell Brothers Three Rivers in Milo, has been invited to cook at the White House Tribal Nations Summit taking place on December 6th and 7th.

Robbins is one of a small team of Indigenous American chefs participating in the event. His draft menu includes a turkey roulade made with squash and cranberries served over a wild rice and apple salad with a pumpkin pipian sauce. In addition to representing Indigenous American cuisine Robbins shared he also appreciates the opportunity to showcase produce and meats from Maine farms.

Robbins is Penobscot and has been one of a growing cadre of chefs raising the visibility of Indigenous American cooking traditions. A visitor to Bissell Brothers in Milo will find a menu grounded in local foods and featuring some dishes that make use of indigenous ingredients and food traditions.

Artist Tea Towel Series

Eat Drink Lucky
is working with women artists from Maine to offer the Artist Tea Towel Subscription Series. Now in its fourth year, the series features twelve unique designs. Mid-month throughout 2024 subscribers will receive individually wrapped tea towels accompanied by a note introducing the artist. Shown above is an orchid design created by Molly Thompson from Pretty Flours which will kick off the series in January – Read More

Ruth Reichl is a fan of the tea towel series and just recommended it as a 2023 holiday gift, “One of the easiest ways to add color to your kitchen is by hanging up a few pretty dish towels. Which is why I like the idea of Eat Lucky’s annual artist tea towel series. The towels are all designed by Maine artists, and a new one appears each month. You can order a towel a month for an entire year – or for just a few months.”

Subscribe to the Series


Broadway Bowl is Now Open

Broadway Bowl (instagram) opened Tuesday. The pub and bowling alley is located at 725 Broadway in South Portland and is an outpost of Bayside Bowl in Portland.

The 220-seat facility includes a 10-lane bowling alley, a bar serving beer, wine and house cocktails, a private dining area and a heated and semi-enclosed outdoor seating area (lower left photo) with a view over the water of Portland. Broadway Bowl will be open 3 – 10 Monday through Thursday, 11 – 11 on Friday/Saturday and 11 – 9 on Sunday.

The kitchen is open nightly until 9 pm serving (see menu below) pizza, soup, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, wings and other pub standards. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

Two Biddeford Closings

Two businesses in Biddeford are closing:

Sublime Taco announced that Saturday is their last day on Washington Street but added that they are taking the business “in a different direction”. They’re keeping a tight lid on what that means so stay tuned for more information.

Part & Parcel has announced that after more than five years in business they’ll be closing down their Alfred Road market and cafe on December 23rd. However, owners Danielle O’Neill and Ali Preble go on to say that they’ve “been working hard to find the perfect folks to replace P&P, and we’re happy to say that we think we’ve done just that! While it may look and feel different, the mission is the same – to provide great food and a welcoming atmosphere for the local community. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for the details!”

Thistle & Grouse Opens Friday

Thistle & Grouse (website, facebook, instagram) will open Friday at 4 pm. The restaurant is located at 10 Cotton Street. The newly renovated space features a 2-story dining room with a bar on the first floor.

The menu (see below) includes raw bar options, cheese and charcuterie boards as well as small plates like a Maplebrook Farm Burrata plated with apple, celery and walnuts and entrees like the Seafood Cassoulet and Sunday Roast Prime Rib.

Thistle & Grouse serves custom cocktails and mocktails, wines by the glass, beers, and ciders (Norumbega and Freedom’s Edge). The bar is stocked with a wide selection of spirits including 14 bourbons, 10 ryes, 19 Scotches as well as whiskeys from Ireland and Japan.

The restaurant is being launched by Kimberly Kraus and chef Bobby Will. Will has worked at restaurants run by well known chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Ken Oringer, and Jamie Bissonette. He was the executive chef at Saltaire Oyster Bar in Port Chester when the New York Times gave it a rating of Excellent in 2015. Also on the team are general manager Julia Mcinnis and bar manager Corey Schallek. All four worked together at Kraus’ and Will’s former restaurant Salt and Steel in Bar Harbor.

Thistle & Grouse will be open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4 pm with late night hours on the weekends and happy hour each day they’re open, 4 – 5 pm. Reservations are available on

Upcoming Food & Dining Events

Tuesday – Bayside Bowl’s South Portland outpost Broadway Bowl is scheduled to open. Thistle & Grouse is scheduled to open on Cotton Street. The Falmouth Memorial Library is hosting a talk entitled The Indian Kitchen: A Crossroads of Many Cultures.

WednesdayJoshua Miranda will be giving a presentation about “the challenges of opening and maintaining restaurants” organized by the Portland Regional Chamber of Business

Thursday – deadline for the public and industry professionals to submit recommendations to the James Beard Foundation to consideration for the 2024 Awards program.

FridayChocolate Passion is opening their new location at 175 Spring Street (the former Mercy Hospital building). Cabana is holding a Noche Buena 4-course dinner. Good Wine Bar is opening for business in Saco at 4 pm.

Saturday – Porttown Public House is holding their grand opening. The first indoor winter farmers’ market of the season is taking place (631 Stevens Ave, 9 am – 1 pm). It’s the last day of business for Sublime Taco restaurant in Biddeford.

Sunday – A George and Leons x Great Wave Sushi collaboration pop-up dinner is taking place.

December 6Chaval will be serving a vegan wine dinner. The 5-course (4 savory courses and 1 dessert course) will feature wines from Chateau Cosme & Chateau Rouanne in the southern Rhone Valley; $88 plus tax and gratuity. Email or call (207) 772-1110 for reservations.

December 7 – Secret Supper is holding a (sold out) holiday dinner in the Portland area.

December 17Helm is holding a Prime Rib dinner.

January 20Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chef Adrian Arvizu from Big Tree Catering.

January 27 – Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chef Christian Hayes from The Garrison.

February 10Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chef Krista Kern Desjarlais from Bresca and The Purple House.

February 18Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti from Chaval and Devin Finigan from Aragosta.

March 28Ballast will be hosting a murder mystery dinner.

June 10-16Portland Wine Week is taking place.

June 26 – Secret Supper (instagram) is holding a dinner in the Portland area.

June 29 – The 3rd Annual Mast Landing Wavy Days Festival is taking place.

August 30 – September 1Maine Apple Camp is taking place.