November 27, 2021

AmericanHummus

Food & Travel Enthusiast

The Wrap: New restaurants in Portland, and Sam Hayward talks shellfish

Joe Fournier of A&C Grocery makes an Italian sandwich earlier this year. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Your last chance to get a chicken parm sandwich, cheeseburger or Italian at A&C Grocery – at least at its current location at 131 Washington Ave. in Portland – will be Nov. 27.

Owner Joe Fournier announced a few months ago that he would be moving A&C to a new location at 229 Congress St., the former home of Sip of Europe. Those are still his plans, with a few important adjustments. A&C as we know it will now move to an as-yet-undetermined location sometime next spring. In early December, Fournier and a business partner, Michael Gatlin, will open a different-but-similar concept called Dirty Dove at the Congress Street address.

Dirty Dove will feature a very A&C-like menu, especially when it first opens, Fournier said, but will evolve into a neighborhood-style restaurant over time. A draft menu submitted to the city mentions additions such as country pâté and toast, and sirloin sashimi served with wasabi potato salad. Dirty Dove will also have a full cocktail bar.

The 800-square-foot space will seat about 20, Fournier said.

Regards, Portland

Cameron Lewin, Kimberly Lund and Neil Ross plan to open a “California-inspired restaurant” called Regards at 547 Congress St., the former home of Emilitsa, in Portland. The menu will focus on fresh fish and local produce.

Regards will be open for dinner from 4 to 11 p.m. five nights a week to start, with plans to add more nights, brunch and lunch. The owners hope to open the doors by December. A sample menu provided with the restaurant’s city liquor license application included dishes such as mezcal-cured flounder with sour oranges and habanero, and banana leaf-steamed pollock.

Taco Bar plus

Don’t call the taco bar that’s coming to Portland a Mexican restaurant, or a Tex-Mex place. The four partners opening Lenora at 2 Portland Square, in the old Walter’s space, want to pay homage to the Wild West, but they also want to create a spot that feels more like Maine than Texas.

“We want to make sure we tailor it to this community and not tourists,” said Jen Wyllie, who is opening Lenora with her husband, Rian, and their two Boston-area business partners, Aaron Sanders and Max Toste from Lone Star Taco Bar and the now shuttered Deep Ellum.

“We didn’t move here wanting to open up a restaurant, and then a few years into it really fell in love with the community and wanted to show them something different that doesn’t exist here in the way that we have done it in the past. We’re really excited to have something affordable and casual that people can go to multiple times a week.”

They hope to open Lenora in mid-2022.

Rian and Jen Wyllie moved to Portland about five years ago. Rian Wyllie was the opening chef at Little Giant, and now works at Maine Beer Co. Jen Wyllie was director of marketing and events at Austin Street Brewery in Portland and helped open the Island Creek Oyster Shop on Washington Avenue.

Lenora will be a taco bar, but will also have a larger menu with seafood, plant-based options, and non-alcoholic beverages, Jen Wyllie said.

Why is the restaurant called Lenora?

“It’s a popular name from the late 1800s in the Wild West,” said Jen Wyllie, adding that Sanders grew up in Texas. “It means shining light or torch or sun ray. We loved what the name represented. We loved that it was a family name, and we also loved the idea of channeling that western female goddess energy of just a bad-ass female.”

Add a hot cup of joe to your shopping list

Need an energy boost while you’re poring over the produce? Hannaford Supermarkets has added an in-store Aroma Joe’s coffee kiosk to its Portland store at 295 Forest Ave.

The kiosk is owned and operated by Steve Hanscom and Kendall O’Gorman, who also own an Aroma Joe’s at 633 Main St. in South Portland. The Hannaford coffee kiosk will be the first Aroma Joe’s in a grocery-store setting, and it will be the grocery chain’s first in-store kiosk in New England. (The first coffee kiosk in a Hannaford opened in March at its Kingston, N.Y., store.)

The Portland kiosk will serve espresso-based drinks, hot and iced coffee, cold brew, AJ’s Rush energy drink, sodas, smoothies and lemonades. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Turkey (the country)

Köfte kebab seasoned with Turkish spices, onions and tomato. Photo by Dila Maloney

Dila’s Kitchen, a “traditional Turkish grill,” is coming soon to the Public Market House in Portland. Check out photos of the restaurant’s kebabs and follow its progress on Instagram @dilas.kitchen. Owner Dila Maloney says she hopes to open Dec. 3.

You know the holidays are near when …

You can sample these Beaujolais wines Thursday at the Rosemont wine bar at Thompson’s Point in Portland. Photo courtesy of Rosemont Market

Tomorrow is Beaujolais Nouveau Day, celebrated the day the new vintage goes on sale in Paris. Enjoy the wine, from the Beaujolais region of France, in Portland, where several spots are planning events.

Petite Jacqueline, at 46 Market St. in Portland, is offering a three-course menu with choices – French onion soup or escargot, followed by cassoulet or sole meuniere, and to finish, crème brûlée or pot de crème. Dinner costs $45, plus $25 for bottomless Beaujolais. To make a reservation, call (207) 553-7044 or go to bistropj.com.

Rosemont Market’s wine bar at Thompson’s Point in Portland has planned a Beaujolais celebration from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday. A tasting menu at the bar includes, according to Rosemont, “10 cru, or special designations, of red styles as well as a rosé and white selection less commonly found outside of France.” Choose either a tasting menu (14 pours of 1.5 ounces each for $40) or full-glass pours for $9 per glass. Food pairings will also be available for purchase. No tickets or reservations are needed.

Lorne Wine is holding its first Fête du Beaujolais celebration Sunday at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, but the event is sold out. Better luck next year.

For everything there is a season

Next Wednesday, Nov. 24, is the last day of the outdoor season for the Portland Farmers’ Market, which has been open Wednesdays and Saturdays through the summer and fall. The market runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Deering Oaks. The indoor market, at 631 Stevens Ave., in the gymnasium of the Stevens Square Community Center, will open Dec. 4 and run through April 23, 2022. Hours for the indoor market are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Beer and cheese, please

Allagash Brewing is offering free downloads of its holiday beer-and-cheese pairing guide. The guide pairs four of its beers – Tripel, Curieux, Barrel & Bean and Nocturna – with a cheese that suits it. Download the guide at allagash.com/to-celebrate-just-add-friends. For each download, the brewery will donate $1 (up to $5,000) to local food banks.

Cooking for a cause

To raise money for the free medical and dental services it provides to the uninsured, the nonprofit Oasis Free Clinics in Brunswick is reprising its virtual winter cooking classes with midcoast Maine chefs.

First up will be Sam Hayward, the founding chef of Fore Street in Portland and a James Beard award-winner. Hayward’s class, scheduled for Jan. 15, will feature a “risotto” of Maine grain topped by a pot-hellion (stew) of winter shellfish.

On Feb. 12, Christine Burns Rudalevidge, editor of Edible Maine and a food columnist for the Portland Press Herald, will prepare a menu of Sowbelly Butchery sausage and fried plantain stacks, Apple Creek Farm sirloin, Winter Hill Farm blue cheese and a warm Six River Farm bitter greens winter dinner salad. Bonus recipe: Maple Bread Pudding with Candied Bacon.

On March 12, Nikaline Iacono, owner of Vessel & Vine in Brunswick, will talk about shaken cocktails, explaining why some are shaken and not stirred (James Bond-style), and the proper way to shake.

A few days before class, participants receive ingredient lists and recipes. Classes begin at 6 p.m. and cost $75. To sign up, go to CookingWithOasis.org.

Maine products are Good Food

The vanilla crème brûlée bar from Bixby Chocolate in Rockland. Photo courtesy of Bixby Chocolate

Ten Maine food businesses have been named finalists in the 12th annual Good Food Awards.

The nominations cross 17 categories and represent 351 producers from 42 states and the District of Columbia. The finalists were chosen in a blind tasting of 1,966 entries, then vetted to ensure they met the organization’s strict standards of quality and sustainability. Here are the Maine finalists and the categories in which they are nominated:

Beer: Maine Beer Co. in Freeport for its Wolfe’s Neck IPA.

Chocolate: Bixby Chocolate in Rockland for its vanilla crème brûlée bar.

Coffee: Bard Coffee in Portland for its Ethiopian Duromina; and Coffee By Design, also in Portland, for its Kenya Nyeri Kiandu AA.

Elixirs: Timberwolves BBQ in Mars Hill for its elderberry syrup.

Fish: Atlantic Sea Farms in Saco for its ready-cut kelp.

Grains: Maine Grains in Skowhegan for its Liberation Farms cornmeal.

Preserves: Josh Pond in Whiting for its strawberry preserves.

Snacks: My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies in Portland for its cran-raisin orange cookie.

Spirits: Blue Barren Distilling in Hope for its Barren’s Sugar Kelp Vodka.

This year, the Good Food Awards is hosting an online pop-up shop featuring more than 200 of the finalists’ products. The shop, which can be found at shop.goodfoodfdn.org, is open until the end of November. All of the proceeds go directly to the finalists.

Last year’s awards were presented virtually because of the pandemic. They will be live again this year, on Jan. 14 in San Francisco.

Gobble, gobble

As Thanksgiving draws near, I offer the final local venue I’ve found serving indoors. (For other options, see previous editions of The Wrap.) So many restaurants and bakeries are offering takeout, it’s impossible to list them all; call or click on the links for details. You still have time to place an order at the spots I’ve listed, although deadlines are coming up quickly. I did not include restaurants that are already sold out, or very nearly so.

Three Dollar Deweys, 241 Commercial St. in Portland, will serve $25 Thanksgiving dinners from noon to 6 p.m., with a classic menu of turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas and pearl onions, and cranberry sauce. (Vegan options are available as well.) Desserts include pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple crisp.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (207) 772-3310.

Full meals, turkeys, appetizers, a la carte sides and desserts:

Big Tree Grocery, pickup in Portland, Biddeford and the islands, bigtreefoods.com.

Dandelion Catering in Yarmouth, dandelioncatering.com, (207) 847-0566

Dizzy Birds in Biddeford, dizzybirdsrotisserie.com, (207) 494-7089

Maria’s in Portland, mariasrestaurant.com, (207) 772-9232

Otherside Deli in Portland, othersidedeli.com, (207) 761-9650

Salt Yard in Portland, saltyardrestaurantandbar.com, (207) 791-0013

Sur Lie in Portland, sur-lie.com/thanksgiving2021, (207) 956-7350

Yardie Ting in Portland, yardieting.com

Apps, sides and/or desserts only:

Butter + Kale in Portland, butterkale.com/thanksgiving-21

Cakes for All Seasons in Biddeford, cakesforallseasonsme.com/thanksgiving2021, (207) 432-9192

Central Provisions and Tipo in Portland, central-provisions.com, (207) 805-1085

Chaval in Portland, chavalmaine.com, (207) 772-1110

Ruby’s West End in Portland, rubyswestend.com, (207) 956-7916

Standard Baking Co. in Portland, standardbakingco.com, (207) 773-2112

Tandem Coffee & Bakery in Portland, tandemcoffee.com

The Cheese Shop of Portland, thecheeseshopofportland.com/thanksgiving-menu, (207) 400-5344


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