Monday, June 28, 2010

Taste of the Nation 2010

Taste of the Nation 2010 was a huge success again this year at it's new location, Portland's Ocean Gateway. The event which raises money each year to fight children's hunger was held inside a large pavilion put up by Leavitt & Parris in the nearby parking area.
If more people realized what a blast this large delicious party really is and what a great value it provides... twenty something of the top food and wine purveyors from the southern Maine area under one roof for the price of an entry ticket... plus the chance to bid on a lot of great food centric auction items. Anyway let's spread the word for next year and mark your calendar as well.

I've took way to many pictures to post them all here, so I will put the larger group on Flickr where the many close ups of the appetizers will be tagged with the names of restaurant that made them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happenings #1 Update

Just a quick update on Havana South as I decided to go back tonight and grab a few food shots, I'll do a more in depth one later this summer. I especially want to watch the ( i think ) Salvadoran pastry chef work his magic on the flan.
Chile Rubbed Yellowfin Tuna... pan seared yellowfin tuna with a ancho chile and sugar cane rub served with honey and charred carrots and saffron rice... $27

Roasted Halibut... Herb crusted halibut wrapped in a banana leaf, roasted and served salsa verde and grilled green tomatoes with campari... $26

Rack of Lamb... Rioja marinated rack of lamb accompanied by beet greens and a Latin mash with honey and Reggianito cheese... $29

Our Moqueca... Seafood stew with Maine's finest seafood ( lobster, shrimp & mussels ) slow cooked in a rich coconut / dende oil broth... $29

Havana South
44-50 Wharf Street
Portland, ME

Happenings #1

One festival I didn't have complete info on the other day is this Satuarday's Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft. Portland's own Cranberry Island Kitchen will be there for the 2nd edition of this culinary decadence.

2010 Maine Whoopie Pie Festival

Havana South is now open for diner. It opened in  shakedown mode in the last week while construction continues around the edges.

Mura, the companion bistro next door to Shima has been open for a few weeks with a similar menu and a different feel to the insides. Toby and I haven't made time to get down there yet, but a good friend is very high on Shima.

Greek Festival Thursday

Thursday night at the Greek Festival, hands down the best Gyro in town, a lovely tzatziki sauce, fresh warm light pita bread... good start. Add some Pastitsio, a baked pasta dish with a ground meat filing and a greek salad. Wash it down with a Mythos (beer). Several sweets and a cup of mud followed by a plate of Loukoumades, round balls of dough fried and drenched in honey and covered in cinnamon. I pop inside to check on the action, chicken is coming off the stove and salads and dessert is everywhere. Back outside there is music and dancing. The heavy rain has let up and I'm out of here but there's way more to try and I'm on my own for supper tomorrow!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let the Festivals Begin

Summer is a good time to find and especially taste food from various restaurants and specialty food vendors.  The where is at the many Food Festivals several of which are in the Portland area starting thursday when the Greek Heritage Festival kicks a three day celebration of all things Greek.
Members of the church spend a couple of weeks preparing all the lovely things you taste like these delicate fried pastries above which get a drizzle of honey over the powdered sugar.
These ladies are making Finikia, a baked pastry with a walnut stuffed date inside, which has a orange sauce poured over it before serving.
An annual event held under a large tent at the corner of Park and Pleasant Streets in the church parking lot, it's always well attended with music happening during the supper and early evening hours. Saturday it's joined by three more one day events: The Strawberry Festival, in Cape Elizabeth at Maxwell's Farm,

the 2nd Annual Portland Lobster Festival on the Maine State Pier and the 6th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival at the East End Community Center.
These are followed on Sunday by Taste of the Nation 2010, at a new location this year along the Portland waterfront at Ocean Gateway. 

Held under a fancy pavilion tent, ( with a wood floor)  that Leavitt & Parris was busy putting up Wednesday, this event is a national fund raiser for children's hunger with 100% of the gate going to local charities. Twenty seven of the state's top restaurants, premium wines, beers & spirits are on hand with live music dancing and a superb auction & raffle going on into the evening.

Check Portland Food Map's  Event Calendar for details on these  and other upcoming events

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Two Frankies

The two Frankies,  Castronovo & Falcinelli, were at Rabelais Bookstore, this afternoon for the first stop on their nationwide book tour to promote "The Frankies Spuntino: Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual." Growing up as friends, losing track of each other for 18 years, meeting again by chance they decided to throw in together, conceptualizing  Frankies, their Brooklyn restaurant. Opened in 2004 they now have added a second Frankies on Manhattans lower East side. They also sell their own Sicilian olive oil, Frankies' Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP. By it's look and feel their book is designed to stand out from others of it's genre and a  pursuit of local fresh quality ingredients and a nostalgia for the smells of their grandparents kitchens is written into their cooking manual. They hope it stands the test of time.
They were joined on the stop today at Rabelais by Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor for Bon Appetit magazine.
You can find out more here