Maine Representative Chellie Pingree is celebrating the inclusion of several local food and farm provisions in the Senate version of the Farm Bill. The House Agriculture Committee is expected to start work on the bill in July.
Despite the fact that it is enormously expensive and influential, few people understand what the Farm Bill actually does.
Here's the latest slideshow on the Huffington Post, which includes a link to the Find.Eat.Drink. guide to Portland and text from local chefs about other chefs in our town..,.
2009 was an incredible year for Maine restaurants. Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet all raved about our food, how wonderful it is, how talented the chefs are, etc. Restaurant Week began. All kinds of foodie-centered spots opened, and even the farmers' market stayed open later into the year.
So when the Maine Restaurant Association announced its annual awards, we figured we'd see something reflecting that.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time is up and running in the upstairs of the Portland Public Market House (Deirdre told you about the expansion earlier in the week). Owner Steve's a nice guy who makes a mean PB&J (mine was crunchy, raspberry, white), though my suggestion is skip the P and J and go straight to the cashew butter and Nutella (CB&N doesn't have quite the same ring to it, though, does it?).
Last night, the fine folks at David's in Monument Square hosted their first beer dinner with the brewers from Harpoon Brewery, from Boston. They were kind enough to invite me along to taste the menu Chef Neil Handwerger dreamed up with the help of Patrick Morang, the beverage manager, and (apparently) large quantities of after-work alcohol at a "sanctuary" somewhere in Portland.
Seriously, it's going to get difficult to grab a bite to eat around here. Saveur, Bon Appetit, and now Gourmet all love Portland restaurants. The latest pile-on is for Fore Street as a "restaurant worth the money" in the Northeast.
We're happy for all the love, but we really need to make sure there's someplace we can get a table at the last minute.
Maine Coast Vineyards rosé at Rosemont over the weekend. Drank it. The light,
fruity wine - which hit shelves just last month - was made right in Falmouth's "Hurricane Valley," from Maine-grown grapes. Here's
what the Forecaster found out;
and here's from the vineyard's Web site:
1. Maine Coast Vineyards wine is
produced under federal regulations that ensure that the certified growing area
Erik Desjarlais's restaurant, Evangeline, was just named one of America's top ten French restaurants by Saveur magazine's editor-in-chief, James Oseland, in an article in USA Today.
He and his wife, Krista Desjarlais of Bresca, will soon be starting 12 Seats, which may allow Erik even more room to experiment with his talents.
Patrick Alan Coleman, a food writer for the Portland Mercury over in the other Portland, is trying to start a cross-country inter-Portland food fight, with this post, in which he pledges to "continue to bait" us over here in the original Portland. I say let's take him.
First up, Portland, Maine, is the original Portland - Coleman dismisses this claim, but he should check the program his crosstown rival Willamette Week issued at the 2007 conference of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
Brad McCurtain, owner of Others in Monument Square, took issue with Brian Duff's description of his lemon bars as "sort of gummy and the crust was pasty," in a review of various desserts earlier this month (see "Treat Yourself," September 12).
But - in a move we find ourselves eager to encourage in other restaurateurs who disagree with our reviews - McCurtain decided not to call and complain, and didn't opt to write us a letter, either.