If April showers bring May flowers, in the Pine Tree State this year May flowers unleashed a bumper crop of culinary surprises. And June is coming in like a ravenous lion.
While you were shoveling, Maine’s restaurateurs and talented foodsmiths were busily dreaming up ways to drop more flavor on the scene. Now along with lilacs, robins and sailboats on the harbor, edible options are unfurling at a rapid clip.
Let’s get up to speed. At last measure we have a chocolatier, Mediterranean small plates, exotic dining in a plush inn, a fried chicken shack, and a Dean and Deluca-esque market opening in the next few weeks from Greater Portland to the midcoast, and that’s just the short list. It’s a good time to bite into Maine.
Enter Evo. If you like to eat with an audience, or just enjoy seeing and being seen, this food tank is for you. Located in the new hexagon space on the corner of Fore and Union streets in the Old Port, Evo puts small plates (and cocktail quaffers) on display. Technically part of the year-old Hyatt Old Port, the Mediterranean small plates spot is run by the owners of Chebeague Island Inn. The tight but focused space with soaring ceilings opens Tuesday.
Westbrook wakes up with Black Dinah Chocolatiers. The Isle Au Haut chocolate co. hosts a grand opening June 18th and opens to the public June 20th in no-longer-forgotten Westbrook. The new headquarters for the deluxe, uber smooth and sinfully rich chocolate makers is a feather in the cap of this city on the move. Kate Shaffer, truffle extraordinaire, now has an enrobing room where customers can watch her killer confections come to life. A kiosk to pick up your espresso and cashew bars and blueberry-studded truffles will be open just in time for swim suit season.Thanks guys! 869 Main Street in Westbrook.
Enter Tempo Dulu, Danforth Inn. We got a sneak peek of chef Lawrence Klang’s mastery of the Orient over the winter. His pronounced and deftly turned out flavors left us wanting more. A lot more. Portlanders will bear witness to a new dining experience when the owners of the Camden Harbour Inn bring their white glove expertise to the peninsula. Tempo Dulu’s dining room has been revamped to accommodate this elevated, international cuisine. The tasty tempo begins June 17th.
Gourmet chicken wings on the double!! That aroma wafting through Portland’s West End this week isn’t diesel and dust. It’s down-home country fare from Figgy’s, which opened Monday. The takeout shack tucked behind Yordprom Coffee has those from Portlyn (Brooklyn transplants) licking their hipster chops. Think freshly fried chicken, biscuits, slaw, grits. Think picnic in the street. 722 B Congress Street.
Rockin it in Rockland. Seattle has Pike Place, Boston Quincy Market. The Midcoast is about to have its own version: Main Street Markets. Opening in July (can we wait that long?) this fresh meat, seafood, vegetable market in a restored historic downtown building fits in smashingly with the art scene. A salad and smoothie bar open all day makes MSM ground zero for fast and healthy eating. Culinary surprises like fiddlehead ravioli made on the premises round out this gourmet go-to. 435 Main Street.
What did we miss?