Not to tell you something you already know, but it’s cold outside. So if you’re to brave the elements, it better be worth it. Here, we help you find warming eats and drinks or ones that will have you dreaming of a tropical vacation.
The ever-popular Hunt & Alpine Club makes delicious craft cocktails, and any liquor will be sure to warm you up. But at Hunt & Alpine, your cocktails are sure to mixed with care, using ingredients like fresh-squeezed juices and locally made flavored simple syrups. The ‘Autumn Leaves’ rye, vermouth, applejack, strega, bitters cocktail will make you remember a time when it was nice to be outside, maybe sitting around the campfire.
The Bangor Daily News declares hot toddies the perfect drink for a cold winter day and includes recipes for making your own using Rosal Rose cardamom and clove-flavored simple syrups, made in Brunswick, ME.
MaineToday can also recommend six hot toddies around Portland, at some of the city’s finest drinking establishments. Sit at the bar, enjoy a warm drink, and an appetizer, surrounded by other folks who don’t feel much like hibernating.
Time to start dreaming of vacation – check out our summer tours in Bar Harbor, Portland, and Kennebunkport on our website. Where do you go to warm yourself up in the wintertime? (If your answer is the Caribbean, kindly keep it to yourself.) Share with us your winter warming trends on facebook and twitter!
K. Horton’s Specialty Foods, 28 Monument Square, Portland
Shelves full of local and European cheeses, cured meats, olives, speciality crackers, and chocolate await; this shop is the perfect place for the foodie who takes joy in crafting cheese plates and filling picnic baskets.
Two Fat Cats Bakery, 47 India Street, Portland
For the foodie who can’t leave the table without dessert – the bakery even has a pie of the month club!
Dean’s Sweets, 82 Middle Street, Portland
Half the fun of buying truffles at Dean’s Sweets is picking out the flavors, so let your chocolate loving foodie sample and decide.
Vervacious, 227 Commercial Street, Portland
This specialty foods shop is for the foodie who has everything. Whether they go home with whole spices, a balsamic reduction, or a table sauce, this shop is just a fun place to be.
These educational wine walks with our friend Erica Archer are a great experiential gift for a foodie friend who may be looking to expand their wine knowledge – all while sampling delicious local fare, of course!
Maine Foodie Tours
Of course, for the foodie who loves culinary experiences, we recommend a Maine Foodie Tours gift certificate – they never expire and can be used for any of our scheduled tours.
Everyone in Maine knows and loves Allagash Brewing Co., one of the state’s largest craft breweries. But how familiar are you with the up and coming? The Maine brewery scene is seeing a huge increase in the number of small businesses opening and here are some that we’re looking forward to.
Austin Street Brewery
Where: 1 Industrial Way, Portland
What: Beer previews show Patina Pale Ale, honey saison, and Westbrook White
When: January 2014
Banded Horn Brewing Co.
Where: 32 Maine St, Biddeford
What: a pilsner, IPA, and a stout to start
When: January 2014
Where: 1 Industrial Way, Portland
What: Hoppy styles, like an IPA, with their homegrown hops
Where: 1 Industrial Way, Portland
What: saison, saison IPA
When: Aiming for 2013 opening
If you want to learn more about how Maine became a mecca for craft brewers and the history of drinking in Portland, join us on our Sips, Smugglers, and Speakeasies tour offered at happy hour time on weekends through the winter.
Fall and Winter in Maine see an uptick in the number of wine dinners hosted by restaurants. As the summer crowds die down, restaurateurs counter the quieter time of year with special events. Hosting a vintner or distributor can be a great opportunity to coax out locals, while diners get the chance to learn more about wine and experience some creativity from their favorite chefs. Here’s some upcoming events courtesy of the Portland Food Map.
This week Piccolo, the new restaurant from Blue Rooster Food Co. chef Damian Sansonetti, hosts a wine dinner pairing wines from Devenish Wines with Northern Italian fare.
Next week, Bibo’s Madd Apple Cafe hosts SoPo Wine Co. for a Halloween themed dinner, complete with a costume contest and a spooky menu.
The Kabaj Wine Dinner at the Cumberland Club gives the public a rare chance to peek inside the historic private dining club while experiencing wines from Slovenia.
To learn more about wine in Maine, check out our culinary tours in Portland, Kennebunkport, and Bar Harbor. Our guides are full of information about Maine wines and how to pair them.
Harvest on the Harbor, Portland’s premier foodie event, is fast approaching. Tickets for the Lobster Chef Competition, hosted by the Food Network’s Michele Raussis have sold out, but there’s plenty of other great events, including the Grand Tasting on the waterfront to attend.
Beside the tantalizing lobster dishes created in the Lobster Chef Competition, we’re most looking forward to the Top of the Crop competition or Maine’s Best Farm to Table Chef. Maine has so many fabulous local ingredients, the dishes created in this tough competition are sure to capture the diversity of Maine’s bounty. Competing chefs are Chad Conley from Gather, Kerry Altiero from Cafe Miranda, Rich Hanson from Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro, and David Levi from Vinland Restaurant.
With the recent cooler weather, Fall is coming into its prime in Portland, so be sure to come enjoy great seasonal flavors, great wine and beer, and the scenic Portland waterfront at this year’s Harvest on the Harbor.
It seems like every week this year has brought a new restaurant opening in Portland. And this week is no different, with two much anticipated restaurants opening. Tonight, Piccolo opens in the former home of Bresca. Pictures from Eater Maine show that the space has different decor, but still maintains the intimate feeling of this small space.
Piccolo is a high-end Italian restaurant, but with a focus on Northern Italian cuisine, featuring fresh seafood. Chef Damian Sansonetti is the owner of Blue Rooster Food Co., another Maine Foodie Tours favorite, and his wife was the pastry chef at Grace, creating some of the most delicate, fabulous desserts we’ve ever had.
Empire Chinese Kitchen opened last night to much buzz and a few good reviews. This Chinese and dim sum restaurant is where the Empire Dine and Dance was and before that, Empire was one of the city’s first Chinese restaurants, open from 1916-1953. An extensive remodel was completed, and the space now has a very different feel than the previously dark bar and music club.
If you check one of these new restaurants out, be sure to let us know what you think on facebook or twitter!
Maine cheesemakers took home five awards from this year’s American Cheese Society last month. The competition at the annual conference was held Madison, Wisconsin, a town that knows its way around dairy.
Pineland Farms in New Gloucester won two ribbons: 1st place and 3nd place ribbons for their Cheddar Cheese Spread and Smoked Cheddar.
Silvery Moon Creamery of Westbrook won a 2nd place ribbon for their Provolone, York Hill Farm of New Sharon won a 3rd place ribbon for their Capriano, a dry-aged goat cheese, and new cheesemakers at Crooked Face Creamery won a 3rd place ribbon for their ricotta.
Congrats to all the cheesemakers who won awards! If you’re looking for a great selection of local cheeses, check out Kris Horton’s Specialty Shop in the Portland Public Market.
Several of Portland’s food trucks will be filmed for television shows this holiday weekend; if you plan to be in Portland, stop by the trucks and be a part of the foodie crowd – the trucks are looking for “extras” to come enjoy lunch and rave about the food on camera.
The Cooking Channel’s Eat St. will be filming two food trucks in the Portland area over the weekend. On Sunday, they’ll catch Mainely Burgers at their St. John St. location from 11:30-2pm and Bite Into Maine in Cape Elizabeth at Fort Williams on Labor Day from 12-3pm. Bite Into Maine will also be filmed by Tastemade, an online TV show, this Thursday during lunch from 11:30am-1pm.
The restaurant openings continue! In Portland, foodies are excited about Salvage BBQ, the new barbecue restaurant from Jay Villani, owner of Sonny’s and Local 188. This new West End restaurant is opening on Congress Street any day now.
The building is the previous home of Architectural Salvage (hence the name) and sneak peeks from Portland Daily Photo and Eater Maine show and industrial interior with wide hardwood floors and wooden picnic-style tables.
In addition to the great menus he’s designed at his other restaurants, Villani and his team travelled around the country tasting regional barbecue styles, so we’re sure the food at Salvage BBQ will be sure to please even the most discerning barbecue lovers.
We’re excited to announce two new tours in Kennebunkport and some tweaks to some of our Portland tours that will continue to delight visitors and locals alike.
In Kennebunkport, two new tours cater to dog owners and garden enthusiasts, while donating a portion of the proceeds to local charities. Guests on the “Doggie and Me” culinary walking tour will explore the dog-friendly culinary side of Kennebunkport, and tour profits benefit the Animal Welfare Society of West Kennebunk. The “Garden Party and Tastings” tour shows guests the beautiful gardens of historic Kennebunkport inns as they sample beverages and tastings using garden fresh herbs and produce. Proceeds from the garden tour benefit the Kennebunkport Historical Society.
On the Portland “Afternoon Appetizer” tour, guests will learn the history of spirits and Prohibition in Portland’s Old Port while sipping on locally brewed craft beers and cocktails. Our popular Portland walking chocolate tour has been reimagined as “Eat Dessert First!” and includes even more sweet offerings from Portland’s finest bakers, chocolatiers, and ice cream makers.
Beginning August 1, a motor coach will escort up to 13 guests to some of Portland’s newest and well established distilleries, restaurants, food carts and bakeries to see why Portland has become such a culinary destination.
We hope to see you on one of our new tours in Portland or Kennebunkport! Maine Foodie Tours are also offered in Bar Harbor if your vacation travels take you Down East.