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Jack Rose

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Everything posted by Jack Rose

  1. Second to the suggestion of Moat Mountain Brewhouse in Conway. Great beers and much more than the usual gamut of pub food - potstickers, Thai chicken pizza, and the Smoked Brisket Nachos are all definitely called for if visiting.
  2. Planning a night out for drinks some time in the future would be fun. I will not be here in Portland for the next few weekends, being out of state, but let me know and we can try to plan something for May. I want to try my hand at clamming to see it first hand and agree that it surely is a lot of work. If enough are interested and have the know-how, I will gladly do the cooking with the fruits of our labors - fried wholebelly clams and steamers, anyone? They would probably taste that much better knowing the work that went into harvesting and would wash down well with a local craft brew (or wait just another month or so for the next homebrew batch).
  3. Any local Egulleteers have experience with clamming? A picture in the Press Herald a few days back has put the idea in my head and running the Back Cove most mornings serves as a constant reminder, seeing the different levels from the tides. Johnnyd mentioned the idea of planning a lobsterbake or other get-together, which I am in full support off and offer any help that is needed. My only concern would be the sheer cost of "renting" the area over at Willard/SMCC and the hiring of a licensed caterer, etc. Likely to cost well over $50/person and coupled with travelling expenses may make it difficult to attract enough interest. I am more of a bare bones enthusiast and suggest buying lobsters from a local lobsterman and doing it ourselves with eveyone pitching in and the price tag coming in close to $20. Only need to come up with a date and working on someone to host it.
  4. Siren, stop in Maple Organics when you have the chance for I think that you would like it. The owner's name is actually spelled Christie and introduce yourself and how you heard about it. It's still developing every day but it is starting off on the right foot and her heart is in the right place.
  5. The bit about John at the Greengrocer looking to open a seafood restaurant is a bit of a surprise. I am usually in the store a couple of times a week and chat with him a bit. The surprise part is that he did not mention anything. Actually asked him about getting artichokes into the store, being spring and all.
  6. Just got back from a visit to Maple's five minutes ago and still finishing my ice cream. Cute place and a charming owner, Christy, who I met. I hope it does well and that people stop in to patronize.
  7. Ok, I will bite. At least a little bit. Overall, I think that Geary's has the best beer in Maine. Hands down. My favorite is the London Porter, although the Hampshire is great (albeit strong alcohol-wise) as is the Pale. I think that Shipyard is not very consistent and I think have gotten too big with regards to contract-brewing and have let the level of quality slip in recent years. I could ramble on for the next hour, but I will leave it at that for the moment. I think that One Fifty Ate has a good baguette, but I have been playing hit or miss with the vast majority of their offerings.
  8. I actually do not have anything to add as of yet. Tough critic and all, but wanted to express my surprise at the lack of responses. There are several members in the Portland area that I talk to that surely can add to your list and step on the figurative soapbox. I would love to hear more about the great things in Portland.
  9. Cynical is not the word, but welcome nonetheless if your intentions are honest. I was thinking the same thing after reading the fourth, fifth, and subsequent close to identical posts looking for Lichido. Try Google, it comes right up and found a source in less than three seconds - Transatlantic Spirits, LLC, but my guess is that you knew that.
  10. That is good to only get a scare about Honey's closing. I never got a chance to try it, even though it is in walking distance from my neighborhood. You had mentioed a while back that you were fond of it. Any suggestions or recommendations to try out, Siren?
  11. Thanks for the mention Janet. I will try to stop in the Clown tommorrow to chat with John and hear about it. Maybe he will even join us in grabbing a drink there after work.
  12. I was in the market today and heard from the horse's mouth that the management group (Boulus, who runs the PPM for the Libra Foundation) had approached current vendors and stated that they would help them find new locations and negiotate leases. Kind of a back-handed compliment of sorts and the tell-tale sign that the market is being finally sold. It is pretty hush on what exactly is the outcome, but that is basically bold writing on the wall. From what I deduced there is still the month of March remaining for bidders but it sounds like a buyer is already in place.
  13. A Bloody Mary has evolved for its intiial recipe as a Red Snapper at Harry's New York Bar in Paris and when it was brought over to the King Cole Bar by "Petey" Poirot. It was originally made with gin as well and adapted later to vodka, for Heublein and its brand, Smirnoff, were aggressively marketing and promoting their "white whisky". As for lime juice, the first recipe called for lemon and I think that creating a contemporary Bloody is something akin to a poetic license - make it as you see fit or how your customers like them. For me, I use both fresh lime and lemon juices and a bit of the latter's zest. I feel that the bit of acidity creates an overall fresher flavor and harmonizes well with the tomato juice, Worchestershire, Tabasco, and pepper. Although, I like the subtle heat of the horseradish and prepare Bloody Marys with it, one can certainly omit this. As for finding the texture off-putting, try grating fresh horseradish and macerating (steeping) it in vodka. Might as well throw in the peppercorns and chilies while your at it.
  14. The White Heart finally opened on Friday the 17th. Opening on Saint-Patrick's Day was likely not the plan, but after so many months of waiting for the construction, one would open at the earliest possible day. I have been by it a few times since then in the day but have not had an opportunity to stop in when it has been open. I am thinking about stopping in on Thursday to see it in action. The bar manager is Andrea Spencer, formerly a bartender at the Porthole and at Bull Feeney's and I talked to her a bit last month about what their focus was and she showed me a cocktail list, albeit one subject to final editing and review. The much-heralded Corpse Reviver No. 2 was on that initial list, but wondering how their adaption would turn out since they are eschewing Cointreau because of price and using a brand triple sec instead. I think her "Heart" is in the right place but there is a reason why Arrow, Dekuyper, and Leroux cordials are in the $8-12 range. I have high hopes that they can put it together and create a unique bar for Portland. As a sidenote, I found a bottle of Al-Awadi Orangeflower Water this morning at One Eighty Ate in South Portland. May have to mix up some Ramos Gin Fizzes this weekend with the bottle of Martin Miller's that I recently procured.
  15. I would just like to echo johnnyd's comments and thanks for a fun night of cocktails at Oolong. John Myers really is a consumate professional and a true practitioner of mixology. In a city where it is truly hard to find a well-mixed drink, be it a Manhattan or a Moscow Mule, Oolong is a veritable oasis. Residents and even visitors to the port city definitely need to visit the restaurant and sample the bar's creations for themselves. I find myself looking over the desk calendar and trying to find a date for a return visit. Thanks again, gents.
  16. I just spent the last twenty minutes reading their website. I think it is a great idea and hopefully is able to convey the plight of the market's sale and help make more residents aware of the situation. Another good idea would be to have a CO-OP stand there and have it function both as a distribution point (pick-up area for produce) and as a retail unit that would show off its variety, hopefully bringing more attention and interest to the premise of cooperative farming.
  17. Honestly, I tried taking the high road and even took the advice of a fellow e-gullet member to sleep it off, not rush to judgement. Done. I am not surprised but his recent outburst and attack, for it seems to really illustrate what kind of person were dealing with. Surely, having zero customers and having your entire kitchen walk-out on you in August were not reasons for Bandol not being successful - it was that you were bored and sick of the space. Not that you are a pompous sot that one would be hard pressed to find a single person in Portland to say a kind word about you (mothers don't count, but hooking her up to a polygraph would likely rule that last straw out as well), not even the owner of your neighbor, Simply Scandinavian, who is one of the nicest people in the world. As far as Ladle goes, really save some time and money in don't bother moving and opening a new place - the format change is no going to attract the customers that have been staying away in droves. I have met several ornery and egotistical chefs who are literally really disliked, but their cooking and restaurants still pack them to the rafters inspite of their personal traits. So this is a first to see someone who has managed to alienate practically ever single person in a city - but I am sure that you still don't believe it and saved you some time in drawing up a list of excuses for your easy use. Top Five Reasons Bandol Had No Customers and Is Closing 5. Customers are always wrong and ignorant ("because most folks wouldn't know what a Bistro was if it landed in their lap" your words maestro) 4. You are infallible (yet cannot write a hundred word response without numerous spelling errors - quick revisions, aggressive has two "g"s, and the word is hearsay, not that you would ever stop massaging your ego to listen to what other people may be saying.) 3. People have realized that you are about as French as the Durkee Fried Onions that are used as the topping for Green Bean Casserole. I actually went to school in France, speak the language, and have worked in restaurants there but still do not feel the need to be condescending to everyone who walked through the door and to write the titles of menu dishes in French. 2. You did not get enough press. Two nationally distributed cooking magazines with favorable comments were not enough to get customers in the door. I am still trying to figure out how someone can mess such good press up. But you are correct, I have never eaten at Bandol and like never will, much like throngs of Portlanders passing by your door on a daily basis and patronizing every other restaurant on the peninsula. I hope you find it comforting, when you realize there are corner stores reheating soup from a can and easily selling it, with a genuine smile and that the customer knows they are getting a good value for their money. 1. Bandol is a widely-known to the general public - enough to name my restaurant after an obscure wine-growing village in the south of France. Hopefully, you haven't fallen in love with Ladle for I have a couple of fifty cent words that you can easily use and to illustrate your pomposity. How about hubris or peripateia (change dictionaries for a second and look up that last one, for I think it really hits home here) You can easily find more ostentatious names to further alienate customers. Erik, do you know who I am now? Call me, I can let you borrow an extra French dictionary that you can help you write up the menu for Ladle. BTW, mainstream America is not ready for cervelles de veau , or calf's brains, so you may want to omit that from your new menu. I suggest any further rantings should be done by PM this way you can save any remaining face. Really, I should have sent this directly to you and kept it out of the forum, but had to respond after last night's posting. I am now going to walk up to Congress to see the crowds already lining up for your new restaurant.
  18. Well, it is great that you have decided to participate in the forums Erik. I mustassume that you have browsed or looked in from time to time, but it is positive to get more active members offering thoughts and opinions. Being new to Portland (since September), I have not had the opportunity to try every restaurant here in town, but thought highly of Bandol's decor and menu. In my opinion (only an opinion) here, I thought the prix-fixe format was an obstacle in getting potential clients inside. As you mentioned, Erik, you said that your restaurant was only for "the top 5%" and you hoped to attract just that. But in being here for six months, I would often peer inside when passing and look to see what changes were made to the menu, yet noticed very few customers even on weekend nights. The expression "deep pockets" is a relative one but needless to say a certain amount of money was needed to remain open the last two years. Realistically, I hope that any establishment that is making creative and inspired food would prosper and become a success. I think that it helps the emerging food scene as a whole and introduces new elements to the general public. If I run into the aforementioned cook again, I will be sure to ask his name, but rumors and mentions are how one stays abreast of the Portland restaurant scene. If no one cared about Bandol and wanted to see what happened next, it is unlikely that anything would be written at all - view it as interest and that people are following you in anticipation. "Simple French food" is more of an approach to cooking, utilizing codified techniques and methods but with a less elaborate end result - one that would be more accessable to a prospective client, perhaps who does not have much experience with French cuisine and is a little intimated. It is also the translated name of a cookbook by Joël Robuchon and Patricia Wells (1991), in which the master chef illustrates a number of classical French dishes using a relatively small number of ingredients and eschews the lengthier processes that one would associate with an Escoffier-era brigade format. As far as assumptions, I think that is the general nature of people. For instance, one may assume that the food would be good at XYZ restaurant and that is the reason for trying it out. The simple fact that anyone made an assumption or made a mention of the future of Bandol should be positive enough. If you read earlier posts, you will see that I actually defended you and the restaurant and was very arbirtrary in comments and made sure not to put in any pejorative comments for I have never eaten at Bandol.
  19. Janet, thanks for the mention of Sophia's and it is on my short-list of places to try. One of the things that bewilders me is the focus and trumpeting of local bakeries milling their own flour on premises. Both Foley and the firehouse bakery of Big Sky Bakery seem to be very proud of this, something akin to roasting your own coffeebeans on premises for a cafe'. I think that it is surely of interest, but flour is by no means a commodity and it is easy to purchase and obtain - an example being King Arthur in Vermont, which makes great products. Instead of paying so much attention and putting effort into the milling, can local bakeries put a bit more effort into their actual bread baking. It is close to impossible to find a quality pastry in Portland and the variety of breads offered are hit and miss. I think that I would prefer an establishment doing just one product really great and impecable, then doing a wide assortment half-assed.
  20. Ok. That was what I was thinking but had never heard the name. Hypothetically speaking (if the PPM was sold or new management brought in), there should be many vendor stalls that are available for farmers and merchants who would in turn "rent" that space, pay a fee, for their placement. A schedule would be established to allow a variety and it is not likely that any given farm would want a stand there every day. Cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, cookbook presentations/signings, musicians, and artisans could be used effectively to bring more people into the market. I always noticed the bus stop signs with the mention of the "lunch hop" free ridership from Congress to Exchange during the lunch hour. If the city and Metro Bus authority gets behind the project - something similar could be put into effect. Way overpriced fish stalls (read: Scales) with arrogant kids working the counters and a greengrocer with tired, month-old fruit/vegetables are not the answer to promoting the Portland Public Market.
  21. What actually is a 'bull-cart'? I have some imagery in my head but am not familiar with the term. It is kind of sad about the PPM for it has/had great potential in is victim to poor management by a glut of Libra Foundation lawyers and general apathy from residents. Kris Horton related to me a conversation with an associate of hers, who proffered the excuse "I don't go that way" when asked to come and check out the market". It seems that the stubborness trait that seems to be common in Mainers shines through with this anecdote and we had a good laugh. Once I thought more about such a lame excuse and the rationale for it, I got more bewildered and upset about human nature. Who knows, maybe Libra will not find a buyer and retain it but turning over the management. Kind of a shot in the dark and it extremely doubtful, but I like that idea rather than see what becomes of the space.
  22. When is Bar of Chocolate open? Is it a true café? I had the impression it was more of a higher-end bar that focuses on desserts. I had heard that it is one of the few establishments in Portland that stock both Campari and Cynar, so it is good to see that there is that element there and need to visit.
  23. That is new information on Bandol, but it sounds like Eric is definitely moving and possibly changing the concept. He must have deep pockets to have lasted as long as he has there with very few diners, despite great national media coverage and press. Last month, I had heard that he was considering opening "Ladle" a small take-away concept focusing on soups that was supposed to be located underneath Starbucks on the corner of Middle and Exchange. I actually did not know there was space there (along that back connecting passageway by Black Tie) but this came from a longtime resident and cook that was approached to possibly work there. It looks like Bandol is still open and operating, but that is always difficult to determine because there is rarely any patrons. From what I gather and have heard from others in Portland, Bandol seems to have suffered from being to aggressive and too French-inspired. Portlanders seem to have much more middle of the road tastes generally speaking, although restaurants like Hugo's have done well. Perhaps, people have stayed away in droves for other reasons? Any comments or musings?
  24. Just adding a bit more fuel to the fire here with new information learned today. The Libra Group is run by a cabal of lawyers who have really no interest or desire to operate the PPM to any degree of a stable, working environment. They are actually the owners/operators of Maverick's, the meat section of Maverick's, and both produce stands - one that has not changed its selection of vegetables in over two months (not kidding here, talking identical placement and orientation since before X-Mas for I am watching it close to every day as a way of entertaining myself with the whole sordid ordeal). Even heard an anecdote about one of the lawyers having a dislike of weavers and knitters, so much to not allow any free demonstrations in the market by willing volunteers - mind you that this is not costing one red cent and may even get more people in the door. Come on now, the outdoor market that is at Monument Square every Wednesday through the summer can easily be retrofitted for part of the PPM and operated year-round if the Preble Street side is opened and pull-down gates and spaces for trucks to pull-up. Having a rotation of vendors, artisans, and local farmers under one roof on a year-round basis, it would not be too hard to transition. The sad part is that Elizabeth Noyce never lived long enough to see the market open and the disarray that has become of it. There is actually a great kitchen environment for demonstrations and for courses on the upstairs level. Portland needs to really find some manner and way for the PPM to survive and change.
  25. I agree on the taste and succulence of Maine Shrimp when the getting is good, but I have been burned the last two times. Overall, I think the quality of Harbor is above par, although I think their prices are a bit high across the board. It seems like they have four employees working even for the slowest shifts, usually with a girl sitting on the stool by the register. Maybe its just me, but with one less hourly wage to pay, perhaps their prices would be more in line. At least its not Scales though, that are paying 4-5 people to do crossword puzzles on the concrete bartop.
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