PORTLAND
Vignola will host tasting of wine, tapas Thursday

Vignola restaurant is hosting a Spanish wine and tapas tasting Thursday that will feature 25 Spanish wines, including new white vintages from 2009 and the latest red varietals.

Chef Lee Skawinski, Chris Campbell from C and P Imports and Justin Woodward from Wicked Wines traveled to Spain recently and will introduce the wines to guests as they discuss the regions they came from and offer tasting notes. A tasting menu served with the wine will include Winter Point oysters and traditional Spanish tapas.

The event will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Vignola, 10 Dana St., and costs $25 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Chef’s steak tartare conesget rave review at festival

The Front Room’s chef Harding Lee Smith must be feeling his chops.

In an otherwise scathing review of the Great American Food & Music Festival, Village Voice writer Jesse Hirsch singled out Smith’s $3 steak tartare cones as “a rare highlight” at an event where guests paid $50 admission and $25 for parking – and then had to pay for their food on top of that.

Most food at the festival – which Hirsch called “a greedy, poorly run train wreck” – began at $8 or $9, he said. Harding’s dish was one of “a few surprisingly low-priced treats.”

Smith’s restaurant and the Maine Diner attended the June 13 festival at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and are scheduled for a repeat performance Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Saturday’s version of the festival runs from noon to 10:30 p.m. Tickets purchased the day of the festival are $52.50 and do not include the “Grand Tasting,” which costs $110.

Parking is included in Saturday’s ticket, according to the festival’s website, but food is not.

According to the website, most food is in the $5-$8 range.

You can read the Village Voice review at http://bit.ly/awLuaz

– Compiled by Meredith Goad, Staff Writer