January 23, 2013


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Hugo’s is continuing its tradition of offering two-for-one tasting menus ($45 per person) this winter. But if you want to take advantage of the deal, better find time to go in the next six weeks or so.

Why? The rumors of renovations at this Portland culinary institution are apparently true. Chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor and general manager Arlin Smith announced in their newsletter that the restaurant will be closing in late February to begin “a grand transformation.”

The renovations, they said, “will introduce a luxurious, sprawling tasting bar, overlooking an open kitchen.”

Plush leather booths are also part of the plan.

The owners say the restaurant will re-open sometime “in the spring.” That usually means April or May.

Have an extra $2,000? 'Lodge’ has a deal for you

What would you do if you had an extra $2,000 floating around?

Andrew Volk, owner of the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, hopes you’ll spend it on a new “lodge membership” at the cocktail bar, which is slated to open at an undisclosed location this spring.

The $2,000 annual fee buys you a “lodge membership” at the cocktail bar. Most of the money, $1,750 of it, goes toward your bar tab, held on specially designed membership cards.

Lodge members – only 50 people will be allowed to sign up – will be the only guests allowed to make reservations.

Other benefits:

A personalized cocktail menu and drinks.

Access to “Hush Hush,” the club’s speakeasy.

Access to special monthly member events and the annual members-only holiday party.

Discounts to classes and special events.

Access to members-only organized trips, tastings and barrel purchases.

Reserve a spot or ask questions about lodge membership at members@huntandalpineclub.com.

Celebrated Portland chef to repeat 'Chopped’ gig

Portland chef Rob Evans, owner of Duckfat and 2009 recipient of the Best Chef: Northeast award from the James Beard Foundation, is going back for seconds on the popular Food Network show “Chopped.”

Evans originally appeared on the show in October 2011, and came home with the $10,000 prize. Now he’ll compete on “Chopped Champions,” featuring former winners competing for $50,000.

Evans will appear in Round 4, the episode that airs at 10 p.m. on Feb. 5. He’ll be vying for the final spot in the $50,000 grand finale.

'’Chopped’’ is a cooking competition in which four chefs use ingredients in '’mystery baskets’’ to create a three-course meal that is judged by a panel of three experts. After each course, one of the chefs is '’chopped’’ from the competition.

According to the Food Network, the mystery ingredients on Evans’ episode will include sour apple martini mix and, for the entree round, “an imposing cut of meat” and sweet wine.

Five Fifty-Five owner puts ooh and aah in O

Steve Corry, chef/owner of Five Fifty-Five and Petite Jacqueline, has an impressive spread of recipes for Valentine’s Day in the February issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

In a short article, author Kate Christensen, who recently moved to Portland, writes about making Valentine’s Day more inclusive by inviting friends and family to dinner. She asked Corry what he would cook for a group of friends, and he designed an entire menu.

It starts with cauliflower soup with creme fraiche, followed by vadouvan curry shrimp. For an entree, there’s salmon in parchment with olive butter. Sides include potato and fennel puree and brussels sprouts with brioche bread crumbs.

For dessert, Corry shares his family recipe for Clementine Pots de Creme.

All of the recipes are included, along with luscious photographs of each dish.


Third store for Five Guys will be near Maine Mall

Five Guys Burgers and Fries has announced it plans to open a third location in Maine, this time in South Portland.

The new location will be at 198 Maine Mall Road, and it will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Maine’s first Five Guys opened in April 2011 at 425 Fore St., in Portland’s Old Port. The Lorton, Va.-based restaurant chain also plans to open a place on Stillwater Avenue in Bangor this spring.

– Compiled by Meredith Goad, Staff Writer

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