Grand opening for bakery offering local, organic foods

Local Sprouts Cafe and Bomb Diggity Bakery will hold its grand opening Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. during the First Friday Art Walk.

The cafe will serve local, organic foods and host music, classes, art shows and other special events. The bakery will be making gluten-free, vegan and regular baked goods and breads. Both are located at 649 Congress St.

The grand opening will feature free local food, an art show of food-inspired art, and performances by local musicians and poets.

More than 200 people volunteered their labor and skills to open the cafe, and loaned money through a community financing program as well.


Shipyard to host 3 parties for release of 2 new brews

Who can resist trying yet another new local brew? Well, semi-local, anyway.

Shipyard Brewing Co. is holding release parties this week for two new “tropical brews” created by two University of Vermont grads, Chirag Vayas and Kevin Chipman when they were living and working on the island of St. John. Shipyard has become the exclusive contract brewer and bottler for St. John Brewers, creators of Virgin Island Pale Ale, Island Hoppin’ IPA and Tropical Mango Pale Ale, a light pale ale with a tropical fruit essence.

The two varieties available at the release parties will be the Island Hoppin’ IPA and Tropical Mango Pale Ale, which is St. John Brewers’ flagship beer.

A release party will be held tonight from 5 to 8 at Jimmy the Greek’s, 215 Saco Ave., Old Orchard Beach. Tomorrow’s party will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Great Lost Bear, 540 Forest Ave., Portland. Friday’s party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at Three Dollar Deweys, 241 Commercial St., Portland.

Vayas and Chipman will be attending all three events.


Cranberry Island Kitchen having art show on Friday

If you haven’t checked out the new Cranberry Island Kitchen yet (and its new lemon-lime whoopie pie), stop by during the First Friday Art Walk this week and you’ll also be treated to a new show by Maine artist Laurie Rothrock. The kitchen’s new space is at 52 Danforth St.

There will be a reception for Rothrock from 5 to 8 p.m., and the paintings that make up her “Connections” show will be displayed throughout the bakery and retail space. Rothrock has won awards in juried art shows, including the New England and Philadelphia Watercolor Society shows. Her work can be seen at the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic in New York through June 12.

After you’ve sampled the new lemon-lime whoopie pie, try the handmade Maine crackers made with potato flour from Aroostook County.


Two eateries beef up menus with wings, roasted chicken

Two Portland restaurants have some delicious additions to their menus.

Peter Zinn, owner of Po’ Boys & Pickles at 1124 Forest Ave., reports that he’s expanded the menu to include wings and milkshakes. The restaurant also now carries Abita Beer from Abita Springs, La., which is being sold on special for $2 per bottle.

El Rayo Taqueria, 101 York St., is firing up its monster grill on Mondays. Starting this week, the restaurant is offering roasted half chickens for $8.95. Eat in, and they come with rice, beans and tortillas.


Sustainable agriculture expert to speak on Thursday

Food writer and historian Nancy Harmon Jenkins will be the guest speaker at a meeting of Slow Food Portland on Thursday at the Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square.

Jenkins, an expert in sustainable agriculture who lives in both Maine and Italy, will talk about Maine food during the program, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guests can also take the opportunity to view the museum’s latest exhibit, “Objects of Wonder: Four Centuries of Still Life From the Norton Museum of Art,” before it ends on June 6.

Samples of Maine food will be served, and there will be a cash bar. Tickets are $25, or $20 for museum and Slow Food members. For more information, call 775-6148.


New LiveWell Cafe opens at Goodall fitness center

Trying to eat more a more healthy diet? The LiveWell Cafe is now open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Goodall Health/Quest Fitness Center.

Quest Fitness helped design some of the menu items, from a breakfast sandwich made with egg whites to a line of protein and post-workout smoothies.

The cafe, at 2 Livewell Drive, also serves a wide selection of wraps, soups, salads, sanwiches and paninis. To view a menu, go to www.thelivewellcafe.org

For more information, call 467-3513.


Rebuilt restaurant opens as The Pearl on the Pier

The Pearl Restaurant has re-opened on the waterfront after being rebuilt by new owner Jimmy Fanning.

The new restaurant, located at 275 Main St., will be called The Pearl on the Pier and seats 175 people. It features a 100-foot bar, a raw bar, and a menu with lots of fresh seafood prepared by Lauren Jillison. Jillison worked two years at Primo and is a graduate of the Johnson & Wales culinary school in Rhode Island.

The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner through October. There are plans to add a 26-slip marina and ship’s chandlery that will open sometime in 2011.

The Pearl originally opened as The Woodshed in the 1950s, then became Captain Pete’s Restaurant and finally The Black Pearl.

For more information, go to www.thepearlrockland.com.



California vintner to host a wine dinner on June 11

Peter Merriam, a summer resident of Maine who owns a vineyard in California, will be showcasing his wines at a June 11 wine dinner at the Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Ave.

The dinner, which starts at 6 p.m., costs $70 per person and includes tax and gratuity. Executive chef Steve True and Mark Wozny, the bar manager, have paired wines from Merriam Vineyards with a three-course meal, plus salad and dessert courses.

To view the menu, go to nonantumresort.com/Dining/specialevents.html

To make reservations, call 967-4050.

Peter Merriam was profiled in the Feb. 26 edition of The Portland Press Herald. To read the story, go to pressherald.com/archive/a-yankee-in-sonoma_2009-12-08.html.



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