It looks as if we may finally see what chef Cara Stadler and her mother, Cecile, have been cooking up for their new restaurant, Lio, which is now scheduled to open in Portland in late April or early May. They’ve provided a few fresh details in their business application filed with the city.

The restaurant, which will be located at 3 Spring St. in the Six City Center block, will serve “modern European (food) offered on small plates, allowing diners to have food and wine typical of fine dining restaurants without the time or cost commitment of fine dining.” Owen Price, a chef who has worked for James Beard award winner Marc Vetri in Philadelphia, will run the kitchen and is the third partner in the restaurant.

The food will be paired with a variety of wines by the glass, including high-end wines that are not usually available by the glass, according to the Stadlers.

Lio will feature a serpentine bar that allows diners to cluster around the curves, a chef’s table, a private dining room, a deck and a patio.

The Stadlers also own Tao Yuan in Brunswick and BaoBao Dumpling House on Portland’s West End. Cara Stadler is a 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef, and was a five-time semi-finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award.



Another food cart is going brick and mortar.

Evan Richardson of South Portland, owner of Eaux, plans to move his cart, serving New Orleans bistro- and Southern-inspired food, into the old Crooners & Cocktails space at 88-90 Exchange St.

Richardson is a Louisiana native who launched his food cart last year. His restaurant will be able to offer something the food cart couldn’t – beer, wine and cocktails.

A sample menu for Eaux features snacks such as fried butter beans and boiled peanuts, and dishes such as chicken and waffles, jambalaya, roast beef po’ boys, and johnnycakes.

Richardson’s targeted opening date is May 15.



Industrial Way has become Portland’s most happening craft beer neighborhood, with both tourists and locals flocking there to sample Maine-made brews. New England Distilling, which makes gin, rum and rye whiskey just around the corner at 26 Evergreen Drive, hopes to cash in on the crazy increase in tourist traffic this summer by adding 216 square feet of outdoor dining space to its tasting room at One Industrial Way.

Ask for a Springlet, the signature cocktail at this year’s Source awards, made with the distillery’s Ingenium Gin.


Jacqueline Langinier Derasse, the diminutive woman for whom the Portland French bistro Petite Jacqueline was named, died in September last year at the age of 96. Born outside of Paris, Derasse was just 4 feet, 8 inches tall, but to hear her granddaughter, restaurateur Michelle Corry, tell it, she was a force of nature in life and in the kitchen.

Corry and her husband, chef Steve Corry, will be celebrating the life of the real Petite Jacqueline with a special happy hour to be held at the restaurant from 5 to 7 p.m. April 27. The ticketed event includes a Champagne toast and all of Derasse’s favorite foods – foie gras, shrimp cocktail, oysters, cheese, charcuterie, and a variety of sweet treats. Tickets are $40 with oysters, $35 without.



Alexandra Wight, the force behind the popular Flanagan’s Table series of chef’s dinners in Buxton, has a new project on Great Diamond Island: She is planning to turn The General Store at Diamond Cove (which she owns with her mother, Gail Landry) into a casual, seafood-centric restaurant, and move the store into an adjacent space.

Both businesses will be seasonal, operating from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

The plans for the restaurant, to be called Crown Jewel, include 35 seats and two counter bars. Wight has requested the city allow outdoor dining as well on the deck. The store will continue to sell items such as ice cream, penny candy, beer and wine, sandwiches, newspapers and coffee.


If you want to relax on the deck this summer and not play bartender, Maine Craft Distilling has a new product that will mix the drinks for you.

On Saturday, the farm-to-flask distillery, located at 123 Washington Ave. in Portland, plans to launch a new line of sparkling craft cocktails in can. A rum-and-ginger cocktail called the Maine Mule, made with the distillery’s Ration Rum, and a Blueshine Lemonade, made with its blueberry moonshine, will go on sale at noon. The cans cost $13.99 per four-pack.



If you’re more of a wine person, Blue Lobster Wine Co. has you covered with its wine in a can. The new winery at 219 Anderson St., in Portland’s East Bayside, held a soft opening over the weekend, but will officially open its doors Friday. Drop by between 4 and 7 p.m. to try its chardonnay, rosé or zinfandel in a can or on tap.


Portland already has Maine Foodie Tours and the Maine Brew Bus. Is there room for another food tour business? We’ll find out when Maine Food For Thought launches its “educational tasting tours” this summer. Tickets will go on sale for the June to November season on April 27 at, according to the business’ Facebook page. (The page does not say how much those tickets cost.)

Maine Food for Thought will partner with local restaurants and nonprofit organizations to tell “an authentic story of Maine’s unique food system and how it impacts the people, ecology, and economy of Maine.” Restaurants already on board include East Ender, Evo Kitchen + Bar, Piccolo, Scales, Solo Italiano and Union.



Fred Eliot, the executive chef at Scales in Portland, tells me that food writer Michael Ruhlman, author of “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing,” recently came into Scales for dinner with his family. Eliot, as we wrote in December, has been obsessed in recent months with making pâté en croute. He follows the instructions in Ruhlman’s book, so when Ruhlman actually appeared in the restaurant, Eliot surprised him with a couple slices of pâté. Eliot said Ruhlman was “super excited and surprised” to get it, considering he was in a seafood restaurant, and pronounced Eliot’s version “perfect.”

“He went to France to judge at the world championship of pâté en croute this year,” Eliot said, “so for him to say that it was perfect meant a lot to me.”


Tonight’s guest chef pizza at Tipo in Portland comes from Brant Dadaleares, the Portland pastry chef who plans to open his own dessert restaurant called Gross Confection Bar. His chocolate coconut dessert pizza includes toppings of roasted cherry jam, vanilla ricotta, candied pistachios and cinnamon crumble. As Dadaleares would say on social media, Gross.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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