Maiz, the little eatery in Portland’s Public Market House that sells Colombian street food, opened its second location Sunday. It’s on Forest Avenue in the Woodfords Corner neighborhood.

Martha Leonard owns the restaurants with her husband, Niky Watler, who grew up in Cartegena, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, eating lots of arepas. The new location, 621 Forest Ave., will be open 3-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed Mondays.


Are you a tired, overworked nurse who needs a break? Thai Essan, 849 Forest Ave., has your back. The popular Thai restaurant/take-out spot announced on its Facebook page that from Wednesday through April 30, nurses will get 15 percent off their total order. The owner wrote that his sister is a pediatric nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital, and her birthday falls within this time frame. He’s offering the price break in her honor. Let me just say “awww, what a nice brother,” and also give a shout-out to all those pregnant nurses at Maine Medical Center. You all should take a mini-road trip to Thai Essan together and feed those babies some Khao Tom and fried bananas.


Lovebirds Donuts, the new vegan doughnut shop located at 450 U.S. Route 1 in Kittery, will have one more soft opening day Friday, from 7 a.m. until the doughnuts sell out. After the soft opening – a test run for a limited number of people so the restaurant can fix problems and make improvements – comes the public grand opening this weekend with hours from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The owners warn that they may limit customers’ orders so that as many people as possible get a chance to try the goodies.

All of Lovebirds’ doughnuts are free of eggs, milk, honey and butter. The menu of doughnuts will change regularly, but may include flavors such as pistachio cream and mango-vanilla.


Two Falmouth residents are planning to open a distillery in June in Portland’s East Bayside.

Dave McConnell, a Portland attorney who has advised many craft beer makers in his 23-year career, is teaming up with his friend Sam Pierce, founder of the Portland-based software service IW Financial, to open a rum distillery called Three of Strong. The name comes from a Colonial-era punch recipe: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak.”

“After 23 years, I thought it would be really fun to connect with something I’m really passionate about,” McConnell said.

Three of Strong has leased 6,200 square feet in the Rockingham Electric building at 35B Diamond St. McConnell said they have hired Graham Hamblett, master distiller at Dogfish Head Distilling Co. in Delaware. Crystal Pomerleau, who has worked at several well-regarded Portland restaurants, will be manager of the tasting room.

McConnell said the distillery will begin with making rum, both because he and Pierce “really love rum” and because of Portland’s strong historical connection to the drink. Pierce’s family also has a connection, McConnell said: Pierce’s ancestors distilled rum in the 1750s on the Charles River in Watertown, Massachusetts.

As Three of Strong begins distilling its own rum, the company will also source aged rum from a family distillery in Barranquilla, Colombia, on the Caribbean coast. The Portland distillery will sell the South American distillery’s 12-year-old rum, and use its 5-year-old rum for blending, McConnell said.

Three of Strong also plans to make a spiced rum. Chef Evan Mallett, owner of The Black Trumpet restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has developed a spice blend for the Portland rum, McConnell said.


Good News Coffee & Package, 28 Brackett St., will become The Cider House this spring.

The shop currently sells coffee and breakfast items, such as granola, bagels and English muffins, as well as beer and wine to go. Owner Michael Vassallo told city officials that he’s decided “a change of concept is the best business option for me at this time.”

He said his new business, which he’ll call The Cider House, will serve no other drinks than ciders, with an emphasis on Maine and New England hard ciders. He said he would also like to sell fresh, local, non-alcoholic ciders, including hot spiced cider. Vassallo also plans a tapas-style dinner menu, with a few larger items. The Cider House will be open for lunch on weekends.


If only that had been the rule on the real Titanic.

The Portland Supper Club has scheduled its annual adults-only “Dinner on the Titanic” event for Saturday at the Cumberland Club, 116 High St. The dinner, limited to 100 people, sold out last year.

The cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. and features hors d’oeuvres, Champagne, a signature cocktail and oysters shucked by Basket Island Oyster Co. Dinner starts at 8 p.m. The menu includes “steamship round of beef” carved to order, pan-seared diver scallops, sauteed heirloom vegetables, and carved smoked salmon. Finish the meal at a flambé dessert station and a coffee station.

The actual final dinner on the Titanic, served on April 14, 1912, to first-class passengers only, was a 10-course meal that included oysters, filet mignon, poached salmon, chicken Lyonnais, foie gras, roasted pigeon, lamb with mint sauce and Punch Romaine (orange-flavored shaved ice drenched in Champagne). The kitchen staff was made up of 113 cooks, 15 first cooks, 12 pastry chefs, six bakers, five butchers and five sous chefs.

The pastry chef at the Cumberland Club re-created the Titanic in cake form at last year’s Titanic-inspired dinner. Photo courtesy of the Portland Supper Club MICHAEL LEONARD

As with most last-meal-on-the-Titanic dinners, guests are encouraged to wear formal Edwardian attire, including maritime costumes of the era.

Tickets cost $99 and include tax and tip. Advance tickets are required; to buy them, call the Cumberland Club at 773-6402 or visit

Watch out for icebergs on the drive home. (Hey, it’s Maine. Would you really be all that surprised?)


The nonprofit Brewers Association recently named Lone Pine Brewing Co. the fifth fastest-growing craft brewery in the United States. You can experience that growth firsthand this weekend, when Lone Pine (just 3 years old) opens its second tasting room at its new production headquarters in Gorham.

The tasting room will hold its grand opening from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at 48 Sanford Drive. The new tasting room (the original one on Anderson Street is still open) features 16 taps, a  barrel-aging facility, indoor and outdoor seating, food trucks and a retail area.



Thinking of taking a road trip to Bar Harbor this summer? There will be at least one new restaurant to try: Salt & Steel at 321 Main St., which is scheduled to open April 17.

Chef Bobby Will of Salt & Steel, a new restaurant opening in Bar Harbor next week. Photo courtesy of Salt & Steel

The 50-plus seat restaurant (with a garden patio for enjoying those beautiful coastal Maine summer evenings) is co-owned by Chef Bobby Will and his fiancee, Kimberly Kraus, who will serve as general manager. The chef, according to a press release, will focus on “hyper-local cuisine, inspired by the farmers, fishermen and foragers of the area.”

Will graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and has worked at Charlie Trotter in Chicago; Clio and Tremont 647 in Boston; and the Atlantic Inn on Block Island in Rhode Island. He was head chef at Fathom in Bar Harbor before moving to Saltaire Oyster Bar in Port Chester, New York, and working with the Jean-Georges group.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad


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