Chef Cara Stadler, who co-owns the Portland restaurant Lio with her mother, Cecile, announced in her latest newsletter that she is re-launching Lio as a tapas and wine bar.

Stadler wrote that since the restaurant opened last year, it has “gone almost full circle,” starting off as a wine bar that served tapas that could be upgraded to a meal, then moving into composed plates and coursed dinners. Now, Lio is returning to its original concept. The new menu includes the chef’s version of pelmini, a Russian dumpling filled with chicken and dill in broth. Stadler is running the kitchen, and Nathan Berger, who was co-owner of Beuchert’s Saloon in Washington, D.C., before moving to Maine last summer, is Lio’s new wine director. Pastry chef Kate Hamm is still in charge of desserts.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Schulte & Herr in Portland closed Monday so the owners could fly off to visit friends and family in, you guessed it, Germany. The restaurant will reopen Nov. 1.

A change of hands, but not menu

One Six Green, the cafe and coffee shop in Portland’s Monument Square owned by Aussie Kharis Johnston, has changed hands, and the new owner, Erica Burke, has given the business a new name – Burke’s Perks. The menu – a line-up of sandwiches, salads, coffee (including Johnston’s “Aussie coffee”) and specialty drinks – remains mostly the same, for now.

Burke’s Perks is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sundays.

No bad lobster puns, I promise

Jessica Werthen of Chebeague Island Inn won Harvest on the Harbor’s Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition with her Butter-Poached Lobster: Corn/Cherry Bomb/Brown Butter. Photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Seriously, I’m not going to say this person “clawed” her way to the top. Or that the competition got heated. Or that her dish “buttered” up the judges. Oops.

The 2020 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year is Jessica Werthen from Chebeague Island Inn, who wowed the judges with her butter-poached lobster at the annual competition held during Harvest on the Harbor. Werthen won the Judge’s Choice portion of the contest. The People’s Choice winner was Thomas Barthelemes from Central Provisions, selected for his Lobster Toast: lobster mousseline on toasted milk bread with lobster Kewpie mayonnaise, tomatillo-seaweed relish, and green shiso.

How about a bundt cake pun instead?

If you want to send a gift and fruit cut into flowers or a box of whoopie pies bores you, there’s a new option in town. Jonathan Carr and Todd Greenquist opened Maine’s first Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery in Scarborough on Sept. 28. The store’s grand opening events are scheduled for the next three days and include a benefit day for the Maine Cancer Foundation on Friday (20 percent of sales that day will go to the foundation). On Saturday, the first 50 people who show up (the store opens at 10 a.m.) will win free “Bundlets” (miniature bundt cakes) for a year – one per month for 12 months. Cake samples will be passed out until noon. We shared the store’s version of a classic red velvet cake – chocolate cake, chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting – with colleagues and heard a lot of compliments about its moistness.

Founded in 1997, Nothing Bundt Cakes now has more than 300 locations in the United States and Canada.

Become a smoker … of seafood, that is

Leslie Harlow, owner of the smoked seafood business Sullivan Harbor Farm in Hancock, is launching an apprentice-in-residence program for people who would like to become master smokers.

Brooke Butterwick, the master smoker at Sullivan Harbor Farm, will lead students through a two- or three-day hands-on program to teach them how to cure, smoke and package seafood. The program, Harlow says, is designed for “chefs, hobbyists and foodie types.”

The two-day program costs $695, the three-day program $975. Each is limited to three participants. For more information, email [email protected]


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