Bob Rizk, chef/owner of the Cobblestone Grille in Old Orchard Beach, stands in front of his restaurant’s new location in Scarborough. Courtesy of Amore on the Marsh

A Greek chef who cooks Italian food is moving his restaurant this week into the former Anjon’s Italian Restaurant at 521 Route 1 in Scarborough.

Anjon’s, which served old-school Italian food in Maine for more than 60 years, closed in September.

Bob Rizk, the owner of Cobblestone Grille at 8 Heath St. in Old Orchard Beach, says he is leasing the building with an option to buy, and hopes to open Jan. 17.

Rizk will keep everything from Cobblestone Grille except the name, which will change to Amore on the Marsh. The menu and prices will remain the same, he said. But the move will at least quadruple his seating – Cobblestone Grill had just 50 seats, which meant customers often had to wait a half-hour or so for a table, Rizk said.

For now, Amore on the Marsh will be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. In the spring, the restaurant will be open every day and offer lunch as well.

A speakeasy (of sorts) for the town that invented Prohibition 

If all went well last night, the new owner of Pat’s Pizza in Portland made good on his promise to open a speakeasy upstairs on New Year’s Eve.

Mike Lizotte of Freeport, who also owns The Drink Exchange at 43 Wharf St., bought Pat’s Pizza in August and said he planned to open something a little different upstairs – a speakeasy with a cassette tape-lined stairwell and telephone booth front door. Its grand opening was scheduled for Dec. 31. The new business at 32 Market St., called Pie North, is described as “the only Speakeasy Barcade in Maine,” blending retro musical decor with classic arcade games.

Gray says goodbye to a community classic

Cole Farms, the Gray restaurant where friends and neighbors have gathered for a cup of coffee and a slice of pie for 68 years, is closing

Cole Farms restaurant in Gray is scheduled to close Jan. 13 after 68 years in business. John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Calling it “a tough an emotional decision,” owner Brad Pollard said in a press release that the restaurant’s last day will be Jan. 13.

The sprawling roadside restaurant at 64 Lewiston Road was founded in 1952 by two brothers. Originally a burger and ice cream stand, the 24-by-30-foot building that sprang up in a rocky pasture expanded to seat as many as 300 diners and employed thousands of locals over the years.

‘Restaurant: Impossible,’ round 2

Dennis Fogg, owner of Uncle Andy’s Diner, a few months after the eatery got a makeover from “Restaurant Impossible.” Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

In 2014, Robert Irvine, host of the Food Network show “Restaurant: Impossible,” which helps struggling restaurants get back on their feet, paid a visit to Uncle Andy’s, a 65-year-old diner in South Portland’s Knightville neighborhood. On Sept. 14, Irvine and his crew returned to see how the diner and its owner, Dennis Fogg, are faring five years after its two-day, $10,000 makeover.

You can see Irvine’s second impression of the diner when the Uncle Andy’s return visit episode airs at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Got plans for March?

If you’ve never been to a Maine Voices Live event at One Longfellow Square in Portland, you’re missing out. Our staff has interviewed such Maine notables as actor Patrick Dempsey, former Sen. George Mitchell and author Richard Russo. And yes, there have been local chefs on our stage as well: Erin French, Ilma Lopez, Cara Stadler, Christian Hayes and Matt Ginn.

Mark your calendars: Tickets go on sale today on eventbrite.com for a March 16 appearance by Sam Sifton, food editor of The New York Times and summer resident of Maine. The 90-minute conversation costs $10 for subscribers and $20 for nonsubscribers.

Favorite cookbooks of 2019

Curious what Mainers were cooking and reading about last year, we asked the Portland Public Library to share a list of the year’s most checked-out cookbooks. It’s an interesting mix of hot titles from celebrity cooks and chefs and books by local authors:

1. “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” by Samin Nosrat

2. “Ottolenghi Simple,” by Yotam Ottolenghi

3. “Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks” by Ina Garten

4. “Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites” by Deb Perelman

5. “5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food” by Jamie Oliver

6. “The Lost Kitchen: Recipes and a Good Life Found in Freedom, Maine” by Erin French

7. “Milk Street Tuesday Nights” by Christopher Kimball

8. “Northern Hospitality With the Portland Hunt + Alpine Club: A Celebration of Cocktails, Cooking and Coming Together” by Andrew and Briana Volk

9. “Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes From the Pollan Family” by Tracy, Dana, Lori and Corky Pollan

10. “Borealis Breads: 75 Recipes for Breads, Soups, Sides, and More” by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds and Jim Amaral


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