Dishes from Twelve restaurant, which opened last week. Clockwise, from top right: spring vegetable salad, egg and salted herbs; hake fried with seaweed and tartar sauce; glazed potato tart; and cod with trout roe and peas. Photo courtesy of Twelve restaurant

Twelve restaurant, among the country’s most anticipated new openings this year, launched last week in the Portland Foreside development.

A seasonal fine dining restaurant that aims to pay homage to Maine’s finest ingredients, Twelve, at 115 Thames St., is helmed by heavy hitters in the restaurant world, including chef Colin Wyatt (formerly of New York City’s Eleven Madison Park and Daniel, and Portland’s former Five Fifty-Five) and Matt Gin (Evo, Prentice) along with general manager Daniel Gorlas (formerly of Per Se, also in Manhattan). Twelve is part of the Prentice Hospitality Group, which also owns Evo Kitchen + Bar.

The impressive credentials of the Twelve crew helped generate national interest around the coming restaurant this year, with media outlets like Vogue adding it to their must-try places. Twelve is open Tuesday through Saturday, 5-10 p.m.

Brea Lu’s first location was in Portland. It moved to Westbrook, and now is moving again, to a much larger space. John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

BREA LU TO MOVE TO A BIGGER SPACE

Westbrook’s popular breakfast and weekend brunch joint, Brea Lu, expects to move this fall to a Larrabee Road location that will more than triple the restaurant’s capacity.

The new space at 100 Larrabee Road will give Brea Lu more than 130 seats for customers, compared to the 44 seats they have at their current location at 9 Cumberland St., according to owner Christian Deluca. The restaurant will have about 3,700 square feet to stretch out in on Larrabee Road, more than three times bigger than its 1,200-square-foot space now.

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“We couldn’t be more excited about our new space,” Deluca said. “And it will let us be way more creative with what we offer.”

The new location will feature a bakery specializing in breakfast pastries like muffins and scones, along with additional sweet treats like Whoopie pies and cookies. Deluca said that the restaurant, known for its breakfasts, will expand its lunch menu at the new site. He added that the kitchen will have two fryolators, equipment the restaurant currently doesn’t have.

Brea Lu will stay open an hour or two later as well, Deluca said, until 3 p.m. He also hopes to double his staff, which has about 10 people.

The increased capacity also should mean that Brea Lu’s customers won’t need to wait over an hour for a seat on busy weekends, Deluca said.

“Hopefully, people will never have to wait again,” he said.

TENDER TABLE FOOD AND ART FAIR SET FOR SEPTEMBER

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After last year’s successful inaugural event, the Tender Table Food and Art Fair returns to Portland for a second year in September.

The fair, featuring food and art from Mainers of color, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3 in Congress Square Park from 12-4 p.m.

Crowds enjoyed a day of poetry and food celebrating Maine residents of color at the Tender Table fair in Congress Square Park last summer. The second annual Tender Table Food and Art Fair is set for Saturday, Sept. 3. Photo by Lin Worry

The event includes works for sale by local artists such as Jenny Ibsen, Future Juju, A Clearing, Loquat and Hinge Collaborative, along with live music by Kafari and Alejandro Graciano, tarot readings, a braiding circle and a family-friendly art corner, hosted by Love Lab Studio.

Tender Table celebrates Maine’s Black and brown community, spotlighting its various identities, cultures, cuisines and traditions through a combination of storytelling and food. The group began in 2017 as a storytelling event series where women and nonbinary people of color gathered to share stories and a corresponding meal.

CONGDON’S AFTER DARK RAISES FUNDS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS

Food truck park Congdon’s After Dark plans to give money from its “Tithing Tuesdays” program this week to help address mental illness in Maine.

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Congdon’s After Dark, which is located in Wells, has chosen the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness as its beneficiary this week for Tithing Tuesdays, in which 10 percent of Tuesday’s proceeds from the park’s food truck vendors go to the selected organization. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Maine is a nonprofit organization providing mental health support, education and advocacy across the state.

Nicole Vera, COO of the national alliance’s Maine chapter, said representatives from the group will be on hand at Congdon’s park on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’re grateful to Congdon’s for this opportunity to connect with the community, raise funds and mental health awareness – especially during a time with increasing mental health needs,” Vera said.

The amount of the Congdon’s gift was unknown Tuesday, and a spokesperson for Congdon’s After Dark could not be reached.

GIFFORD’S GETS ON THE GO

Gifford’s HomeMaine Ice Cream went mobile last weekend in Brunswick with the launch of its rolling “Scoop Shack.”

Gifford’s new rolling “Scoop Shack,” a 20-foot ice cream trailer offering up 20 flavors, launched last weekend in Brunswick. Courtesy Gifford’s Ice Cream

The fifth-generation family ice cream company took its new 20-foot ice cream trailer to the Maine Folk event in Brunswick last Sunday for a test run. The trailer is equipped with two 60-gallon freezers and two 12-gallon standing fridge units, allowing Gifford’s to serve 15-20 flavors out of the rig.

Gifford’s CEO Lindsay Skilling said the Scoop Shack trailer sold hundreds of waffle cones and frappes to event-goers Sunday, items that had previously only been available at the company’s five ice cream stands: in Auburn, Bangor, Farmington, Skowhegan and Waterville.

Skilling said that as company officials determine the trailer’s schedule for the rest of the summer and fall, they will update its calendar on social media. To request the ice cream trailer for a private or public event, visit Gifford’s website.


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