Krista Kern Desjarlais in front of The Purple House in 2019. Ben McCanna/staff photographer

The Purple House in North Yarmouth will open this Saturday only for a holiday pop-up, offering owner/chef Krista Kern Desjarlais’s beloved Montreal-style bagels, imaginatively flavored ice cream and terrific pastries, including two varieties of financiers. The pop-up will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is takeout only and first-come, first-served. Desjarlais is taking no pre-orders and will not make food, such as sandwiches, to order. “We will fire up the oven and bagel the morning away!!!!” Kern announced on Instagram, with many emojis and exclamation marks.

Excepting occasional pop-ups, the cafe has been closed since the start of the pandemic; Kern has been using the kitchen to make ice cream, which she sells wholesale and, come summer, from Bresca & the Honeybee, her shack and beach on the shores of Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester. Later this winter, Kern said, she hopes to offer Saturday cooking classes and occasional dinners at The Purple House.


The Motoyaki Oyster served at Izakaya Minato in Portland has been named among the 17 best 2022 bites selected by the editors at Food & Wine magazine.

“This broiled Maine oyster with miso custard and ponzu is a triumphant embodiment of a true best bite, one where every one of its flavors and textures is perfectly contained in a single salty, sweet and slippery mouthful,” Deputy Editor Melanie Hansche wrote. “Every giddy diner at our table immediately wanted another.” Hansche also gave high praise to an off-menu item at the restaurant, the Uni Spoon, calling it “my second best bite of the year.”

Izakaya Minato co-owner Elaine Alden said Tuesday that she hasn’t yet had a chance to promote the mention on social media, and that the motoyaki are “already very popular,” so she’s not expecting sales to change. That said, “it always feels good when somebody gives you accolades, and they say something they ate at your restaurant is one of their favorite and most memorable items of the year, especially someone who goes out to eat a lot,” Alden said. “They probably eat many, many things, so to have something that sticks out in their mind feels good.”



The owners of LB Kitchen in Portland have announced on Instagram with “moderate certainty” that they will be moving into their new space at the corner of Smith and Congress streets in the first half of January. There, they will reopen for sit-down eating for the first time since the pandemic began; for the last few years, the restaurant has been takeout only.

“It has been a lonnnng, tedious, stressful, exhilarating, holy (expletive) kind of journey we’ve been on with this renovation, BUT, the end is finally feeling more in sight,” owners Bryna Gootkind and chef Lee Farrington posted on Instagram. In a telephone interview, Gootkind compared the process to running a marathon.

The new space at 255 Congress St. is adjacent to their current restaurant at 249 Congress St., where the breakfast/lunch restaurant has been located since it was founded nearly six years ago. Not long before the pandemic began, the pair opened an LB Kitchen in Portland’s West End, intending to expand their business through multiple locations, Gootkind said in a telephone interview. But the effects of COVID led to that new branch closing, and to an eventual pivot (remember that word?) to a larger space on Congress Street instead. They are renting part of the new space to an art gallery, and will also rent out their current LB Kitchen space.

In its new home, LB Kitchen will serve a similar menu of healthful items including bowls, oatmeal and avocado toast. The owners had planned to open in their new home in June, but, as with many other restaurants in Portland, delays pushed that date back significantly.

“In the end, I think it always happens when it’s supposed to happen,” Gootkind said. “I feel much more comfortable doing some troubleshooting with our community rather than our tourists, even though we love them both. It will be slower than we’d probably like it to be until spring or summer, but for the long view I think it’s probably better.”


The current LB Kitchen will remain open up until the holidays.

“It’s going to be a huge adjustment and transition for us to going back to a space that people come into,” Gootkind said. “But we’re ready. We’re ready for people.”


Host your own Maine Feast of the Seven Fishes this Christmas with a new DIY Kit. Photo courtesy of Maine Seafood

The marketing arm of the state’s Department of Marine Resources, Maine Seafood, has partnered with SoPo Seafood in Knightville to sell a DIY Feast of the Seven Fishes kit made with all Maine seafood as well as recipes from Maine chefs for the traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast.

The kit, which sells for $227.50, plus shipping, includes “all the seafood you’ll need for your very own holiday feast,” according to SoPo Seafood’s website. Items include lobster, scallops and monkfish. The recipes are provided by acclaimed Maine restaurants like Helm in Portland, The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport and Primo in Rockland.

“The whole point of this effort is to promote seafood from Maine,” said Joshua Edgcombe, co-founder of SoPo Seafood. “We’re excited about it.”

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