LyAnna Sanabria, co-founder of Papi in Old Port, was named by Punch among 20 semifinalists for the country’s Best New Bartender. Sanabria was photographed in late November 2022 as Papi was still under construction. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Online beverage bible Punch on Monday named Papi beverage director LyAnna Sanabria among 20 semifinalists for its 2023 Best New Bartenders awards.

Sanabria, who has run the bar program at the Old Port Puerto Rican cocktail bar and restaurant since it opened in March, was the only New England-based bartender on the Punch list. The writeup says each nominee has shown “a distinctive point of view on drink-making, a genuine passion for the hospitality industry and a desire to push it forward.”

Punch’s list includes nominees from such celebrated venues as Dante in New York City, The Aviary in Chicago, Death & Co. in Denver and Kato in Los Angeles.

Asked to explain Sanabria’s professional appeal, Josh Miranda – who co-founded Papi with Sanabria – quoted Mark Hibbard, his bar manager at Blyth & Burrows: “LyAnna is your favorite bartender’s favorite bartender.”

“She’s just one of those energies,” Miranda continued. “She has a glow about her. Professionally, she’s just so talented. The cocktail list (at Papi) is an extension of her. Every drink has a story behind it and has meaning. Her inspiration is her family, her culture, the history of Puerto Rico. LyAnna is a world-class talent, and the fact that she’s in Portland, Maine is just really special. I built a bar around her.”

Punch will cull the semifinalists and name 10 winners on Oct. 10.



The sale of longtime Cape Elizabeth restaurant The Good Table is expected to close in mid-September, according to co-owner Lisa Kostopoulos.

Kostopoulos said she hopes to be able to disclose the identities of the buyers and offer more information about the sale after Sept. 12. She said the prospective buyers are undergoing a third round of due diligence and trying to secure the funds they need to close the deal.

The Kostopolous family has owned The Good Table since it opened in 1986. They put the restaurant on the market last October. The current offer came in January, and was the first bid on the property.

“It’s been a long haul,” said Kostopoulos, who said they closed The Good Table on Aug. 20 anticipating the deal would soon be complete. “I guess it’s not unusual for a deal this big to take this long, but it feels unusual to me. If things, God forbid, fall through, we’ll reevaluate whether we’re closed or not.”

Known for its homey, comforting dinners; hearty breakfasts; and pies featuring fresh seasonal fruit, The Good Table has been a local institution for almost 38 years. Kostopolous said she believes the new owners will maintain both the restaurant’s name and its reputation.


“From what they’ve said, (the buyers) want to keep the name and the culture of hospitality and friendliness,” she said. “It thrills me that they would want to carry on the name.”

Kostopolous said putting the restaurant on the market was a “hard decision,” noting that she first reached out to brokers in 2016 to discuss possibility of selling.

“So it was a very long, long decision, going back and forth. I’m 63 years old, I’ve worked really hard for 38 years. My dad (business partner Tony) is 90. We’ve done it. We’ve survived a pandemic and a fire,” said Kostopoulos, referencing an August 2001 blaze that destroyed The Good Table, though the family was able to rebuild and reopen seven months later.

“This is very bittersweet, though,” Kostopoulos said. “I wanted a long, slow goodbye – well, I certainly got one. It’s been a good run.”


Dave Portnoy, a blogger, podcaster and head of Barstool Sports, visited three Portland pizzerias this weekend for the first time to conduct a round of his web-famous “one bite pizza reviews.”


Portnoy posted a collage of the three venues he visited – Flatbread Pizza, Pizzaiolo and Monte’s Fine Foods – on his Instagram page. Online publication Slate last month called Portnoy “easily the most influential pizza critic in the country.”

The new media mogul has posted hundreds of videos of his one-bite reviews on his social channels – Portnoy has 4 million followers on Instagram alone – in which he stands outside a pizza restaurant with a slice in hand and gives it a grade between 0 and 10. Slate called his grading “notoriously stringent,” noting that after more than 1,000 reviews, only 22 have scored nine or higher, and most don’t even score as high as seven.

Portnoy and his team did not immediately respond to requests for an interview, and he hasn’t yet posted his official reviews of the Portland pies, so stay tuned for more details.


Cheesemakers and cheese lovers alike will be headed to Pittsfield in September for the seventh annual Maine Cheese Festival.

Set for Sunday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Manson Park, the event features about 60 vendors, including more than 20 Maine cheesemakers. Attendees will be able to sample a wide array of Maine cheese made from cow, goat, sheep and even water buffalo milk.


The festival also will offer live music all day, dozens of food trucks, a beer and wine tent, and cooking demos and cheese-centric discussion sessions in the education tent, with topics such as how to build and license a small dairy or creamery in Maine.

Festival organizers said the day’s highlight will be the third annual Maine Cheese Competition and Awards, with the award ceremony live-streamed from the main stage.

Tickets, available online and only in advance – no tickets will be sold at the door – run from $11 to $63. For more details, visit


A dozen of Maine’s top female chefs are collaborating on a September dinner at Crown Jewel to benefit the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and highlight the state’s female farmers.

Dubbed “Fabulous Femmes,” the Monday, Sept. 18 event features two seatings at the Great Diamond Island restaurant, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Participating chefs include Hannah Adinaro and Lauren Smallidge of Crown Jewel; Krista Kern Desjarlais of The Purple House in North Yarmouth and Bresca & the Honeybee in New Gloucester; Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind of LB Kitchen; Devin Finigan of Aragosta at Goose Cove on Deer Isle; Melissa Kelly of Primo in Rockland; Ilma Lopez of Chaval and Ugly Duckling; Kimberly Lund of Regards; Hannah Ryder of Twelve; Cara Stadler of Bao Bao Dumpling House, as well as Zao Ze Cafe and Tao Yuan in Brunswick; and Mimi Weissenborn of Sur Lie.


Crown Jewel owner Alex Wight said she put together an all-female chefs event in 2016 at Flanagan’s Table in Buxton to benefit the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. “So I reached out to some of those females and said, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about getting the band back together and including some new folks,’ ” Wight said. “And they said they’re in.”

Wight said the upcoming dinner also is meant to celebrate female farmers in Maine, which ranks among the country’s top five states for percentage of female farmers. The chefs will use as much product as possible from female-operated farms supported by MOFGA, she said.

“I’m grateful for all these powerhouse women to come together for the evening and put out a pretty stellar seven-course meal,” Wight said. “We are so lucky to have this talent. It’s kind of otherworldly we can gather these women in one space. It’s not reflective of all the (female) talent across Maine, but it’s a pretty strong sampling.”

Tickets cost $275 per person, available online, and include the multicourse meal, full beverage pairing and roundtrip ferry transportation.


Portland’s annual Latino Food Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 23.


The festival will be held at the Guild Hall of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Congress Street from 11 a.m. until the food runs out, according to organizers.

The event features Latino music, costumes and handmade crafts, along with samples of celebrated Central and South American dishes like tacos, tamales, pupusas, arepas, rellenitos, flan and more. Tickets for the food items will be sold at the festival.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Sacred Heart-St. Dominic Parish, home to the Latino Catholic community in the greater Portland area. The festival had been held at Sacred Heart Church until last year, when it was relocated to the Cathedral to accommodate the large crowds. Event organizers estimated that hundreds of people attended the event last year, many coming from hours away.

“I think we had people from Cherryfield and Bangor and also Pittsfield, all the communities where we are present as a Hispanic ministry – Sanford, Lewiston – all those places,” said José Pérez Lopéz, an outreach coordinator for the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Hispanic Ministry. “We all speak Spanish, but we have different types of traditions, different types of food, so it’s really important for us to have this event.”

For more festival information, visit

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