The Wrap: restaurants open and reopen
Chef Christian Hayes, who survived the pandemic by starting a new restaurant serving burgers and similar casual fare, has announced that he will reopen his fine dining restaurant, The Garrison, on July 1.
The restaurant, located in the Sparhawk Mill on the banks of the River Royal in Yarmouth, opened in 2019. About eight months later it closed due to the pandemic, and Hayes got to work on Thoroughfare. , also in Yarmouth, a take-out restaurant with an outdoor terrace. He started it to help pay the bills, but plans to continue making it his third business, including Dandelion Catering.
Reservations for The Garrison will soon be available on the restaurant’s website, thegarrisonmaine.com.
BBQ returns, with extras
Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill at 476 Stevens Ave. in Portland reopened in late May with a new patio and a few fun extras – a fire pit and a cornhole. Summer hours, both at the Deering Center and the original restaurant in South Portland, are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday , from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday and closed on Monday.
Thai orchid blooms again
Orchid Thai, an upscale Thai restaurant located at 202 US Route 1 in Falmouth, reopened last week.
Happy to see you again
Little Tap House, the popular food pub at 106 High St. in Portland, quietly reopened earlier this month after being closed for 15 months during the pandemic.
The pub has new dishes on the menu, including Carolina ribs, roast duck and scallops. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and dinner hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Meal by the water
No need to interrupt your people watching or write this captivating summer read. This summer, if you’re lying on the sand at Higgins Beach and feeling a little hungry, you can order hot dogs and have them delivered to the beach.
I wrote about Shade Shack, a beach lunch service that launched Friday at the Higgins Beach Inn, in May, but recently found out that their delivery service would extend beyond the immediate neighborhood to the beach itself. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily (until September), you can call or place an order online from the comfort of your beach towel. A bicycle courier will deliver it to the beach entrance and notify you by text or phone that the food has arrived. (You’ll still have to walk on the sand to get it, lazy.)
On the menu are beef hot dogs from Feltman’s Coney Island, as well as lobster rolls, burgers, grilled cheese and BLTs.
The Higgins Beach Inn is located at 34 Ocean Ave. in Scarborough.
Drink and dine downtown
The Fore Points Marina Bar is back for the season, serving drinks and food from the Evo X truck Wednesday through Monday from noon to 9 p.m. Chef Matt Ginn said the bar will add Mondays soon.
Wayside Tavern, a restaurant located at 747 Congress Street in the same building as The Francis hotel, initially had a target opening date of June 1. Now it looks like it will be mid-July to the end of July, according to Siobhan Sindoni, a sommelier who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, chef Michael Sindoni. The couple also own the Roll Call food cart.
Siobhan Sindoni said the menu will be influenced by traditional Italian and French cuisine, but will take advantage of fresh, local seafood and produce. It won’t be, she said, “super modern food or crazy new combinations of flavor profiles.”
She and her husband enjoyed dining at Flood’s, which occupied the location until it was closed by the pandemic. They fell in love with its âclassic and timelessâ look. âIf it wasn’t for this space, we probably wouldn’t have jumped on it so quickly,â said Siobhan Sindoni, âbut we really love the space, and when we realized it was for rent at the fall 2020, we reached to the owners of the Francis to put our names in the hat.
Wayside will have approximately 55 seats, including indoor seating, bar seating and a dozen outdoor seating. Sindoni said he wants to attract diners looking for a glass of wine and a snack, as well as a place to celebrate a special occasion. âIt’s really important for us to be part of the community,â she said. âOne of our big goals is to create a comfortable and warm space. We definitely want to capture what our neighbors want in a neighborhood location. “
The roll call will continue as is, for now – Sindoni’s brother-in-law is a partner in this business and plays an important role in its management. Sindoni said that after the food cart season ends, they may be looking for a physical space for Roll Call.
Pigeons to close
Pigeons, a daytime restaurant at 59 Washington Ave. in Portland owned by the same couple who created the famed Drifters Wife, will close after Saturday’s service, according to a social media announcement on Monday, less than two months after it opened.
The restaurant, which was open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, was launched on May 12 as a successor to Drifters Wife, which owners Peter and Orenda Hale closed last year during the pandemic.
In an Instagram post, the Hales wrote, âLife is definitely not a straight pathâ¦ but it’s the pain and the beauty of it. Thanks to the team behind Pigeons who created something truly magical. A team full of talent, professionalism, charm, spirit and heart.
This summer, the Hales added, they will focus on Maine & Loire, their adjacent wine merchant, which they plan to extend to the restaurant area.
Grill of Victory for Lomac
Sabin Lomac, co-owner of Cousins ââMaine Lobster, is on the rise. And we’re not talking about lobster rolls.
Lomac, who developed a side gig as a TV host, is now starring in a new Food Network show called “Grill of Victory,” a barbecue contest focusing on three home cooks. who compete in three sets of grilling challenges for a chance to win a bespoke outdoor kitchen.
Lomac filmed six hour-long episodes of the new show. He and his cousin Jim Tselikis recently co-hosted Food Truck Rehab, another Food Network show. The couple are waiting to see if the Food Network will order more episodes of the show, according to a spokesperson for Cousins ââMaine Lobster.
The cheese festival resumes
The Maine Cheese Festival, canceled last year due to the pandemic, will be held on September 12 of this year, at Manson Park in Pittsfield.
The festival – which features live music, a beer tent, and samples of Maine cheese – is the Maine Cheese Guild’s largest source of funding and a major event for Maine cheese makers, as an opportunity to showcase their products to the public.
This year’s event will feature the first annual Cheese Awards.
On the map
Kristen Thalheimer Bingham, co-owner of Dean’s Sweets, has mapped out retailers, including local food and beverage companies, in Portland’s East Bayside to make it easier for consumers to navigate the area in their search for beer, wine, rum, kombucha, coffee – and chocolate.
It also includes a bit of the history of the neighborhood and touts free parking in the area.
The map is available in print, available at any East Bayside retailer, and in digital version which can be downloaded from eastbaysidemap.com.
Back to normal
Signs of a return to normal at local grocery stores: At Portland Food Co-op, shoppers have returned to using reusable product bags and reusable containers for bulk purchases.
âIt was disheartening to have to stop these practices during the pandemic, as environmental sustainability, including reducing plastic and packaging in our food system, is part of our mission,â said Chief Executive Officer John Crane. âWe are delighted to welcome them back and to encourage low-waste lifestyles again. “
And at 11 Hannaford stores in Maine, bulk bakery purchases were reintroduced on Sunday. Olive bars and pizza and soup stations have also reopened. Stores continue to follow state safety guidelines, according to spokesperson Ericka Dodge, such as hourly utensil exchanges and the provision of hand sanitizer for use by customers.
As of July 1, the state’s ban on plastic bags, delayed due to the pandemic, will go into effect. By law, shoppers will have to bring reusable bags to the store or pay a 5 cent per bag charge for paper bags.