Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Newsy bits and pieces from all over Maine

June 3, 2010

TONIGHT: It’s not too late to Eat for Pete’s Sake, a Humane Society of Knox County fund raiser to benefit homeless animals . See previous posting.

FREE! Don’t you love that word? The National Park Service has waived entrance fees to Acadia National Park this weekend, June 5 and 6, as well as Aug. 14-15, Sept. 25, and Nov. 1. Saturday, June 5, is National Trails Day, so go hike one of the park’s rehabbed classics in its honor.

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: “Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place” opens at the Portland Museum of Art on June 5 and remains on display through Sept. 6. The exhibit, in honor of the centennial of Homer’s death, showcases PMA’s collection of about 20 watercolors and oils by the noted artist. It’s the first time since 1988 that all the works will be on view in the Charles Shipman Payson building. The museum owns Homer’s Prouts Neck studio, which is undergoing restoration and expected to reopen in 2012.

HUT, TWO, THREEMaine Huts & Trails has begun construction on its third full-service, back-country hut. This one’s about two miles below Grand Falls on the Dead River, and will be accessible by foot, bike, ski/snowshoe, and self-propelled boat .  “Construction of Grand Falls Hut, more than 15 miles of new trails and a spectacular 200-foot pedestrian bridge over the Dead River completes the first phase of our vision,” Herring said.

ISLAND ESCAPE: Nebo Lodge, on North Haven Island, has undergone a renovation and expansion, which included the addition of a new bar and fireplace, new deck and courtyard, new entryway, enlarged kitchen, expansion of two guest rooms. The lodge, owned by congresswoman Chellie Pingree, is open to the public for dinner. Its teamed with Equinox Island Transport to offer roundtrip transportation on the last two Fridays in June, and every Thursday in July and August. Depart Rockland, have dinner, and return the same evening; transportation is $20 pp. 

TWEET! Aroostook State Park is hosting a Birding Festival, Saturday, June 12. Highlights include: guided hikes led by seven of Maine’s top bird; birding by boat from Echo Lake; a live-bird demonstration of raptors; bird-house building for youngsters; and a group of artisan wood carvers demonstrating nature and bird carving. According to Park Manager Scott Thompson, this year’s festival emphasizes diverse birding experiences. “We’re here for more than just fishing and hiking; there’s a whole world of nature to explore and to learn how this park relates to Maine and the park system.”

FEELING BLUE? You might want to ink the Saddleback Bluegrass Festival on your calendar for the weekend of Aug. 6-8. Featured performers on Saturday include: The Jerks of Grass; Darol Anger, Scott Law, Sharon Gilchrist and Sam Grisman; The Stowaways; The Infamous Stringdusters; Mason Strunk; The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience; and The Del McCoury Band. Additional performances over the weekend will include The Mueller Family and Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection.

Ogunquit Restaurant Week starts June 7

June 2, 2010

Ogunquit has wakened from its winter slumber and is encouraging visitors to come hang out on its beaches, browse its art galleries and museum, and mosey the Marginal Way, and rewarding them with Restaurant Week Ogunquit deals. From June 7-15, participating restaurants (see below) are offering breakfast-for-two for $15, lunch-for-two for $20; and a three-course dinner for $25 pp. In addition, diners will be given a Discount Card to be used at other businesses throughout town (see way below).

Participating restaurants:

Alisson’s Restaurant: dinner
Amore Breakfast: breakfast
Angelina’s Ristorante: dinner
Bartley’s Dockside Restaurant: lunch, dinner
Beach House Grill: dinner
BeachFire Bar & Grille: dinner
Bintliff’s Restaurant: breakfast, lunch, dinner
The Blue Elephant: dinner
Blue Water Inn: dinner
Cape Neddick Inn: dinner
Cape Neddick Lobster Pound: dinner
Chowders: lunch
Clay Hill Farm Restaurant:dinner
Egg & I: breakfast, lunch
Feile Restaurant & Pub: brunch Sun, dinner all week
Fisherman’s Catch: lunch, dinner
Five-O Shore Road: breakfast Sat, brunch Sun, dinner all week
The Front Porch: dinner
Gourmet Express: lunch & dinner
The Hayloft Restaurant:breakfast, lunch, dinner
Jake’s Seafood Restaurant: breakfast & lunch
Jonathan’s Restaurant: dinner
Katie’s on Shore Road: dinner
Old Village Inn: breakfast & dinner
Post Road Tavern: lunch & dinner
Prime Restaurant: dinner
Raspberri’s Restaurant: breakfast
Roberto’s: dinner
Roost Cafe & Bistro: breakfast, lunch, dinner Thurs – Sat
Tapas & Tinis:Wild Blueberry Cafe: lunch, dinner

Businesses offering discounts on the Discount Card

Animal Instinct: 20% off
Baby Instincts: 20% off
Breaking New Grounds: 25% off
Caffe Prego: buy one gelato, get one free
Cape Neddick Country Club: 15% off pro shop purchases
Emporium Gifts & Collectibles: 20% off **
Genesis Day Spa: 20% off
Gorges Grant Hotel: 15% off full room rate (excludes packages, promos, and other discounts)**
H&M Crumpets: 20% off
Harbor Candy Shop: 20% off
Julie’s Ristorante & Provisto: 10% – 50% off select items
Juniper Hill Inn: 15% off
Maine Limousine Service: 10% off
Mariner Reosrt: 5% off
Massage Studio: 20% off
Ogunquit Museum of American Art: $1 off admission and 10% off in shop
On The Main Jewelry & Gifts: 15% off (excludes Pandora jewelry) **
Pizza Napoli: 10% off
Sacred Movement Yoga: 15% off
Scotch Hill Inn: 10% off
Spoiled Rotten: 15% off
Sundaes at the Beach: 20% off cones or sundaes
Wells-Ogunquit Resort Motel: 5% off
Yardarm Village Inn Wine & Cheese Shop: 15% off
Your Body Works Massage & Day Spa: $10 off any one-hour treatment
**other exceptions may apply
cannot be combined with other promotions

Share our Strength Portland event a foodie must

June 2, 2010

Eat well and support a fine cause at Portland’s 2010 Taste of the Nation event on June 27, 4:30-8 p.m., at the Ocean Gateway Terminal. More than 25 of Maine’s top chefs will be dishing samples, wineries and breweries will be pouring wines and brews, and mixologists will be concocting cocktails all in a mission to help end childhood hunger. All ticket proceeds benefit Preble Street Teen Center, East End Kids Katering, Good Shepherd Food Bank, and Cultivating Communities.

General admissionickets are $95 advance /$125 at the door for  (yes it’s a splurge, but remember, this is a fund-raising event, and a chance to nibble your way through Maine’s best all under one tent). VIP tickets ($250 advance/$300 door) provide early access (3 p.m.), gift bag, and opportunity to participate in an auction.

Participating restaurants (Really, this is an amazing lineup, folks):

Back Bay Grill (Larry Matthews, Honorary Chef)
Bresca (Krista Desjarlais)
Cinque Terre/Vignola (Lee Skawinski/Chris Geer)
David’s (David Turin)
The Edge (Bryan Dame)
El Camino (Eloise Humphrey/Daphne Conaskey)
Evangeline (Erik Desjarlais)
Eve’s at the Garden (Earl Morse) Morse is no longer at Eve’s, and according to my source, Eve’s has canceled participating.
The Farmer’s Table (Jeff Landry)
Five Fifty Five (Steve Corry)
Fore Street (Sam Hayward, Honorary Chef)
Francine Bistro (Brian Hill)
The Front Room/Corner Room/Grill Room (Harding Lee Smith)
Hugo’s (Rob Evans, Honorary Chef)
Local 188/Sonny’s (Jay Vilani)
Lily Bistro (Lynette Mosher/Robert Krajewski)
Miyake (Karl Duber/Masa Miyake)
Natalie’s at The Camden Harbour Hotel (Lawrence Klang)
Primo (Melissa Kelly /Price Kushner)
The Salt Exchange (Charlie/Martha Bryon)
Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea (Mitch Kaldrovich)
Standard Baking Company (Matt James)
Stonewall Kitchen (Patty Roche)
Swan’s Way Catering (Stacey Glassman)

Dine out for a doggone good cause

May 30, 2010

Dine out Thursday and help Pete and his pals, Humane Society of Knox County photo.

If you’re in the Greater Camden/Rockland region on Thursday, June 3, consider dining out at a participating Dine Out for Pete’s Sake restaurant (see participating restaurants, below) to help the Humane Society of Knox County.

This is a great organization that not only places local strays and unwanteds, but also takes dogs in from overcrowded shelters around the country. Its policy: Animals are not euthanized unless severe physical or behavior problems exist that cannont be resolved, they’re never euthanized for time or space

It’s success in its mission, so successful that it takes in dogs from more challenged shelters. Recently, 13 chihuahuas arrived from Los Angeles Animal Services, which receives over 300 chihuahuas a month but it doesn’t have enough homes for them all. (Adoption fee for these special dogs is $325. See more on the website.)

To help support these and other animals being cared for by the shelter, have lunch, dinner, or both at one of these participating restaurants (There are some excellent choices). FYI: My guys, Bernie and Dooley, give this event four paws up.

LUNCH

Amalfi on the Water
Big Fish
Blue Sky Cantina
Brass Compass
Harbor View Tavern
Home Kitchen Cafe
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Thomaston Cafe

DINNER

Amalfi on the Water
Athens Pizzeria
Atlantica
Badger Cafe and Pub
Big Fish
Blue Sky Cantina
Brevetto
Cafe Miranda
Ephemere
Harbor Gawker
The Haven Restaurant
In Good Company
Mc-Hales Restaurant & Pub
The Offshore Restaurant
Park Street Grille
Peter Otts
Pizza Hut
Primo
Prism Restaurant and Gallery
Rockland Cafe
Silver Lane Bistro

A Cold River night at Walter’s

May 29, 2010

I love the new Walter‘s, and I’m not alone. When I met a friend there on a Wednesday evening in early May, I didn’t expect to need reservations, but I should have made them. The place was mobbed. We were fortunate when a table opened in the lounge area, and we were able to snag it.

The old Walter’s feasted on the Old Port’s retro 1980s brick-walled  fern bar meets urban Victorian vibe; the new Walter’s redefines urban chic in Portland. It’s sleek, casual, comfortable, and decorated with contemporary flair; for once, brick is not the defining element.

What hasn’t changed is the food. Walter’s still turns out excellent fusion fare, melding Mediterranean, Asian, and Caribbean flavors with a Maine accent, and presenting them with flair.  (You nonfoodies need that translated? Damn good food crafted from eclectic ingredients you might not be familiar with but will come together in a happy dance on your tastebuds; not only that, but when it arrives, it looks too good to eat).

On Thursday, June 3, Walter’s is teaming with Cold River Vodka on a multi-course affair. It opens with a cocktail hour featuring Cold River drinks paired with passed appetizers, then continues with a four-course dinner ($75 per person, plus tax/gratuity).

Jeff Buerhaus, Walter’s owner and executive chef, is designing the evening’s menu to feature Cold River Vodka in select dishes, while Walter’s Bar Manager Steve Lovenguth will present attendees with a specially created array of Cold River cocktails.  One guest, drawn at random during the evening, will win a gift basket full of items from Maine Distilleries and Walter’s.

Menu highlights include:

• pastrami-cured duck breast appetizer

• roasted spring lamb chop

• vodka-based pasta dish with crumbled Greek farm cheese

• blueberry vodka cheesecake for dessert.

Cold River specialty cocktails include the Nor’easter, featuring Cold River’s Blueberry Vodka and HoneyMaker Blueberry Mead, and the Far East River, made with lemongrass-infused Cold River vodka and ginger liqueur.

In a nod to the evening’s culinary focus, Walter’s and Cold River Vodka will make a joint donation to the Maine Restaurant Association Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to deserving students pursuing post-secondary degrees in Culinary Arts or Hospitality Management programs. Nice touch.

And take it from me, when you go, whether for this event or on another night, do make a reservation.

Wings, Waves, & Woods returns to Deer Isle

May 10, 2010

Birders and art fans are invited to Deer Isle for the fourth annual Wings, Waves, & Woods, May 21-23. The festival, timed to coincide with early migration, is sponsored by the Island Heritage Trust, and a brochure detailing the event can be downloaded from its website.

Bob Duchesne, founder of the Maine Birding Trail, author of Maine Birding Trail, and a Maine Audubon trip leader for more than 20 years,  is this year’s special guest.

The festival opens with a reception Friday evening at the Pearson Legacy Gallery  showcasing bird-related artwork by more than 40 artists.

On Saturday and Sunday, experts will lead walks (free, donations appreciated), guide boat trips (fee), and give presentations and demonstrations. Here’s a sampling:

Warbler Walk, Settlement Quarry Preserve

Scotts Landing Bird Walk

Birding by Kayak, kayaks provided, $60

Nesting Eagles and Their Neighbors, Causeway Beach

Introduction to Birding

Puffins & Pelagics, cruise to Seal Island with Bob Duschesne, $60

Create Birdbaths & Planters, $35

Birdhouse Building for Kids, $5 includes materials and snack

Studio Demo & Tour (with the mega-talented Missy Greene and Eric Ziner)

Birding Identification Made Easy, Bob Duschesne

Lily Pond Walk

Found Objects Sculptures, demonstration, with Peter Beerits at Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies (one of my all-time favorite places)

Local Foods Chowder Supper will be available on Saturday night (seating limited; $12).

Where to stay: There are some wonderful accommodations available on Deer Isle. My favorite is the aptly named Inn on the Harbor, in Stonington. Both the Pilgrim’s Inn and The Inn at Ferry Landing are lovely B&Bs in Deer Isle. To really get in the spirit of the birding weekend, book a cabin at the oceanfront Goose Cove Resort, in Sunset, which borders the Barred Island Preserve. On a budget? Boyce’s Motel, in downtown Stonington, has clean rooms, some with kitchenettes. For dirt cheap accommodations, book a bunk at the rustic-bordering-on-primitive Deer Isle Hostel.

Tiptoe through 45,000 tulips and other blooms

May 6, 2010

This Saturday, May 8, the W. P. Stewart estate in Northeast Harbor, Maine,  opens its gorgeous grounds—with 45,000 (!) flowering spring bulbs—to the public as a fund-raiser for the Camp Beech Cliff. Daffodils, tulips, anemones, hyacinths, and rare specialty bulbs are all peaking for the 2010 Spring Bulb Tour, which takes places on  landscaped grounds edging Somes Sound. It’s not only a rare sight in Maine, but a rare opportunity to visit one of Mount Desert Island’s estates. Take Mom for a day-before-Mother’s Day treat. Admission is $15; kids younger than 12 are free with paying adult.

Bridesmaids no longer: Arrows wins Beard award

May 3, 2010

Finally, in their sixth nomination, Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, chef/owners of Arrows, in Ogunquit, win the big kahoona: The James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Northeast award. Congrats, guys!

Maine bits and pieces: news and chatter

May 3, 2010

Here’s a quick round-up of interesting news bits that have come across my desk:

Chebeague Island Inn reopening under new ownership

A favorite destination for travelers and day-trippers since the 1880s, the inn, restored in 2003-04, will re-open May 14 under the new ownership of the Prentice family of Yarmouth, Maine. With the May re-launch, the Prentices will be adding a more stylish, up-to-date ambiance.

One notable change is the inn’s restaurant, now under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Rowe, a veteran of 555 and Fore Street. The contemporary American menu, rooted in Maine and New England, will focus on locally/regionally sourced foods and beverages.

Here’s wishing the new owners success. I’m hoping to visit soon to see what’s happening.

• Unveiling of the Calves

You’ve heard of the Running of the Bulls, well Aldemere Farm, a 136-acres saltwater farm in Rockport, offers a far gentler experience. This Saturday, May 8, is its ninth annual Calf Unveiling Day. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. , you can  tour the Farm and visit with the newly born Belted Galloway calves (nicknamed the Oreo cookie cows for their distinctive white belt). Aldermere staff and volunteers will be on site speaking with visitors and providing information about the Farm and the herd.

Several other local farms will also be on site offering information regarding the goods they produce. These include:

• Sunnyside Farm with goats

• lueberry Farm and Blue Sky Farm with alpacas

• Ells Farm and Terra Optima will be selling meat

• Savage Oakes and Coastal Mountains Land Trust will have information about their operations

• Tanglewood 4-H Camp will present about their many agricultural offerings.

Other activities include the Rusty Hinges band performing (around 11 a.m.) and the Aldermere Achievers 4-H Club working throughout the day with their animals.

• Best Chef in the Northeast

Tonight, the James Beard Foundation will name the winner of the coveted Best Chef in the Northeast award. Chef/owners Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, have been nominated seven times. Here’s hoping that these perennial bridesmaids finally win; they certainly deserve it.

No. 10 Water Street opens tonight

No. 10 Water Street, the new restaurant at Brunswick’s Capt. Daniel Stone Inn, opens tonight, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Brunswick is getting to be an increasingly interesting food town, with a nice choice of inexpensive to moderate restaurants.

• Zip-line adventure park opening in Wiscasset

Monkey C Monkey Do, a Zipline family adventure park, is under construction on Route 1 in Wiscasset.

Rock on at the Maine Mineral Symposium

May 3, 2010

View and learn all about tourmaline, amethyst, beryl and other minerals and gemstones at the 21st annual Maine Mineral Symposium, May 7-9, at The Senator Inn & Spa, in Augusta. The majority of presentations and exhibits are on Saturday, with collecting field trips on Sunday for registered participants. Symposium registration is $15.

“This is not like a regular rock and mineral show,” says Woody Thompson, Maine Geological Survey physical geologist and symposium organizer. “What distinguishes this symposium is the program of educational talks at its core.” These aren’t scientific discussions, but more informal presentations, he adds. The three-day program also includes exhibits and field trips. Displays will include the Eureka Blue tourmaline find at Newry.

While the emphasis is on Maine, New England, and the Northeast, the symposium also touches on more exotic locales. This year’s program includes talks on mineral exploration in China and the giant crystal cavern in Naica, Mexico.

Fun Fact: Mineral mining in Maine began in 1820 at Mt. Mica, and the site still is being mined. It remains one of the major producers of Maine tourmaline and is the oldest gem mine in the U.S. (Maine Dept. of Conservation)

Conference presenters include:

Frank Perham, of the famous Perham mining family of West Paris, who will speak on “Recent Pegmatite Mining at the Waisanen and Albany Rose Quarries, Maine.” Pegmatite is a host rock that often contains other minerals, such as tourmaline and garnet, and Maine is famous for it.

Louise Jonaitis, partner at Plumbago Mountain, who will discuss “What’s New at Newry,” where the rare Eureka Blue tourmaline was discovered. A large stone was presented as a gift to President Obama during his recent Portland visit.

Richard Bostwick, of New York City, will speak on “Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey: A Great American Mineral Locality,” and the world’s premier source of fluorescent minerals;

Vandall King, of Rochester, N.Y., who will speak on “Lithium Mineralization in Granite Pegmatites.” Lithium is an important ingredient in many rare and colorful minerals in pegmatites.