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Eater Maine Heatmap Archive

Old Eater Heatmap entries, saved for posterity.

Rather than creating a new map every single time, we've recently begun updating the existing Heatmap at the same permalink. Normally that would mean deleted map points simply disappeared — until now.

We typically swap out one to four Heatmap entries each month to keep track of the latest and greatest "it" places of the moment, and this forum post will now serve as your resource for keeping track of former entries (and descriptions from the last time they appeared on the Heatmap). Going forward, the current Heatmap will always be found right here.

Retired in March 2018:

Belleville, Portland: This East End bakery serves up French pastry and Roman-style pizza. Owned by a husband-and-wife team that trained in Paris, Belleville is open for breakfast and lunch every day except Monday.

Retired in February 2018:

Scratch Toast Bar, South Portland: Aiming to (hopefully) lessen the scarcity of its popular bagels, Scratch Bakery opened a production facility and toast bar in South Portland. Toasts with a wide array of toppings, plus bagels and cream cheese, are available to enjoy on site or to go with Coffee By Design coffee.

The Shop, Portland: From the owners of Island Creek Oyster and Boston's Row34, this raw bar has a simple menu: oysters, caviar, tinned fish, and beer and wine. Oysters are $1.50 whether taken to go or enjoyed in house, making this one of the best oyster deals in town outside of happy hour.

Ada's Kitchen, Rockland: From the owners of Main Street Markets comes Ada's Kitchen, located in the former home of the 3Crow which closed late last year. Chef Siddharta Rumma, formerly of Trattoria Fanny in Portland and Eataly Boston, moved to Rockland to serve pasta, pizza, and specialty sandwiches at this Main Street spot.

Retired in January 2018:

Toroso: From Shannon Bard, the chef behind Portland's upscale Mexican restaurant Zapoteca, comes Toroso, a Spanish-themed tapas bar in Kennebunk's Lower Village. Housed in the sprawling space of the defunct Kennebooks, the 100-seat restaurant features a menu of Spanish-inspired small plates. Future plans for the site include a café dubbed Salud Bistro, a cooking school, and a barn for weddings.

Foulmouthed Brewing: South Portland's Knightville neighborhood gets in on the hot Maine beer scene with the opening of this brewpub. A variety of creative styles of beer, brewed on site, are on tap, while former Nosh chef Danny Lindberg offers a small menu of pub favorites.

Nina June: Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Italian trattoria from New York chef Sara Jenkins aims to bring Italian classics and simple seasonal dishes to downtown Rockport. Located in the home of the former Salt Water Farm, Jenkins' restaurant overlooks the harbor, providing nice views with orders of pork ragu. Pro tip: the restaurant's name is pronounced NINE-a June, after the chef's childhood nickname.

Retired in December 2017:

Pearl Kennebunk: This seafood/steakhouse project from New York chef Rebecca Charles was delayed after a sprinkler incident flooded the space and forced the closure of the casual oyster bar The Spat Oyster Cellar downstairs. Fresh seafood and raw bar items are the focus now that it's finally open.

Chaval: Caiola's is in good hands with new owners Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez. The West End favorite got a reboot when it closed for renovations in February and reopened mid-July as Spanish-themed Chaval. With a menu of Spanish staples like Jamon Iberico, tortilla, and blistered Padron peppers and a bar program run by Central Provisions alum Patrick McDonald, Chaval is firing on all cylinders right out of the gate.

Cong Tu Bot: Tandem Coffee co-founders Vien Dobui and Jessica Sheahan made waves four years ago with their noodle pop-up dinners. Fans of the series waited patiently while Dobui and Sheahan developed a permanent restaurant, and the payoff comes in the form of a casual, brightly-colored cafe tucked into a corner of (where else?) Washington Ave. The bun cha, a cold noodle salad, the goi cai bap, a fresh napa cabbage salad, and the pho are popular.

Little Giant: The latest from Portland Hunt & Alpine Club owners Briana and Andrew Volk, this West End restaurant and bar is the second half of the project—a sister market of the same name is located next door. Serving "Continental European cuisine with an eye to New England ingredients," Little Giant promises to be a welcoming neighborhood hangout

Retired in November 2017:

El Jefe Taco Bar: From the owners of Conundrum Wine Bar, El Jefe brings tacos and tequila to the quieter side of Freeport. Located right next to the wine bar, in the former home of the Old World Gourmet market, the food and drinks at El Jefe are earning rave reviews.

Yobo: Korean food returns to Portland with Yobo, opened in the former home of Bibo's Madd Apple Cafe. The owners are longtime restaurateurs, operating a Korean and an Asian restaurant in New Hampshire for years. Stop in for a fix of Korean staples like kimchi dumplings and bibimbap.

Lazzari: This long-time-coming (seriously, it was announced two years ago) project from Tom Barr, owner of Taco Escobarr, is now open. Specializing in wood-fired pizzas and espresso and cocktails served with an Italian flare, early reports indicate Lazzari was worth the wait.

Luis's Arepera & Grill: This beloved casual Venezuelan eatery relocated from Saco to the former home of Vivian's Drive-in on Forest Ave. in Portland. The new space is smaller than the old one, providing take out only, but Portlanders are excited to have more access to these crispy pockets of melty cheese, vegetables, and meat or beans.

Noble Barbecue: Wood-fired pizza cart caterer Ryan Carey switches gears with this permanent location for his business. Smoked meats are the focus at Noble Barbecue, taking the place of Taco Trio's outer Forest Ave. outpost, where barbecue is available by the pound or on sandwiches. Don't miss the "scrappy fries" a poutine-esque mix of fries, baked beans, and meat scraps.

43 North Bistro: Joe's Boathouse has been given a thorough makeover with Chef Stephanie Brown's seafood-heavy menu and a complete renovation. Still the same view of the water though, now maximized with a 30-seat deck and a rooftop bar. Come for the view, stay for the expertly prepared seafood.

HiFi Donuts: This stripped-down doughnut shop does two things: doughnuts and coffee. The doughnut selection aims to please every kind of doughnut lover with three kinds of the holy pastry: raised, cake, and crullers. A variety of flavors are available in each type. HiFi serves George Howell coffee from Massachusetts.

Retired in October 2017:

Cheevitdee: The sister restaurant of MiSen, Cheevitdee focuses on healthy food, serving low-sodium dishes made with organic produce. Lunch service provides a welcome option for Old Port worker bees.

The Burleigh: The restaurant at the Kennebunkport Inn has had a facelift, with new chefs and a more casual menu. With a happy hour menu that includes blue cheese mussels and a chicken biscuit, this tavern is sure to become another KPT hot spot.

Mami: Yet another food truck opens a brick and mortar with Mami's new location on Fore Street. The menu contains food truck staples like the okonomiyaki and Big Mami burger. Fans of the Mami truck shouldn't despair —it'll still be truckin' at breweries this year.

Retired in September 2017:

The Holy Donut: Maine's hottest potato doughnut empire expands to a third location in Scarborough, complete with a drive-through lane. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., doughnut seekers will be able to get a dark chocolate sea salt or maple bacon doughnut fix at nearly any hour.

Baharat: Baharat is the brick-and-mortar home of the food truck CN Shawarma, now with an expanded menu and a full bar. Located across the street from Rising Tide Brewery, where the food truck frequently parked, the new space is serves up its signature shawarma meats, falafel, and mezze like fried chickpeas, babaganoush, and za'atar-spiced deviled eggs.

Neighborhood: The owners of the popular food truck Good ‘n' You have opened Neighborhood on High Street in Belfast, serving an expanded menu of globally-inspired fare. From tacos to shawarma, the menu uses local ingredients and the full bar is stocked with many local spirits and draught beers. Good ‘n' You will continue this summer under new ownership.

LB Kitchen:
Fans of Chef Lee Farrington's restaurant Figa rejoiced when she announced her fast-casual cafe LB Kitchen would open in the same East End space. After a long renovation process, the cafe opened in late February, serving breakfast and lunch weekdays and Sunday brunch. Expect grain bowls, smoothies, salads, and gluten-free treats.

Retired in August 2017:

BRGR BAR: With over 15 burgers (and a make-your-own option) and boozy "adult" milkshakes, this downtown Portland restaurant is an instant hit. Formerly the home of Margarita's, a complete renovation transformed the space with an industrial vibe and murals by local artist Ryan Adams.

Trattoria Fanny: Formerly Rossobianco, this casual natural wine bar and Italian restaurant from Vinland owner David Levi has reoopened. Chef Siddharta Rumma brings considerable experience in Italian cuisine, having worked at The Corner Room and opening Eataly in Boston. Early reviews praise Rumma's handmade pasta and traditional Italian desserts like the pine nut torta.

Izakaya Minato: Continuing the restaurant explosion of Washington Ave., this casual spot offers Japanese favorites like okonomiyaki, udon, and kimchi fried rice. Owners Owners Elaine Alden and Thomas Takashi Cooke are recent imports from San Francisco, where Cooke worked at a sushi restaurant. The Japanese fried chicken and omakase are hits with early diners.

Tipo: The latest from Central Provisions owners Chris and Paige Gould was an instant hit with its housemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. Small plate starters like beef carpaccio and charred octopus bring an upscale touch to this family-friendly neighborhood spot.

Retired in July 2017:

Sichuan Kitchen, Portland: Portland's Arts District gains another Asian dining option with the opening of Sichuan Kitchen. Open for lunch and dinner, this Chinese kitchen's menu eschews the typical Chinese fare and serves up a menu of dumplings, stir fries, and noodle dishes.

The Purple House, North Yarmouth: The newest, much-anticipated project from Krista Kern Desjarlais, former chef of Bresca in Portland and the owner/chef of Bresca & the Honey Bee at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, is now open for breakfast and lunch. Expect Montreal-style bagels, a selection of sandwiches (they make their own bread), Speedwell coffee, and sweet pastries, available Wednesday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Big Fin Poké, Westbrook: Big Fin Poké moves into Westbrook's Main St., part of a revitalization of the city's downtown. Owners Jimmy and Samantha Liang previously owned Chia Sen in Scarborough and now turn their attention to poke, a traditional Hawaiian food much like deconstructed sushi, available in customizable bowls.

Retired in June 2017:

The Mountain Room: From Chef Harding Smith, owner of 4 "Rooms" restaurants comes his latest project at Sunday River Ski Resort. The Mountain Room is a 20-seat bar with plans for a full restaurant by next winter. Located mid-mountain at the Peak Lodge, the newest Room offers hearty ski fare like panini, charcuterie boards, and steamed buns.

Mussel Ridge Market: Fans of food blogger Malcolm Bedell's food cart 'Wich, Please will be heartened to hear that Bedell is now behind the line at Mussel Ridge Market and has been given free rein over the market's menu. Mussel Ridge, owned by local Molly Hooper, opened in the renovated former home of Spruce Head Pizza and serves sandwiches, pizza, and typical pub grub. Bedell's serves up his popular tacos on Friday nights, and "International Night" specials on Wednesdays feature Indian curries and General Tso's chicken.

Tulsi North: The popular Kittery Indian restaurant has expanded to Wells with Tulsi North. Chef Raj Mandekar keeps the menu the same at this second location, with dishes from southern coastal India made with with locally-sourced ingredients.

Retired in May 2017:

El Rayo, Portland: This beloved Mexican joint returns to Portland with its new location on Free Street. A newly-added deck provides more outdoor dining options. Breakfast and lunch are served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dinner service until 9 p.m. beginning Tuesday.

Retired in April 2017:

Salud Bistro, Kennebunk: Chef Shannon Bard's empire expands with Salud Bistro, a casual cafe serving sweets, global fare, and grab-and-go meals. Sharing space with Bard's Spanish-themed Toroso, Salud is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Forage Market, LewistonThis market and bakery in downtown Lewiston is heating up with its recent mention in Saveur and Down East magazines. The wood-fired bagels and weekend pizza nights are attracting attention, and the local beers on tap don't hurt either.

Spat Oyster Cellar, Kennebunk: Chef Rebecca Charles, owner of New York's Pearl Oyster Bar, comes to Maine where she's summered for years, to open this casual oyster bar. Located in the former home of Abbondante, the pub downstairs serves a casual seafood-heavy menu. Charles plans to open a Maine version of the Pearl Oyster Bar upstairs sometime next spring.

Big J's Chicken Shack, Portland
: Providing a much-needed dining option in Thompson Point's row of booze businesses, the Chicken Shack is now slinging all kinds of fried chicken to the masses: chicken and waffles, Nashville hot chicken, and chicken sandwiches. Sides include comfort foods like mac and cheese and baked beans and Tijuana street corn. The restaurant is BYOB, so pick up a bottle or cans from Stroudwater Distillery, Bissell Brothers, or Cellardoor Winery first.

Retired in March 2017:

Toroso: From Shannon Bard, the chef behind Portland's upscale Mexican restaurant Zapoteca, comes Toroso, a Spanish-themed tapas bar in Kennebunk's Lower Village. Housed in the sprawling space of the defunct Kennebooks, the 100-seat restaurant features a menu of Spanish-inspired small plates. Future plans for the site include a café dubbed Salud Bistro, a cooking school, and a barn for weddings.

Foulmouthed Brewing: South Portland's Knightville neighborhood gets in on the hot Maine beer scene with the opening of this brewpub. A variety of creative styles of beer, brewed on site, are on tap, while former Nosh chef Danny Lindberg offers a small menu of pub favorites.

Nina June: Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Italian trattoria from New York chef Sara Jenkins aims to bring Italian classics and simple seasonal dishes to downtown Rockport. Located in the home of the former Salt Water Farm, Jenkins' restaurant overlooks the harbor, providing nice views with your pork ragu. Pro tip: the restaurant's name is pronounced NINE-a June, after the chef's childhood nickname.

Retired in February 2017:

Sammy's Deluxe: From the former chef at the Salt Water Farm Cafe in Rockport, this stripped-down restaurant serves simple, seasonal dishes using local and foraged ingredients. Recent menu items included "Polish grandma-style" stuffed cabbage and housemade smoked haddock snacks.

Solo Italiano: After the chef of Ebb & Flow and his wife moved back to North Carolina, owner Angelo Ciocca briefly closed the restaurant for a reboot. New chef Paolo Laboa's speciality is his homeland's classics like focaccia, pesto, and hand-formed pasta dishes. Laboa's pesto even won the World Pesto Championship in 2008.

Broken Egg: This brightly colored cafe serves breakfast and lunch on Main St. in Rockland from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the former home of Comida. The eclectic menu includes carrot cake pancakes, PB&J beignets, and "frushi" or fruit sushi. The newly granted liquor license brings a selection of beer, wine, and speciality drinks.

Retired in January 2017:

Tacos Del Seoul: This new food truck serves its Korean-Mexican fusion fare for lunch and special occasions on the Eastern Prom and at various Portland breweries. Expect mash-ups like totchos, tater tots topped with bulgogi and fresh pico de gallo.

Falafel Underground: Taking advantage of the bagel shop's morning hours, Tara Rancourt and Scott Ryan serve falafel sandwiches in the Union Bagel Co. space Thursday through Monday, 4-10 p.m. The menu is small, with 4 sandwich options, and condiments like zhug and mutabal shawandar may stump diners — fortunately, a glossary is also provided.

Arata: A rebranding of The Gothic, this plant-based restaurant from Maine native and celebrity chef Matthew Kenney opened over Memorial Day weekend. The kitchen is led by chef Scott Winegard and early reviews praise his steamed buns, filled with mushrooms, eggplant, or tofu, and the warm potato salad with a kimchi vinaigrette.\

Retired in December 2016:

Drifters Wife: Natural wine shop Maine & Loire closed for a few months of renovation in order to add a wine bar to the front of its Washington Ave. shop. Owners Peter and Orenda Hale are serving a selection of natural wines by the glass and bottle, plus a select few bottled beers. The small plates menu comes from their former co-worker, Ben Jackson, who previously was the Executive Sous Chef at Reynard in the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn.

The Spirit Restaurant: This schooner turned bar/restaurant finally opened in the Kennebunk River last month, after numerous setbacks that delayed the project a year. Enjoy drinks and raw bar selections topside in the covered bar or a full meal in the cabin, where bunks have been replaced with booths for dining.

The Rhumb Line: From the owners of The Slipway in Thomaston comes another seasonal seafood shack, this time on the Camden waterfront. With an emphasis on fresh seafood and Maine craft beers, this maritime-themed seafood shack has covered dockside seating and an industrial feel inside.

Retired in November 2016:

Rossobianco: David Levi's West End natural wine bar is now open, serving natural wine and Northern Italian fare. Make a meal from starters like Arancini with oyster mushrooms and Grana Padano or beef liver with caramelized onions and polenta. Fresh pasta dishes are offered in half and full portions.

Retired in September/October 2016:

Scales: The long-awaited restaurant from Fore Street chef Sam Hayward and restaurateur Dana Street quietly opened in early March with its classic seafood menu. Early reviews praise the tomato-based lobster bisque, the Parker House rolls, and the expansive views of the Portland waterfront.

Retired in August 2016

The Salt Box Cafe: After launching at Sunday River this winter, The SaltBox Cafe, a mobile kitchen, was trailered south to Portland's Eastern Prom. Chef Matthew Glatz serves breakfast burritos and sandwiches, like the gruyere crab cake and egg on a croissant, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. On Thursdays and Fridays, check social media to find the location of this tiny kitchen around Portland.

Lenny's at Hawkes Plaza: From the former owner of Empire Dine & Dance in Portland comes Lenny's, a music venue and bar in Westbrook. Bill Umbel is reviving the location's Maine music history (Hawkes Plaza once contained a recording studio) and named it after legendary musician Lenny Breau. In addition to hosting live music, the eatery serves bar food staples like wings and Reubens, plus larger entrees and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Retired in July 2016

Rhum: Portlanders now have a spot to warm their bones on cold Maine nights in Rhum, the new tiki bar from Jason Loring and Mike Fraser, owners of Nosh and Slab and Bramhall, respectively. The kitchen, headed by Frank Anderson, offers Polynesian-themed dishes and an expansive raw bar, while the bartenders shake up fruity cocktails served in off-beat vessels for your rum-soaked enjoyment.

Roustabout: The bar program is headed by an alum of The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club and Boston's Eastern Standard. The kitchen is run by a veteran of Hugo's and Cambridge's Hungry Mother. Together, these first-time restaurateurs with polished credentials are making Italian-American fare sexy again, and doing it in the same up-and-coming stretch of Portland's East End as Terlingua. Lunch and brunch now available.

Woodford F&B: This neighborhood eatery with a retro diner feel brings another welcome dining option to the Forest Avenue hinterlands. Early reviews of Fore Street and Bresca alum Chef Courtney Loreg's kitchen praise the mussels and fries and the cheeseburger, as well as the classic cocktails from the bar.
Retired in June 2016

Terlingua: Thanks to the owner's architecture background, this "boutique barbecue" restaurant is simple yet striking, with meats well-smoked. There are various worthy accompaniments — grilled corn salad, crispy pork belly chicharron, even worthwhile vegetarian entrees like a mushroom empanada, all available in two sizes — and a solid craft beer selection to tie it all together. You can now get in for lunch or brunch, too.

Custom Deluxe: This spot's cozy atmosphere, house-made noodles, and short but sweet menu of classics-with-a-twist are winning beaucoup fans in Biddeford and beyond, great news for a town beginning to surge with culinary possibilities.
Retired in May 2016

Pho Sizzle: After success as a mobile kitchen, Pho Sizzle launched a triumphant brick and mortar location, bringing Rockland more of its signature Vietnamese noodle bowls and rice dishes. Look for an Asian market expansion early this year for all of your home-cooking needs.

Tempo Dulu: Tempo Dulu comes at just the right time for a city slowly discovering the joys of diverse Asian cuisines. It's a natural extension of the elegant atmosphere, creative cocktails, and high-end menu available at the owners' other restaurant, Natalie's at Camden Harbour Inn. For the full experience, try the Rijsttafel, the Dutch-Indonesian style of prix fixe dining rarely seen in these parts.

Tomaso's Canteen: From Samuel Minervino of Samuel's Bar and Grill fame, Tomaso's honors the old Sangillo's Tavern space (Jell-o shots, anyone?) while making its own distinct mark. This renovated but still tiny bar is pouring stiff drinks and local beer at low prices alongside satisfying pub fare from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, in what can only be described as a service to the neighborhood.

Retired in March 2016

Rockin' and Roastin' Cafe and Restaurant: When you think of restaurants run by celebrities, it's typically famous chefs that come to mind, not rock stars. But Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, who also sells organic coffee, is the big name attached to this new spot at the base of Sunday River ski mountain. Expect lots of live shows to accompany the pun-filled menu of classic American fare.

Retired in February 2016

Veranda Noodle House: With its third restaurant (plus a market that serves food to go), the popular off-peninsula group of similarly named Asian spots has planted itself downtown. The extensive menu skews toward Thai and Vietnamese, so try the pho then make sure to branch out.
Retired in January 2016

'Wich, Please: Food truck 'Wich, Please kept its legions of Kickstarter supporters satisfied all summer with a wide assortment of sandwiches, and even found a way to stay hot (and warm) with an intriguing winter partnership at Comida restaurant. Food writer-turned-restaurateur Malcolm Bedell is now building his rep with experiments like an ongoing "India Night" series, so much so that his business won hottest of the year in the 2015 Eater Awards.

The Honey Paw: Adding "non-denominational noodles" to the local lexicon, The Honey Paw's flair for Asian twists and fermented goods proved that celebrated chef-owners here have still got it — and that they could seamlessly integrate local pop-up hero Thomas Pisha-Duffly as chef de cuisine. No surprise this sister to Eventide Oyster Co. won Restaurant of the Year in the 2015 Eater Awards.
Retired in December 2015

Taco Trio: One of South Portland's few culinary claims to fame, Mexican mammoth Taco Trio opened a second location on outer Forest Avenue in Portland (take a look inside). In this residential area, it's bound to be as big a hit as the original, especially when Tortilla Flat is the only nearby competition.

Retired in November 2015

Ramen Suzukiya: Look out Pai Men Miyake: a challenger to Portland's ramen throne has appeared. The big draw here is the homemade noodles, causing quite a stir — and selling out regularly, so get there early. Competition is good for the consumer, right? You can even get lunch here now.

OCHO Burrito: When the brains behind local pizza chain OTTO branch out, diners take notice. This tiny takeout spot serving rotating burrito-like creations is already busy and hasn't even started its late night hours yet. Customize a classic or try specials ranging from Moroccan Chicken to Curried Cauliflower.

Portland Patisserie & Grand Café: From the owners of respected restaurants Five Fifty-Five and Petite Jacqueline, this is a welcome addition to Portland's pastry landscape. Fans rave about the French flair, from savory options like mushroom and Gruyere crepes to sweets like an apricot danish or chocolate mousse cake. The setting is impressive enough to match the decadence of the cuisine.

Retired in October 2015

The Drouthy Bear: Ye'll nae be drouthy ("thirsty") fer long at this Scottish-style pub, where you can slake your thirst with a hearty collection of single malts, 10 draft beers, even afternoon tea. Just make sure to set a base with the best of British goodies like Scotch eggs, meat pies, and mushy peas.

Dirigo Public House: So far all the buzz is positive concerning the "elevated pub and comfort food" at this new Yarmouth restaurant from the owner of Scarborough's Bad Dog Deli. Pair a house burger or Scotch egg with a solid beer line-up and you've got a winner on your hands.

Retired in September 2015

Evo Kitchen + Bar: One block away from its franchise of fast-casual burger chain Five Guys, The Prentice Group's new eastern Mediterranean restaurant has sleek, chic bar seating and upper mezzanine tables to showcase gorgeous fare. The small plates play well together as expected, which means three dishes could taste more like nine, and the wine and cocktail selections complement the food nicely.

Mami Food Truck: Thanks to a new truck taking over Small Axe's old spot in Congress Square Park, Portland once again has access to Japanese street food the likes of which has rarely been seen since Miyake Diner closed. Rich, flavorful dishes like savory pancake okonomiyaki or grilled noodle yakisoba scratch the itch wonderfully.