Spring has arrived and Maine is waking up from its winter slumber. Here’s a round-up for news items that have crossed my desk recently, from noteworthy openings to great deals, from fun events to new airline service.
Getting He-ah from They-ah:
Getting to Bar Harbor from Boston and points beyond is getting easier. The independent regional airline Cape Air (which works with JetBlue) began nonstop flights between BHB (Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport) and BOS (Boston’s Logan) on April 15. Its offering three, daily, round-trip flights through May 24. From May 25–Sept. 4, it will offer one or two daily round trips. But, and here’s an interesting tidbit, Alaska-based PenAir will be picking up the slack, offering BOS-BHB round-trips during the summer season.
Anneke Jans, in Kittery, is hosting a five-course dinner with wine pairings on Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. ($65 per person, plus gratuity and tax).
Here’s the menu:
First course: Wild Mushroom Pate on a Toasted Crostini with Grain Mustard and Pickled Onion paired with Big Fire Pinot Noir, Oregon
Second course: Oven Roasted Quail Stuffed with Sausage and Currants, Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Pickled Ramps and a Port Plum Sauce paired with Agricultura Red, Portugal
Third course: Blackened Sea Scallops with Celery Root Puree, Morel Mushrooms, Spring Peas and a Blood Orange-Ginger Reduction paired with Gerard Metz Gewurtzraminer, France;
Fourth course: 4oz. Filet Medallions with Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach and a Porcini Pepper Sauce paired with Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington
Fifth course: Profiteroles filled with Cream, Chocolate Glaze Pistachio and Creeme Anglaise paired with Nectar Pedro Ximenez Dulce Sherry, Spain.
Yes, another reason to visit downtown Belfast: Eat More Cheese, a specialty food store specializing in…. artisanal cheeses from around Maine and the world, as well as chocolate, charcuterie, dried fruit and nuts, and related goods, has opened its doors. Already it’s teasing shoppers with a drool-worthy selection including marinated feta, La Tur, Gorgonzola cremificato, ewephoria, San Simon, and burrata.
Oh Happy Day (err, Happy Hour +):
If you’re in the neighborhood, Old Vines Wine Bar, in Kennebunk’s Lower Village, is offering a Happy Hour and a Half, weedays, from 5-6:30 p.m. Both martinis and select wines by the glass are $5.
Back Bay Bistro:
Beginning April 24, Back Bay Grill, in Portland, will be offering a two-course bistro menu on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays, in addition to the regular menu. Cost is $30, plus $10 for wine pairings. It’ll only be available for a limited time, so make plans now.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at a family friendly Mexican street party, with live music, vendors, food, and festivities, at La Vida Mexican/Caribbean restaurant, in downtown Belfast, on May 5.
And you thought Reggae Festival was the be-all and end-all of Caribbean-themed spring events in Maine’s western mountains. Nope, on Sunday, May 6, the 22nd annual New England Steelband Festival returns to Sugarloaf, in Carrabassett Valley.
Festivities begin with a spaghetti supper served 5-6 p.m. at the Anti-Gravity Center ($6), followed by dancing to the music of the Atlantic Clarion Steel Band at the Sugarloaf Inn at 7 p.m. ($6). Proceeds from both support the local MSAD 58 school district’s steel drum program.
The big event is Sunday, May 6, with steel bands from throughout New England, including the host Western Mountain Trash Can Band , play outdoors in from of the Sugarloaf Inn (or, in the case of rain, in the Anti-Gravity Center). Dress appropriate for the weather and bring lawn chairs or blankets.