Dining Dish: Accolades and burgers galore

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The Loft Burger House opened July 21 at 865 Forest Ave. Formerly the New Venue Music Bar, the new establishment called The Loft has 30 signature burgers and more than 30 beers on tap. Customers can order an Angus beef burger with a variety of toppings, or try a lobster burger, a burger sandwiched by two waffles or a halved glazed Tony’s donut. For those with a competitive streak, the Loft offers a three pound burger for $35. If finished in 45 minutes, the customer wins a T-shirt and the burger is free. Open Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday noon to 1 a.m.

Another new burger in town is made by Chef Jeff Buerhaus of Walter’s at Two Portland Square in Portland. The Bistro Burger is made from Kobe-style beef Wagu, has pesto lobster and shallot goat cheese and is served on a toasted challah roll. The decadent burger is served with herb truffle scented house frites.

David Turin, head chef and owner of David’s Restaurant at 22 Monument Square in Portland and David’s 388 at 388 Cottage Farm Road in South Portland, received the Culinary Excellence Award by the International Food, Wine and Travel Writer’s Association (IFWTWA).

This award honors the top chefs and restaurateurs from around the world who best represent a cuisine of a specific region, use innovative or cutting edge techniques, highlight ingredients that are balanced in flavor and texture, and use creative and aesthetically pleasing presentation. Turin was one of two restaurateurs awarded the Culinary Excellence Award for the second quarter of 2012. He was also named Maine Chef of the Year by the Maine Restaurant Association.

And, according to the Monthly Stir Newsletter, Turin and chef Harding Lee Smith (of the Front, Corner and Grill Rooms) are working on opening new restaurants.

Gifford’s Ice Cream will sell its L.L.Bean Muddy Bean Boots ice cream in quarts for retail sale starting August 13. In celebration of the Freeport retailer’s 100th anniversary, the ice cream – made with Old-Fashioned Vanilla and mixed with caramel ripple and chocolate brownie bites – will be available in quart containers at all Hannaford supermarkets soon throughout New England, New York state, New Jersey, Maryland, and eastern Pennsylvania. Quarts will also be on sale at Gifford’s ?ve ice cream stands in Maine.

The Tavern at 4 Noble St. in Brunswick now offers two happy hours per day – Sunday through Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and again from 8-10 p.m. Each day features a different appetizer special.

The three-course Twilight Dinners at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth, hosted by Cultivating Community will continue through September 6, highlighting local chefs and seasonal cuisine.

Mitch Gerow of the East Ender Restaurant will cook on August 16; Jonah Fertig of the Local Sprouts Cooperative is booked for August 23; Brad Messier and Erin Lynch of Rosemont Market and Bakery will prepare food on August 30; and the final dinner will be prepared by David Iovino of Blue Spoon. The dinners are BYOB and the $30 tickets can only be purchased on-line through Brown Paper Bag.

Amy Anderson can be reached at amy.katherine.a@gmail.com.