Dining Dish: Counting calories, countdown to Tao

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With temperatures rising and beach weather approaching, health-conscious diners may want to know how many calories they consume when dining out. With the help of a local initiative, Smart Meals for ME, more restaurants are sharing nutritional information with their customers.

In Portland, Quality Shop pizza at 473 Stevens Ave., Pat’s Pizza Old Port at 30 Market St., Churchill Events catering at 1037 Forest Ave., and Borealis Breads at 182 Ocean Ave. are among the restaurants now participating. For more information about Smart Meals for ME, email smartmealsforme@gmail.com or find them on Facebook.

The seventh annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation will be held June 24 from 2:30-8 p.m. at the Diamond’s Edge at Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island. Tickets are $125 for general admission and $200 for VIP tickets. All proceeds go to SOS’ efforts to end childhood hunger in Maine. For tickets call 1-877-26-TASTE or visit TasteOfTheNation.org.

Crema Coffee Co., operated by the people who run Arabica Coffee, opened at 9 Commercial St., Portland. And, Speckled Ax Espresso, the retail face of Matt’s Wood Roasted, is expected to open by the end of April at 567 Congress St.

Tao, a new restaurant at 22 Pleasant St. in Brunswick, is expected to open by the end of May. Portland resident Cara Stadler is the chef-owner. She said she will serve tapas-style, small plates with an Asian influence using local ingredients. The 51-seat restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and for lunch Wednesday through Friday.

For a sweet (or savory) treat, owner Leigh Kellis opened Holy Donut at 194 Park Ave., Portland. Her doughnut varieties include dark chocolate sea salt and warm sweet potato ginger.

Gogi, the Korean taco restaurant at 654 Congress St. closed after Ian Farnsworth sold his half of the business to his business partner Hwamin Yi.

Chipotle opened its second restaurant in Maine, taking over the space formerly occupied by Blockbuster video store at 25 Main St. in Westbrook Crossing. The other Chipotle, at 359 Maine Mall Road in South Portland, opened in 2010. 

Drive-through service at the new Red Robin chain restaurant, located at 800 Gallery Blvd. in Scarborough, is expected to open on April 26. This is the first Red Robin to open in the Portland area and will offer burgers, salads, soups and wraps.

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