Dining Dish: Restaurant scene changes with the seasons

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Otto Pizza, 576 Congress St. in Portland, is opening a new location at the former North Star Cafe, 225 Congress St. The restaurant will open sometime between Dec. 5 and 10, an employee said.

District opened Nov. 9 at 45 Danforth St., Portland. Chef Peter Sueltenfuss, previously of Fore Street, now prepares charcuterie, burgers and suckling pig seven days a week. The space is owned by brothers Jim and Bill O’Brien. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and dinner is served Sunday through Thursday 5-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5-10:30 p.m. Sunday brunch is from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and a late-night menu is available Sunday through Thursday, 10 p.m. to midnight, and Friday and Saturday 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Within the next few months the East Ender will open at 47 Middle St. in Portland, replacing Norm’s East End Grill. Mitch Gerow, chef and kitchen manager, will work with partner Megan Schroeter who will run the front of the house. Gerow said they will serve bold, new American fare for lunch and dinner and offer snacks all day. The food will be “unpretentious and offer something for everyone,” he said. A website and Facebook page will be coming soon.

Both Gerow and Schroeter worked at Evangeline, which closed earlier this month on Portland’s Longfellow Square so chef/owner Eric Desjarlais can spend more time with his family. His wife, Krista Kern Desjarlais, chef/owner of Bresca on Middle Street, will continue to bring home the bacon.

Hot Suppa, the well-known brunch and lunch spot at 703 Congress St. in Portland, now lives up to its name and serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5-9:15 p.m. The dinner menu includes Cajun specialties like jambalaya, gumbo, chicken and waffles and poutine. Customers can also have an adult beverage; the restaurant received its liquor license in August.

Oakhurst Dairy paid homage to sous chefs in the Salute to Sous Recipe Collection, featuring 14 dishes from Portland sous chefs. It is a series that will continue throughout the state, but kicked off in Portland. Sous chefs from Cinque Terre and Vignola, Hugo’s, Sonny’s, The Farmer’s Table, Nosh, Local 188, Back Bay Grill, Walter’s, The Corner Room, Grill Room and Front Room were highlighted. To see the recipes, visit oakhurstdairy.com.

Huffy’s Sandwhich Shop, 374 Route 1 in Yarmouth, now serves take-out sandwiches, pizza, salads and desserts from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 a.m.to 9 p.m. Sundays.

In Freeport, Simply Divine Brownies will hold a stocking-stuffer tasting party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Freeport Village Station, Mallett Building 2nd Floor, 7 Mill St. The event will feature a variety of treats for sampling as well as holiday gift ideas.

In Brunswick, Flipside farm to table pizza opened at 111 Maine St. It is the sister restaurant of El Camino Cantina at 15 Cushing St. There is no website for Flipside, but the phone number is 373-9448.

The Captain Daniel Stone Inn in Brunswick will host “Cooking with Chef Mains,” an ongoing series of cooking classes taught by Troy Mains, executive chef at the Inn’s on-site No. 10 Water Restaurant. The group classes are $55 per person and will start Wednesday, Dec. 1. Classes are offered Wednesday through Friday 1-3 p.m., 2-4 p.m. or 3-5 p.m., based on availability. Each class is open to private parties of eight to 20 people and will take place in the restaurant’s refurbished kitchen. Participants will prepare a four-course, custom-designed menu using local, seasonal ingredients. Mains previously worked at Maine’s Fuel, 555 and Robinhood Free Meetinghouse.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay challenged Cranberry Island Kitchen owners Carol Ford and Karen Haase in a whoopie pie “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” earlier this month. The episode will air on Food Network Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 9, at midnight and Saturday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.

Flay also challenged and lost to Cal Hancock of Hancock Gourmet Lobster in Cundy’s Harbor in a lobster macaroni and cheese competition. The contest, taped at Estes Lobster House in South Harpswell, aired on Food Network last week.

A Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar will open in the retail/restaurant/office development under construction at 85 Western Ave. in South Portland. Franchisee and operating partner Jeff Applegate said the restaurant is expected to open March 1, 2011, and will seat up to 260 people. The restaurant will serve wings, salads, drinks and will host trivia nights. It will be a casual, family-oriented restaurant with a sports theme, Applegate said.

And in Scarborough, the Big 20 Bowling Center at 382 Route 1 has been bought by manager Rick Jones and assistant manager Michael Walker. The pair has run the business for the past six years. Jones said nothing will change, but the partners have to apply for a food licence under the new name Walkatime Entertainment.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net