Dining Dish: Spring has sprung a crop of new restaurants

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Siano’s Pizza at 505 Fore St. in Portland has closed and Zapoteca is expected to open in its place by the end of May or beginning of June. Owner Tom Bard will serve Mexican cuisine and tequila flights.

A sign on the window of the former Katahdin restaurant at 106 High St. in Portland indicates a tapas and wine bar, Plush West End, is expected to open in June. According to its website, the restaurant will have an extensive martini list and interactive wine list available on the iPad. It will offer “a sophisticated atmosphere with upscale small plate and tapas menu.”

Gogi, a Korean taco restaurant, opened last week at 653 Congress St. in Portland. Owner Ian Farnsworth also owns Slainte Wine Bar & Lounge on Preble Street. The menu features Korean barbeque and Mexican fusion flavors. Tacos are served on nori, tortillas or lettuce wraps; quesadillas are filled with crab, shrimp, mushrooms or marinated meats; and appetizers include radish, fried rice and cabbage kimshi. Gogi, which is Korean for meat, will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and Wednesday through Saturday nights until 2 a.m.

Port City Music Hall, an 18-plus venue, is now serving food. The menu, designed by The Black Tie Co., offers entrees, small plates and desserts. Small plates include onion rings, jumbo pretzels and baked Brie cheese; entrees will feature pork Osso Buco, chicken picatta and breaded eggplant; chocolate cake, carrot cake and white chocolate truffle are dessert offerings.

The Salt Exchange, at 245 Commercial St. in Portland, will host a “Bourbon and The Triple Crown” tasting on Wednesday, April 27, from 5-7 p.m. For $10 per person, a bourbon authority will introduce bourbons made by Makers Mark and Jim Beam Small Batch. In honor of the Triple Crown, The Salt Exchange will offer a Mint Julep special. Reservations are not required for this 21+ event.

Hugo’s Restaurant, 88 Middle St. in Portland, has extended its two-for-one tasting menu special through the end of April. Customers can enjoy an $85-per-person, six-course menu for $42.50 Tuesday through Thursday until April 28.

On the second floor of the Portland Public Market House, 28 Monument Square, the former Peanut Butter & Jelly Time is now Deux Couchon. Chef Adam Alfter’s menu includes smoked meat sandwiches, toffee bacon and homemade pickles.

A new tea room, Dobra Tea, opened at 151 Middle St., above Bull Moose Music. The 48-seat space offers teas imported from tea farmers in China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Kenya, Nepal and Turkey and serves specialty drinks and locally baked desserts and savory snacks. According to their website, owners Ellen Kanner and Ray Marcotte plan to offer tea classes, a book group focused on tea, game nights, acoustic musical entertainment, poetry slams, artwork by local artists and hope to create a community gathering space.

Jimmy the Greek’s will open another location in South Portland, at the former Sebago Brewing Co. at the Maine Mall, 150 Philbrook Avenue. Manager Bethany Desjardins said the restaurant is expected to open by the second week of June.

Wilfred Beriau of Gray, chairman of the Culinary Arts Department at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, and Patrick Britten of Yarmouth, corporate chef at Sysco of Northern New England in Westbrook, were recognized for their leadership in the culinary industry with Cutting Edge Awards at the American Culinary Federation Northeast Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio. 

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.