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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: January 21, 2015

TIQA opens, patisserie plans, Bissell Bros. on ‘Local Brew,’ Kitchen Inferno dinner, & more

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Now OPEN in Portland

A packed house at TIQA for "Friends & Family" night on Monday. Photo by Ted Axelrod

A packed house at TIQA for “Friends & Family” night last Friday. Photo by Ted Axelrod.

TIQA, the pan-Mediterranean restaurant at 327 Commercial St., opened today. Hours are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily. Read more: Exclusive preview: Friends & Family Night at TIQA.

UnWined, Lisbon-native Jared Lawrence Rice’s wine bar at 59 Congress St., opened last Friday. According to a press release: “Unwined features delectable wines, charcuterie, assorted gourmet cheeses from near and far, salads, small plates and desserts.” Hours are Monday – Saturday 3 p.m. – midnight.

Bissell Bros. on “Local Brew”

The fourth episode of “Local Brew,” a Maine-produced web series about craft breweries, premieres on Thursday, Jan. 22 at The Thirsty Pig, 37 Exchange St., Portland and features Portland brewery Bissell Brothers. The first screening is at 5 p.m., followed by two or three more showings every half hour. The bros best-known brew, The Substance (recently named by Men’s Journal as one of The 100 Best Beers in the World) will be on tap and brothers Noah and Peter Bissell will be in the house, along with “Local Brew” host Matt Delamater.

Oxbow plans more-than-a tasting room

Oxbow's Portland tasting room. Photo by The Beer Babe.

Oxbow’s Portland tasting room. Photo by The Beer Babe.

In their application for a food service and full liquor license with the Portland City Council – which will be heard this evening – Oxbow Brewing’s owners announced their plans to expand Oxbow’s new Portland tasting room, 49 Washington Ave. to include “snacks … guest beers, wines and spirits from other local artisan producers,” as well as live entertainment.

Details of new French bakery/cafe revealed

This storefront is the future home of Portland Patisserie. Photo by The Golden Dish.

This storefront is the future home of Portland Patisserie. Photo by The Golden Dish.

Portland Patisserie is the name of the business Michelle and Steve Corry are opening at 46 Market St., according to a beer and wine license application being heard tonight by the Portland City Council. The Corrys, who also own Petite Jacqueline and Five Fifty-Five, say the cafe will be open from 6/7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily, with traditional French breakfast pastries, crepes, sandwiches, salads, tarts and cakes on the menu. There will also be a take-out market with pre-made baguette sandwiches, bread, cheeses, pates, condiments and sweets.

Dinners spotlight “Kitchen Inferno,” caviar, vodka

Chef Shannon Bard competing on "Kitchen Inferno." Photo courtesy of Zapoteca.

Chef Shannon Bard competing on “Kitchen Inferno.” Photo courtesy of Zapoteca.

On Monday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., a five-course dinner by chef Shannon Bard of will feature the dishes that recently made her the champion on Food Network’s “Kitchen Inferno.” Each course of the “Kitchen Inferno Experience” at Zapoteca, 505 Fore St., will be paired with tequila; the cost is $70 per person. For reservations: 207-772-8242.

Five Fifty-Five’s “Chef’s Caviar Tasting Menu” is available through this week at the restaurant, 555 Congress St. The five-course menu is $85 per person, with wine pairings available for an additional $40 per person. Reservations recommended.

Robert’s Maine Grill, 326 Route 1, Kittery is hosting a series of dinners featuring Maine-made beer and spirits. On Thursday, Feb. 12, beginning at 6 p.m., chef Brandon Blethen partners with Maine Distillery in Freeport, makers of Cold River vodka and gin. The cost is $60 for four courses with pairings, including tax and gratuity. For tickets: Future dinners will feature Foundation Brewing on March 12 and Tributary Brewing on April 9.

On Sunday and Monday nights this winter, visitors to Clay Hill Farm restaurant in Cape Neddick can find a roaring fire, live music, and “Pub Night” specials for $10 or less. The menu will change every week; examples of the offerings are fish tacos ($9); 1/2-pound burger with cheddar, bacon, fried onion, avocado and fried egg ($10); bacon-gorgonzola macaroni and cheese ($8); and venison chili ($10). The restaurant’s regular menu is also available.

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