Bad news for doughnut lovers: Holy Donuts posted a notice on Facebook Feb. 6 saying its Park Avenue location would be closed “for a week or more” for renovations. The good news? When it re-opens, it will have a full espresso bar.


Who doesn’t need a green rooster head cordial glass, or four vintage King Tut double rocks glasses? I’m drooling over the retro glassware and barware on Vessel and Vine’s and Instagram pages. Vessel and Vine is a new watering hole and restaurant (with a “small but eclectic” menu) opening in late winter (probably March) at 4 Pleasant St. in Brunswick. The owner is Nikaline Iacono, the former bar manager at Enoteca Athena and Frontier. Vessel and Vine will include a retail store selling beer, wine, and some of that vintage barware.


Chef Christian Hayes, owner of Dandelion Catering Co. in Yarmouth, will compete on the March 20 episode of “Chopped,” titled “Pork on the Brain.” Hayes said he will compete against three other chefs from around the country for a $10,000 prize and the title of Chopped Champion. The Food Network show will air at 10 p.m.



More shuffling at Maine food magazines: Talented food writer and editor Michael Sanders of Brunswick, author of “From Here, You Can’t See Paris” and “Families of the Vine: Seasons Among the Winemakers of Southwest France” is no longer editor of Edible Maine, a food magazine that launched less than a year ago. Chris Ellis, publisher and co-owner of the magazine, is now also editor-in-chief.


Black Cat Coffee, a beloved neighborhood coffee shop at 463 Stevens Ave. in Portland, has been sold to the owners of Rwanda Bean. Jenny Siler and Keith Dunlap, the founders of Black Cat, said on their Facebook page that they made the difficult decision to sell because they are dealing with a cancer diagnosis in the family. Rwanda Bean is the same company that is partnering with Cape Whoopies and cold brew coffee maker White Cap Coffee on a new coffee shop at 185 Cottage Road in South Portland, the former location of Cherished Possessions. The new owners of Black Cat will hold a community open house from 5 to 7 p.m. March 10, serving coffee, soft drinks, beer, wine and light fare. They’ll be taking donations for the annual Longfellow Auction, a fundraiser for Longfellow Elementary School.


If we were the lucky sort, the kind who get to fly off to Italy willy-nilly to drink wine and meet pig farmers, we too might have wandered among the vineyards in the Colli Orientali Friuli region of Italy (the thigh-high part of the country’s boot, near the Slovenian border) with a young winemaker. Alas, we were stuck at our desk last summer while Ned Swain of Devenish Wines in Portland spent time with Marco Sara in the golden Italian sun. Swain says he was impressed by Sara’s “aromatic white wines from local grape varieties Friulano and Verduzzo, as well as a lovely lush Cabernet Franc.”

Now we all can sample these wines (and daydream of the sun) at a Feb. 21 wine dinner at Solo Italiano, 100 Commercial St., Portland. Yes, Marco Sara will be there, pouring a Verduzzo table wine, two styles of Friulano, a Cabernet Franc and a Verduzzo dessert wine. Chef Paolo Laboa will prepare an a la carte menu to pair with the wines. After dinner, you can purchase any but the dessert wine through Browne Trading Co. Reservations suggested. Call (207) 780-0227.



Yo, dawg. American Idol’s Randy Jackson will be happy to hear it’s the “Year of the Dog” on the Chinese calendar. Zen Chinese Bistro, 45 Danforth St., Portland, is celebrating with a family-style dinner at 5 p.m. Feb. 25. Tickets are $65 and there’s space for just 50.

I don’t know, dawg. Can you handle all this food? The menu will feature BBQ pork ribs, fried wontons, steamed dumplings, seafood soup, Peking duck, honey walnut shrimp, sweet & sour fish, spicy Szechuan green beans, Lobster Longevity Noodles (unless these are for old lobsters, I’ll take a quart), and dessert, including homemade New Year cookies. Check it out, dawg: Happy hour begins at 4 p.m. with beer and wine specials and Polynesian cocktails at the downstairs bar.


Here’s a different way to keep warm this winter: Petite Jacqueline has been offering raclette for as few as two or up to eight cheese lovers. Raclette is a cow’s milk cheese, popular in Switzerland and France, that is heated over a grill or open fire. The melted cheese is scraped onto diners’ plates and served with traditional accompaniments. At Petite Jacqueline, diners get their own wheel of cheese served with baguette and fingerling potatoes, salami, tomatoes, apples and cornichons. The restaurant’s raclette machine must be reserved 24 hours in advance. The cost is $60 per couple.


If you’re planning a late winter trip to Deer Isle, and you’re a man who can cook – or a single woman looking for a man who can cook – check out the 14th annual “Men Who Cook” dinner at 5:30 p.m. March 10 at Deer Isle-Stonington High School. Organizers seek guys who can make soups/chowders, salads, appetizers, main dishes or desserts. Guests will be able to sample what they make, and vote for their favorites. To register to cook, or for more information, call (207) 367-5888 or email [email protected] Proceeds go to the Zach Rosenfield Memorial Scholarship, which supports graduating high school seniors pursuing studies related to the culinary arts, agriculture, ecology, health and nutrition.

May the best man win.

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