This tip came in just in time for The Wrap’s deadline: Later this spring, Paciarino will move its restaurant a block down Fore Street in Portland into the building previously occupied by the Mexican restaurant Zapoteca, which closed in June.

Enrico Barbiero, who owns Paciarino with his wife, Fabiana de Savino, confirmed Tuesday that they are opening with an expanded menu at 505 Fore St., and will use their current location at 475 Fore St. to expand the retail space where they sell their pastas, sauces and imported Italian foods. Paciarino has been at its current location since 2009.

At the new space, which they are leasing, they will continue to serve the current Paciarino menu, Barbiero said, but he plans to add brick-oven pizza, risotto, arancini, gnocchi and other items. All ingredients will come from Italy, he said.

The restaurant will remain open during the transition, and Barbiero said they hope to open in the new location at the beginning of May.


My dinner at Elba started with a delicious, intensely flavored mushroom tea. My favorite small plate featured warm crab with soft scrambled eggs and two kinds of carrots, and dessert was a stunning blend of flavors and textures – salted pistachio meringue with Meyer lemon and balsam fir.

Does this sound like food from Biddeford? It is now – ever since former Salt Lake City chef Bowman Brown, a perennial James Beard semifinalist in the Best Chef: Southwest category, rode into town. How on earth did he end up in sleepy downtown Biddeford? I asked him just that during an interview last week for today’s Food & Dining cover story (see C1) on the city’s food and restaurant scene.

Turns out Brown lived in Kittery when he was attending culinary school in New Hampshire, about 12 years ago. When he sold his Salt Lake City restaurant, he took a year off and then decided to explore returning to New England. He had been to Palace Diner with his parents, and that’s about all he knew about the little city. But, he added, “I kind of got the vibe that this was a cool place to be, especially since it was affordable.”

Now Bowman is running his new restaurant while working on his longtime dream – transforming a 1725 farmhouse in Nottingham, New Hampshire, into an inn and restaurant. He lives on that property and commutes about an hour to Biddeford every day. He told me he just couldn’t stomach the idea of working for someone else after so many years of successfully going it alone.

Here’s hoping Elda sticks around. Bowman, who opened the restaurant just in time for the slow winter months, says he’s encouraged that Elda appears to be getting busier with every passing month.


Andrew Zimmern is coming back for a second helping of Maine spices.

Last year the food TV personality asked Christine Pistole, owner of Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants, a certified organic spice company in Litchfield, to create spice blends for his online shop that pair food from with places he’s traveled. Now he’s asked for five new blends.

Northwest Missouri, part of the Jesse James Trail, inspired the Hillbilly Heat Spice Blend, which is a mix of paprika, garlic, onion, basil, pepper, oregano, thyme, white pepper and cayenne that’s good for campfire cooking. As someone who is descended from true hillbillies, however, I respectfully object to the name. Why not call it the Outlaw Blend?

If you’d rather daydream about a sunnier place while you’re cooking, try the Aztec Chile blend, or The Sun & The Sea Spice Blend, inspired by the Amalfi Coast.

The food must have greatly improved in Poland since I was there in the 1980s, before glasnost, when food was simple, scarce and really bland. I remember lots of potatoes and pork. And then there was pork and potatoes. You get the idea. The Polish Pantry blend – smoky paprika, onion, garlic, caraway, allspice, thyme, marjoram, mushroom, cayenne, pepper and bay leaf – is good in stews and soups, or as a rub for all that pork.

(Fondest memory of Poland: successfully smuggling in a Rolling Stone magazine. Scariest memory: watching the flight attendant pound the decrepit turboprop airplane’s door shut with her shoe on a flight from Gdansk to the port city of Gdynia.)

Zimmern doesn’t mention exactly where he saw the Northern Lights, but the Northern Lights Seasoning is supposed to be good on wild game, fish, chicken or pork.

The blends sell for $8 each and are available only on the Shop Andrew Zimmern website.


Anna Connolly and Travis Colgan, who opened Abilene on Deering Avenue in Woodfords Corner three years ago, announced on their website and Facebook page that they will be closing at the end of the month.

Their children have reached school age, and they want to adjust their lifestyle accordingly, they say, adding they may do some catering instead.

The New American restaurant featured dishes such as pasta, baked stuffed haddock and crispy chicken cutlets.


Adam Powers and Jeremy Rush, in their application to open a new Elsmere BBQ at 476 Stevens Ave. in Portland, said they hope to open May 1.

“Just as we have embedded ourselves in the community of the Willard Beach Area of South Portland, we intend to do the same for the Deering Center Community in Portland,” they wrote in a letter accompanying the application.

Their new restaurant will be in the former location of Siano’s.

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