The biggest restaurant news this week was the shake-up in the red sauce Italian restaurant business in southern Maine. Anjon’s in Scarborough closed its doors after 65 years, and Tony Napolitano Jr., owner of Maria’s Ristorante in Portland, announced that his family has purchased the Espo’s Trattoria building at 1335 Congress St. and plans to move its restaurant there later this fall after Espo’s closes. Espo’s first opened for business in 1950.

Charity begins at a lobster shack

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it, as they say.

Luke’s Lobster is celebrating its 10th anniversary by asking well-known chefs in each state where it has a shack to put their own twist on a Luke’s lobster roll. The shacks will then sell the rolls between Sept. 25 and Oct. 31, with $1 from each purchase benefiting each chef’s favorite charity. In Maine, James Beard award winner Melissa Kelly, owner of Primo in Rockland, is the chef partner.

Luke Holden, owner of Luke’s Lobster. Photo courtesy Press Herald archive

Kelly’s lobster roll will be a Lobster “PLT” with pancetta, greens, tomato and basil aioli. Sales of her roll at the Luke’s Lobster in Portland will benefit the Feed Kids program, which is part of Full Plates, Full Potential. (A regular-sized Luke’s lobster roll costs $17.) Other participating chefs around the country include José Andrés in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C., whose lobster roll will be made with pimenton aioli and piparra peppers, and Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer of Toro, Coppa and Little Donkey in Boston, who will make a lobster roll with Louie sauce and Calabrian chili.

On Oct. 1, the 10th anniversary of the day the original Luke’s opened in New York City’s East Village, the first 10 customers in line at every shack will receive a free lobster roll.


Fancy a drink?

David Buchanan of Portersfield Cider in Pownal talks with Kim Clark of Freeport and Tammy Harley of Yarmouth at Open Winery Day in 2018. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Nearly 30 wineries across the state will host tastings, tours and special events Saturday during Maine Open Winery Day, which is sponsored by the Maine Wine Guild. Most wineries will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it’s a good idea to check the winery you’d like to visit first. Portersfield Cider in Pownal, for example, has scheduled its event for 1-5:30 p.m., according to its Facebook page. Last year, 350 people visited the orchard to taste ciders paired with foods such as smoked fish, Mediterranean platters and local cheeses. This year’s event will feature new ciders and another selection of favorite Maine foods. Local trio Le Bon Truc will play traditional French music from 2-4 p.m. The cider press will be working so that visitors can sample a variety of heirloom apples from the orchard. Admission and parking are free.

If you want to go farther afield, Sweetgrass Farm in Union will host two winemaker-led tastings at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., emphasizing Maine fruit wines paired with local cheeses and smoked seafood from Sullivan Harbor Farm Smokehouse.

For a complete list of open wineries, go to

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