Summer is quickly passing us by, and we now enter another awesome time of year for food: autumn, when everything’s ripe and ready for picking. There are several wine dinners and events set for September throughout eastern Maine. On Saturday, Sept. 12, Natalie’s Restaurant at the Camden Harbor Inn will host a once-in-a-lifetime dinner featuring Chandler Burr, the perfume critic for The New York Times. Burr will lead diners through a multicourse sensory meal, exploring how scent and flavor work together in food and in perfume. The evening begins with a champagne welcome at 7:30 p.m.; the meal, including wine and cocktails, costs $289 per person. No, it’s not cheap — but it’s an experience you’re unlikely ever to forget. The next week, TABLE in Blue Hill, the new restaurant from Rich Hanson of Ellsworth’s Cleonice, will host a harvest wine dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. TABLE, located on Main Street in Blue Hill, will team up with Jack Scully of Easterly Wine for five courses of fine local seafood, produce and cheeses. To reserve a spot, call 374-5677.
Port City Life, a magazine that focused on arts and lifestyle stories in and around the Portland area, has renamed itself and expanded its coverage. The newly launched Maine Magazine covers all of Maine, and in its inaugural issue includes stories like “48 Hours in Belfast,” an article on Camden’s Pop!Tech conference, and a profile of Brian Smith, a winemaker with Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville. There’s also plenty of focus on Maine’s food and wine scene — from food mecca Portland to the wilds of Down East Maine. For more, visit www.themainemag.com.
The Portland food scene has been in the national spotlight quite a bit lately. According to Mainebiz.com, a Web site for Maine businesses, Portland has 536 registered food service establishments. If Portland has a population of 63,000 that means that there is one restaurant for every 118 people. If the statistics hold, Portland tops San Francisco as having the most restaurants per capita in the nation. Then, of course, there’s the fact that in the October issue of Bon Appetit magazine, writer Andrew Knowlton named Portland America’s “Foodiest Small Town.” Knowlton’s article bursts at the seams with praise for Portland’s bread, beer, seafood and breakfast joints. You can read the article online at www.bonappetit.com.