CRMC Dartmouth Bioenergy facility celebrates with ribbon cutting ceremony

CRMC Bioenergy Facility4
(Photo by Josh Souza)

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today at the Crapo Hill Landfill in Dartmouth, Massachusetts to mark the entry into commercial operation of the CRMC Bioenergy Facility, an anaerobic digestion project developed by Massachusetts-based CommonWealth Resource Management Corporation (“CRMC”) in cooperation with the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District (the “District”), the Landfill owner.

The Bioenergy Facility will produce biogas for use as a supplemental fuel at an existing 3.3 MW landfill gas-fired electric power generating facility at the Landfill that is owned and operated by a CRMC subsidiary. The Bioenergy Facility is the first of its kind to be sited at an operating Massachusetts landfill, and the first developed in the state to produce biogas for use in a pre-existing landfill gas-to-energy facility.

Officiating at the ceremony were US EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding, Dartmouth Town Administrator David Cressman, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, the District’s Executive Director, Scott Alfonse, and CRMC’s owners George Aronson, Tom Yeransian, and Anton Finelli.

CRMC Bioenergy Facility
Curt Spalding , Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 1. (Photo by Josh Souza)

“We developed this facility to increase the production of renewable resource-based electric power while providing a cost-effective option for businesses and institutions in southeastern, Massachusetts to comply with the state’s recently-imposed ban on the disposal of commercial food waste and other organics”, Mr. Finelli, said. “We’re confident the project can serve as a model for similar projects elsewhere in New England”.

“This facility compliments Dartmouth’s sustainability agenda and programs”, said Dartmouth Town Manager David Cressman.

Added Jon Mitchell, Mayor of the City New Bedford, which along with Dartmouth is a member of the District: “The Bioenergy Facility is a great example of the kind of innovative projects the City of New Bedford and the Refuse District are committed to pursuing because not only do these types of projects generate clean, renewable energy but they also conserve taxpayer dollars. This project is especially exciting in that we are taking thousands of gallons of food waste, that would otherwise be discarded, and essentially turning it into energy.”

CRMC Bioenergy Facility3
(Photo by Josh Souza)

The project is being developed in two phases. In its initial phase (the “Pilot”), the Facility will accept approximately 3,000 gallons per day of the targeted organic wastes for processing and digestion in a digester with 100,000 gallons of holding capacity. The quantity of biogas expected to be produced through Pilot operations can be utilized within the current power generating capacity of the existing landfill gas facility.

If successful, the Pilot scale project will be expanded 10-fold to enable processing and digestion of up to 30,000 gallons per day of feedstock in a digester with 1.0 to 1.2 million gallons of holding capacity . The quantity of biogas expected to be produced through this anticipated second phase of project operations would be sufficient to support a 25 percent increase in the generating capacity of the existing landfill gas-fired power plant — from 3.3 MW to 4.1 MW.

The two facilities will operate symbiotically in what is often referred to as a “virtuous cycle”. While biogas produced by the Bioenergy Facility will help fuel the landfill gas facility, some of the electricity produced at the power plant as well as heat recovered from its engine jacket cooling system will be used to satisfy the Bioenergy Facility’s electric and thermal energy requirements.

In addition, the Pilot phase of the Bioenergy Facility project will be used to test the feasibility of making beneficial use of some portion of the residuals from the anaerobic digestion process within existing operations at the Landfill. The beneficial uses to be demonstrated include (1) the provision of a biologically enriched admixture for yard waste composting, (2) displacing water as the source of moisture in the production of daily landfill cover material, and (3) stimulating landfill gas production and capture through controlled inoculation of digestate in a previously closed area of the Landfill.

The technology to be employed by the project to convert organic feedstocks into biogas and other substances can be generically described as continuous feed, wet, mesophilic anaerobic digestion. The facility is designed to co-digest materials that have a high potential for biogas production, such as fats, oils and grease (“FOG”) and food waste with controlled quantities of waste-water treatment plant sludge. The design enables the facility to separately receive and store, and then thoroughly mix, inoculate, and heat these materials before dosing them into a digester on a continuous basis to accelerate the various biological processes that result in the generation of biogas and stabilization of the digested materials (“digestate”).

All of the feedstocks will arrive at the facility in tanker vehicles or enclosed containers, and will be pumped directly into underground storage tanks prior to processing in a system of enclosed vessels, pipes, and pumps. Since the process does not involve open delivery or storage of the feedstocks, or handling of the materials on a tipping floor, the potential for generating nuisance odors has been minimized. Also, excess air entrained in the process system, which may be odorous, will be used as combustion air in the power plant, rather than vented.

In addition to CRMC’s own capital investment, the Bioenergy Facility project is being funded in part by grants and loans from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the
Massachusetts Recycling Loan Fund, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has made a grant to the District in support of the project. Operation of the Bioenergy Facility is expected to assist the District in adapting to an impending ban on the disposal of food waste generated by commercial sources, thereby helping to ensure its long-term position in the regional solid waste marketplace.




Artist Spotlight: Stryker Jeff

Here’s New Bedford Guide’s first local artist spotlight! I had a chance to meet Stryker Jeff at his artist space at 101 Rodney French Blvd. during New Bedford Open Studios from October 4-5, 2014. Want to get featured? Send us an email to info@newbedfordguide.com.

Stryker’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Art-by-Stryker/212430425510397?ref=br_tf




1,000 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in New Bedford

alzheimer-walk-new-bedford
Walkers along the route (Photo courtesy of Ashley Bendiksen)

An estimated 1000 participants gathered at Fort Taber on Sunday, September 28 to raise awareness and money for the Southeastern Massachusetts Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds to support Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The Southeastern Massachusetts Walk to End Alzheimer’s is one of the 600 plus communities nationwide to mobilize people of all ages and abilities to stand up against Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

“Our Walk committee works hard year round to make sure the event runs smoothly and is fun for all who participate,” said Shannah Paddock, Development Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “We are thankful that the people of New Bedford and the surrounding communities have gathered together to show their support. They are really making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s.”

alzheimer-walk-new-bedford2
Ashley Bendiksen and Olivia Marques (Photo courtesy of Ashley Bendiksen)

Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter served as Honorary Chair for the event. Also in attendance was Miss New Bedford’s Outstand Teen, Olivia Marques. The event was emceed by DA staff member Ashley Bendiksen, who rallied the crowd in honor of her mother.

“I stand here today for my mother, but this is not just my cause. It is all of ours,” said Bendiksen addressing the crowd on Sunday. “The truth is we all have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. We know how challenging it can be, and sadly, there are still so few answers. But in light of this, today we can come together and unite. We’re here to honor our loved ones, but we’re also here for a much larger purpose – to find an end to Alzheimer’s disease.”

“My mother developed Alzheimer’s at 48, which has since gone explained – hence the need for more research and continued funding. We still know so little about Alzheimer’s disease and that’s why we’re here today,” shared Bendiksen.

The Southeastern Massachusetts Walk to End Alzheimer’s goal is to raise $120,000 for the event. Prior to the Walk, the event had raised over $80,000. The total amount raised for the day of the event is still being calculated, but the Alzheimer’s Association urges participants to continue to raise funds. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to accept donations to the Southeastern Massachusetts Walk until October 31. To make a donation today visit: act.alz.org/southeasternma.




A Few of My Favorite Downtown New Bedford Spots

by Alexi Pelletier
by Alexi Pelletier

Downtown New Bedford is jam-packed with incredible restaurants and cafes. Within a few short blocks, we have access to Mexican, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Seafood and the list continues. I mean, come on. How lucky are we?! Every time I drive in, it’s nearly impossible for me to leave without going for coffee or a bite to eat. Since I’ve spent a good deal of time in the area, I’d like to share a few of my personal favorite spots that I consider a “must try” while in Downtown New Bedford.

First stop is a given, No Problemo. This Mexican masterpiece is the greatest! I’m not one to crave a burrito but if I hear someone say the words “No Problemo” chances are I’m changing my lunch plans. Even if you’re a mild fan of Mexican food, their burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and hearty salads will make you a lifelong customer.

They have a booming take-out business or if you’re looking to dine in, they offer a fun, casual atmosphere, with a fully stocked bar. No Problemo also hosts live bands two to three times a month, which they actively promote on their Facebook page. Overall, this place is a favorite to many, and a goldmine for the city of New Bedford. If you haven’t had the chance to try it, I highly suggest you get over there!

Second is Brick Pizzeria Napoletana. When you walk by this restaurant, especially during the colder months, all you see is the brick oven fire burning in the background, with all of its perfectly charred, cheesy pizzas. Whoever designed the restaurant did a fantastic job of positioning the brick oven, because seeing it through the window is all that’s needed to be lured in. Besides their pizzas, they have an incredible selection of sandwiches and salads you can’t get anywhere else and massive create your own calzones. Brick Pizzeria is also home to two of my favorite deserts.

The first is the “Nutella Pizzetta”, a pizza dough covered in Nutella and powdered sugar, and the second is a sweet ricotta cream cheese stuffed cannoli with chocolate chips. Even when ordering take-out, I’m certain to get one of these delicious deserts to take home. With all of the great pizza places available to us in the New Bedford and surrounding areas, I would rank Brick Pizzeria at the top of the list.

My all-time favorite café is the Green Bean. This café opened back in 2004 and was one of the initial businesses helping to revive the Downtown New Bedford community. The corner coffee shop is made up of wall to wall windows creating a unique atmosphere. They have a large menu ranging from bakery items to sandwiches, wraps and salads. For those of you who enjoy vegan and vegetarian options like myself, this is the place for you. They also have a broad selection of coffee and tea, as well as some great smoothie options. If you’re looking to spend a rainy day in a cozy coffee shop, this would be my personal favorite!

Last but not least, my favorite spot is The Black Whale, which opened this past 4th of July. This waterfront restaurant sits in a prime location overlooking New Bedford’s harbor. Their large deck is covered, so regardless of rain or shine, you’re able to enjoy outdoor dining. The modern interior is bright and open, with a large wrap-around bar, and plenty of seating.

Both the staff and bartenders are awesome, and capable of making whatever drink you can think of (trust me on this one) and they have great food portions. Whether you’re stopping in for a business luncheon, or meeting a friend for dinner and drinks, this is a one of a kind spot!

Overall, those who bring business to the restaurants and shops in Downtown New Bedford collectively make this city more valuable. The potential for this area to be a hot spot is remarkable and together we give the city purpose to continue striving for improvements. I consider myself to be a proud resident of New Bedford; my hopes are for people to support the ongoing development in downtown, and take advantage of all the city has to offer because it’s much more than we give it credit for.

Now on that note, get out there, try these awesome places out and let me know what you think!





Corvettes and Classics Super Cruise at Fort Taber (21 Sep)

corvette-show-fort-taber

On September 21, 2014 from 9 am to 3 pm, Fort Taber Park in New Bedford, Massachusetts will host a Corvettes and Classics Super Cruise. There will be trophies to the top corvettes, classics, trucks, motorcycles and military vehicles. Also there will be museum and Fort Taber walking tours, food, raffles and music by Johnny Angel. All proceeds to benefit the Fort Taber Military Museum. If it rains, call the museum at 508-994-3938.

For more show information, call Joe Barclay at 508-542-1871. This event is hosted by the Massachusetts Corvette Club. Other supporting clubs are Cuz’s Car Club, Downshifter’s Car Club, Mass Cruisers, Bay Sate Shreet Machines, Factory 5, and Corvettes United.




2014 New Bedford Oktoberfest Survival Guide

2014 Oktoberfest at State Pier in New Bedford on Saturday, October 4th

Summer’s warmth is still lingering, but it won’t be long until the leaves will change and instead of visiting the beach we’ll be visiting apple orchards and pumpkin patches.  Already the shandy’s are disappearing from the package stores and being replaced with autumn ales.

While we may mourn the passing of summer, there is much to look forward to about the fall, especially if you are a beer enthusiast.  One particular event that you will want to check out is the 2014 Oktoberfest at State Pier in New Bedford on Saturday, October 4th.  New Bedford Guide has all the details for this year’s beer extravaganza.

1. What is the SCBA Oktoberfest?

The South Coast Business Alliance, AKA the SCBA, is a group of ambitious, business-minded people who are dedicated to making the South Coast a better place to live and work.  The SCBA provides networking opportunities and business connections to help groom future business and community leaders for the South Coast region.  The SCBA also donates to nonprofit organizations and scholarship funds to help provide better opportunities and resources to the community.

Oktoberfest began in Munich Germany on October 12, 1810.

For those of you who are down for little history lesson, Oktoberfest began in Munich Germany on October 12, 1810 to celebrate Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony.  The horse races at the event were a big success, and so the tradition was continued in subsequent years.  Over time more and more beer stands popped up at the festival to quench the thirst of attendees.  By 1896 full beer tents and beer halls were a major feature of the fairgrounds, making it a renowned destination for beer lovers far and wide.

Today, Oktoberfest in Germany attracts 6 million visitors each year, and different locations around the world have begun to host their own Oktoberfests.  The SCBA began their Oktoberfest in New Bedford 9 years ago, and each year it has been a growing success, bringing 21+ visitors into the city to try out local beers, eat and listen to live music.

2.  The Beer

Oktoberfest is not Oktoberfest without good beer.  This year, the NB Oktoberfest will feature the largest selection of any of the years past, with over 25 beers on tap.  The breweries that will be present are largely local microbreweries and they will be bringing that unique autumn ale flavor that can only be done right in the North East!

In terms of super local talent, Buzzard’s Bay Brewing Company will be present, as will Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, both of which are brewed fresh in Westport, MA.  Another local favorite, Mayflower Brewing from Plymouth will be present, as will Cisco Brewers from Nantucket.

Naturally some of the other big names in Massachusetts’ finest will be there, such as Sam Adams and Wachusett.  There will also be a brewery from New Hampshire, Woodstock Brewery, who is definitely worth checking out.  The very popular Southern Tier will be representing New York, and another semi-local favorite, Foolproof, will be bringing their beer in from Providence.

Those are only to name some of the breweries that will be present, so there’s sure to be something to suit any palate!  Beers can be purchased by the cup, so you will want to bring cash.  This year there will also be an “Oktoberfest Sampler” card option, which allows you to sample up to six beers for $10.

The area’s most talented musicians will be present!

3. The Food

Good food and good beer are meant to be together.  Luckily for Oktoberfest attendees, the SCBA has put together a food lineup worthy of its beer counterpart.  As in years past, No Problemo’s will be present and will be serving up their now famous Oktoberfest special, Wurst Ques, a bratwurst queso.  Oxford Creamery’s Oxcart will be providing steamed hot dogs and more (the more may include lobster rolls), and O’Crepe will be serving both sweet and savory crepes.  O’Crepe’s options range from the traditional nutella crepe to some unique and mouthwatering inventions, like the C.B.L.T. (sriracha mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato).  Finally, Ma Raffa’s will be in attendance.  To anyone who has lived in Greater NB for more than a year, Ma Raffa’s should need no introduction; if you’re looking to do the beer and pizza combo you could hardly hope for a better pairing.

4.  The Entertainment

Last year’s entertainment certainly got some people dancing, and this year looks to promise much the same.  Local favorite Craig DeMelo, who always warms the crowd up with his full band each year at Oktoberfest will be taking the stage with a range of catchy covers and originals.  Another stellar addition to the line up is Four Legged Faithful, a four-man band that uses traditional bluegrass/ folk instruments to create a beautiful and unique musical experience.

The Felix Brown Band is headlining as they did last year, and if 2013 was any indication this band’s energy and talent is sure to get people on their feet.  The Felix Brown Band has played throughout the Northeast and beyond; bringing a fusion style of music that blends elements of rock, blues, R&B, jazz and funk.  They bring their unique sound to many popular songs, ranging from Eric Clapton to 50 Cent.

This year’s event will also feature a corn hole tournament, so make sure your throwing arm is in good shape if you plan on participating!

5.  Time, Date and Location

As previously mentioned, this year’s Oktoberfest will take place on October 4th from 3:00 PM until midnight.  As with last year, it will be located at State Pier in New Bedford, which is a truly excellent spot in my opinion.

2014 Oktoberfest is expected to draw quite a crowd!

With lots of indoor cover but plenty of space to roam the pier outdoors, State Pier is an ideal location for sipping a beer and looking out on the working waterfront.  Additionally, the high ceilings make for a good acoustic experience as the live performances keep everyone rocking throughout the night.

6.  Tickets

Portions of proceeds from this event will go to the UMass Dartmouth South Coast Business Alliance Scholarship Endowment.  Other charities and nonprofits will also benefit from these funds throughout the year.  So just think… not only will your ticket price buy you a great time, it will benefit the community in numerous ways!

Oktoberfest is also paid for in part by sponsors, whose generosity allow for this fantastic fundraiser to go forward.  This year’s Gold Sponsors were Advanced Eye Centers, Baycoast Bank, Blue Hills Bank, and Claremont Companies.

Tickets can be pre-purchased through Eventbrite (http://www.eventbrite.com/e/scbas-9th-annual-oktoberfest-2014-tickets-12777555011?ref=ebtn) for $15 per person.  Please keep in mind you must be 21 or older to attend, and you should bring a valid ID.





Zach Meunier unveils latest artwork at Carabiners

Zach Meunier unveiled his latest artwork at the Carabiner’s open house Sunday, September 7th, 2014.




Seafire Grillhouse and Bar wastes no time in becoming a premier Southcoast destination

My Seafood Delight: “Littlenecks, Mussels, Scallops, Shrimp and Lump Crab Meat in White Cream Sauce, Marinara Sauce or White Wine Sauce Over Fresh Linguini.”

I won’t beat around the bush. I won’t lead you on a vague trail of allusions keeping you guessing as you read. I’ll be transparent as possible and state that last night I had one of the best meals in my life.

I’m a bonafide, passionate foodie. I’m willing to admit that I may even be a food curmudgeon. I’m getting a bit of “cranky, old man” syndrome as I get older. In this day and age, it seems you pay a modest amount to dine out and often it’s a disappointing one. The food is delicious, but the service is dismal. The service is friendly, but the salad is wilted and the portions small. How many of you have eaten out and received a bill, only to be overcome with diner’s remorse?

I’m apprehensive these days when I dine at a new place, my shoulders tense up. My back slumps. I’m already anticipating the diner’s remorse. Well…that’s a bit of exaggeration, but my expectations are typically set low, so the let down isn’t from so high. In fact, I have had so much poor, processed seafood that you need to twist my arm to order it. I need multiple confirmations from “experts” that the seafood is unprocessed and fresh. Who wants to pay $20+ to bite into a flavorless, sterile saltball? If I want that, I’ll go to the beach and pretend to drown…for FREE.

A stunning water feature is just one element of Seafire’s elegant decor.

Arrival, Ambiance, Atmosphere
My brother and I arrived on a Wednesday evening figuring there would only be a small to moderate crowd. Parking in a parking lot downtown feels odd. Seafire Grill one of the last prime real estate parking spots in the city. That’s nice. Nothing worse than starting out an evening with the frustration of finding available parking.

Walking into Seafire and turning towards the entrance is a genuine treat. What a gorgeous facility. Owner Greg Kulpinski exposed much of the building’s old character knowing full well it would set the ideal ambiance and atmosphere. Being a history buff, I simply adore seeing interior stone walls and exposed timber ceilings. It’s New Bedford after all!

After the doors open, you are immediately in the dining room. There is a hosting platform to the left and a rectangular island bar that seats approximately 20 people to the right – with about 8-9 people enjoying themselves. We were immediately greeted by the exuberant bartender and within a few seconds restaurant manager Adam pleasantly greeted and sat us. Total waiting time? About 8 seconds. About a dozen gorgeous, ebony wood tables impeccably set (they won “Best Table at the Taste of Southcoast in 2014) filled the primary dining area which was also decorated with a fabulous water feature and some stunning art.

While we had this area to ourselves, the adjacent patio area was filled. It was elegant, gorgeous and had us considering a move to it. Loud, hunger pangs kept us practical. In addition, to the regular menu book, you receive a cocktail menu and a wine list (and champagne) all bound in hardcover.

Atmosphere, ambiance done right without being pretentious!

Very light music – on this night it was 80s music which I enjoyed being class of ’88 – filled the room. Perfectly piped volume so as to not force anyone to have to compete it with it to have conversation, but amplified enough to set the atmosphere.

Service and Appetizers
Our server Taylor came within a minute to take a drink order. I ordered a Pinot Noir and Mike stuck with water since he didn’t spot his stand-by, Chianti by the glass, on the wine list. Only took him 4 minutes to change his mind and order a Pinot Noir though!

Taylor returned with the wine and some spectacular bread rolls. These round balls of joy were accompanied with a small ramakin of what appeared to be homemade butter. Off to great start. Poring over the menu, I was delighted to see some originality. Clearly a significant amount of care went into crafting the menu. This wasn’t a menu that was 6 pages with an 200 choices. It was a modest menu that declares “We know what we do…what we excel at. We’re sticking to it.” A menu that has just the right amount of items on it is a key to success. Day in, day out, night after night creating a menu of this size translates into consistency and excellence.

A number of appetizers jumped out at us. Portuguese or Rhode Island Style Calamari, Crab Cakes, Coconut Crusted Shrimp, Lobster Ravioli, Mussels and an unusual Crunchy Ahi Tuna Tacos which are described as “Pan-Seared Tuna, Sesame Seeds with Cucumber, Fresh Wasabi Aioli and Sriracha.” I love Sriracha. In addition to French Onion Soup and Clam Chowder, Seafire has their own signature Lobster Bisque: “Traditional Topped with a Lobster Crostini and Lobster Butter.”

A wide variety of salads are offered. In addition to House and Ceasar salads, there is an Asian Soba Noodles Salad of “Fresh Vegetables and Sesame Dressing Topped with Fried Wontons with the option of adding Teriyaki (Salmon, Chicken or Shrimp) or Sesame Ahi Tuna. A Wedge salad, Caprese, Gorgonzola and Spinach Pear Salad.

You need this antipasto in your life!

It was difficult to choose an appetizer, but we settled on the Littlenecks “White Wine, Onions, Garlic, Olive Oil and Marinara Sauce or Portuguese Sauce.” ($10.99). We opted for the Portuguese sauce. While Taylor put the order in, we dug deeper into the menu. It was clear that Seafire Grill chose “Surf and Turf” as their specialty.

The opening act
The Littlnecks arrived – a dozen little treasures piled upon one another. The aroma was magnificent. The taste was grander. These were the freshest, most tender littlenecks I’ve ever had lightly tossed with cooked onion slices and topped with two crostini. Cooked perfectly. Perfect. The white wine sauce was a successful marriage of wine, garlic and the proper amount of saltiness. These poor things had no chance. I considered the merit of explaining to Mike that since I had 50lbs on him, I should get 7 or or 8 of them and he should get 4 or 5. It would have only been fair. I could honestly sit at the bar and make 4-5 orders of these, stabbing any greedy hand with my fork.

Everything to this point had instilled a confidence in me that it was going to be a good night. This is the entire point of going out to dine with friend or family. A restaurant is supposed to be interdependent to your company and conversation. The atmosphere is their to energize and push the dialogue. The introduction of dishes intermittently is to compliment and pace the chat. A synergy of give and take to provide a positive experience. Seafire nails it. My brother and I could relax – just “let go” and enjoy ourselves.

Being the churlish lot that I am, when Taylor returned to clear the plates I asked her if it would be in bad form to lick the plate. She replied “Do you want me to hold the plate for you?” I wish she wasn’t kidding. Bravo, Taylor.

Exposed stone, antique timbers and a modern setting.

Choosing Mains
We again pored over the menu and there was quite a selection: Blackened Mahi Mahi, Cajun Rare Seared Ahi Tuna (Steamed Rice, Wakame Salad, Wasabi, Stuffed Salmon or Grand Marnier Salmon (With Raspberry Beurre Blanc Over Spinach and Potato of the Day, Pickled Ginger and Soy Sauce). A Lazyman’s Lobster, Risottos, Sole and even Fish And Chips. There were pasta dishes, and a fabulous “Steak and Chops” section.

Kobe Beef Burger, 8oz Filet Mignon Gorgonzola Butter and Port Wine Sauce, Filet Mognon, Prime Rib, Chicken Mushroom Marsala and Asian Ribs with Hoison Glaze “Served with Soba Noodles and Grilled Vegetable Stir-Fry.” In case, you wanted the best of both worlds there is an option to make your own Surf & Turf Combo.

I ended up choosing the Seafood Delight which was a medley of “Littlenecks, Mussels, Scallops, Shrimp and Lump Crab Meat in White Cream Sauce, Marinara Sauce or White Wine Sauce Over Fresh Linguini.” ($22.99) I chose the white cream sauce. Mike chose the New York Sirloin “Topped with a Bourbon Butter Served with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato and Grilled Vegetable.” ($19.99).

The grand performance
A few moments later, she arrived with our mains. The mingling aromas of steak and seafood were maddening. I was full absorbed in the artwork in front of me. The first thing I noticed was the heaping pile of fresh picked crab meat dead center of the plate. Apparently I was stunned because I said out loud “Is that real crabmeat?!” There must have been a mistake! I grabbed my fork and brutishly stabbed at the strings and chunks. Yes, it was the genuine article. My brother and Taylor vanished. The world dissolved into an unimportant backdrop.

Seared scallops fresh from the Seafire’s own boats – over crab and chorizo cakes!

I snapped to and realized there were other items! A dozen, small tender mussels ringed a bed of al dente linguini gently dressed in a light, not salty, flavorful white whine cream sauce. Sweet, medium shrimp – I have to say unprocessed and FRESH. My biggest pet peeve is processed seafood and processed shrimp makes me see red. Same goes for the scallops – 20/30 count, slightly sweet medallions of delight. And of course, more of those delectable littlenecks. This was seafood done with respect. Put on a pedestal like it rightfully deserves. No surprise here as Seafire owns two boats epitomizing the from boat to plate concept. They aren’t tampering with a good thing.

The subtle touch was the sizes of the seafood. People love seafood, but not necessarily gargantuan mussels and clams. Massive bellied clams aren’t something most people are particularly fond of. Seafire, unlike many places, clearly feels that in addition to freshness being a priority, so isn’t hand picking the proper size. It’s this extra care and attention to detail that is a common theme at Seafire Grill.

Here was a dish that made me feel guilty. It was so good that I felt like I was doing something wrong. There had to be a catch. Things this good don’t just happen to me. Someone must have slipped something into my drink. I eyed my brother, Adam and Taylor suspiciously.

Mike’s New York Sirloin (medium well) was a gorgeous thing to look at. Simmering juices and the perfect amount of char accompanied with bright colored, fresh vegetables and a side of chopped, seasoned potatoes. Contrasting my aforementioned churlish and greedy ways, my brother sliced a portion of his steak and offered it to me.

The patio – one of three seating areas plus the rectangualr island bar.

I had a Seinfeld-ian moment: knowing the rules of engagement, he knew I would have to return the offer and allow him a go at my seafood. Does he think I’m an amateur? Why is he looking directly at the scallops? I mean, he can have some linguini if he wants.

My first bite into the steak flooded me with memories of the old York Steak House – only this was better. York was great, but this was light years ahead. Here I am having one of the best seafood dishes in my life, and now I am tasting one of the best steaks ever? 80s music is playing overhead. In my head, Joey Lawrence let out a “Whoa.”

Grand finale or coup de grace
Often in American dining, quality is often sacrificed for portions. It’s not always a bad thing – in some cases it’s a good thing – but it renders dessert superfluous. The beauty of qualitative, perfect portions is I had a tiny corner of my stomach requesting to be filled. For the first time in a long time, dessert was a possibility. Taylor detailed the half dozen dessert options and we settled on the interesting sounding Chocolate Bag – filled with white chocolate mousse and raspberries and blackberries.

When it arrived, we were a bit puzzled on how to approach it. Do we slice into it? Scoop it out, waiting for the chocolate to soften before eating? So like the rubes we are, we began smacking the chocolate with our spoons. Real sophisticates we are! After scooping a few blueberries, blackberries and strawberries out and devouring them, I noticed they weren’t sweetened.

The glorious “Chocolate Bag”!

Here was another theme threaded throughout the Seafire experience: don’t oversalt and oversweeten the ingredients. Let the quality and freshness of the ingredients combine with the chef’s ability stand on its own. It’s an insult to add copious amounts of salt and sugar to ingredients. In my opinion, it’s what poor chefs hide behind.

Anyhow, underneath the delightful fruit was handmade sorbet. Wonderful crimson chunks of slightly sweet, citrus-infused deliciousness. Mixing these with a few cracked shells of superior chocolate played for a complex symphony on the tongue. An absolutely divine dessert and a wonderful way to cap off the night.

Conclusion and summation
I should mention that our server Taylor was superlative. Light conversation, attentive to detail, and magically appearing when needed. Distant but always available. That’s how I like my servers. Her delightful attitude and presence was the perfect compliment to a perfect night of dining.

With Seafire Grill I found a place that I intend to frequent regularly. Throughout the day, I wondered what some of the other items on the menu were like. The bar is my type of bar and since I didn’t experience it that night, I’d like to return and give it a go. A night on the town for me, is a sitting at a bar drinking wine and having great conversation with good company and the atmosphere there is just right.

The pricing of the menu is spot on for what you are getting. Yes, some people wouldn’t be able to afford it on a regular basis, but they would certainly make Seafire their destination for a special night, like an anniversary, birthday, or work promotion. Having said that, Seafire is not a pretentious, arrogant high-end restaurant.

Asian Short Ribs – Served with Soba Noodles and Grilled Vegetable Stir-Fry.

It is highly approachable. A menu designed with care, a world class chef, competent management, and affable servers are a clear recipe for success. Once word-of-mouth gets out, I fully expect Seafire Grill to be a spot that you will need a week out to get a reservation. It’s quite simply a spectacular dining experience and one that I’d like to revisit again and again.

There are a lot of similarities between Seafire Grill, Cork and the Pasta House. In terms of detail, care, and excellence they are all siblings. The menus are distinctly different, but these are three of the finest dining establishments in the region. They retain that “upscale” dining service, but without being pretentious.

Seafire Grill has an active Facebook (where they give away free meals!) and website where you can check on specials, make reservations right online, and browse their menu. There is even a calendar, so you can keep abreast of live music, DJ and Dancing or “Make your own hamburger” nights.

You can call for reservations, however walk-ins are welcome. Got a group or want take-out? No problem. Want to have a special event there? You’re in good hands. They accept Visa, Mastercard, and of course, cash.

The Seafire Grill is on the map. They have fired a shot across the bow of all the South Coast’s restaurants with the standard they’ve set here. It’s a must have dining experience.

And yes, no brothers were harmed in this dining experience. I did not stab Mike’s hand with a fork and I returned his generous offer to sample from my plate.

Or did I?


Seafire Grillhouse and Bar

72 N Water St
New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3333
Email: info@seafiregrillhouseandbar.com

Tue – Thu: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Fri: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Sat: 3:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Sun: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SeaFireNB
Website: seafiregrillhouseandbar.com/

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2014 New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival

Taste offerings from 25 area restaurant! Who will have the best?

Downtown New Bedford, Inc. is pleased to announce the date for the Ninth Annual New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival. It will be held on Sunday October 5th, from 12 noon to 5 pm at Pier 3 on New Bedford’s working waterfront. Restaurants, caterers and organizations with great dining facilities are lining up to compete in this friendly competition, The day culminates in awards decided by the votes of the attendees for “Best Of” in all the categories and the “Judge’s Choice” Award will be decided by a blind taste test. This year’s judging panel includes the 2012 “Chopped” Champion, Chef Joe Rego: Standard Times Food Critique and Food Blogger, Auditi Guha, and WFHN Radio Personality, Michael Rock.

With your ticket you are able to sample and taste the offerings from 25 area restaurants, many offering one or more in the categories of Clam Chowder, Seafood Chowder, Kale and Specialty Soups and Stuffed Quahogs, all under an enormous tent nestled among the fishing boats on Pier 3 in New Bedford.

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As of September 22nd we have signed up: Autumn Glen, Brookdale, The Hollywood Scoop, The Tipsy Toboggan, Cove Surf & Turf, Freestone’s City Grill, The Galley Grille at White’s of Westport, Horta’s Restaurant, Me & Ed’s, Russell Morin’s Fine Catering, Olive Garden, Pasta House, Seaport Inn Grill, SouthCoast Health, Cotali Mar, The Black Whale Restaurant, Chef Jeff’s, Mike’s Restaurant, Sippican Healthcare Center, Whaling City Diner, All Friends Catering & BBQ, Matt’s Blackboard and Tia Maria European Café – with many more making their plans to participate.

‘Chowderfest’ continues to be an affordable family event”. Says DNB’s Executive Director, Diane Arsenault thanks to the support of our many sponsors. “We are extremely excited by that BayCoast Bank has again taken the lead in this sponsorship as it enables us to maintain the high quality of the festival while keeping the ticket price low”.

Outside the main tent will be smaller tents set up for food and drink vending that includes local beer and wines, soft drinks and mixed drinks. Café Arpeggio will also be offering a variety foods including homemade ice cream and desserts. Adding to the festive atmosphere throughout the afternoon are the annual YMCA Lobster Races, antique fire truck rides, craft activities organized by volunteers from the New Bedford Ocean Explorium, Buttonwood Park Zoo and Global Charter School.

Live music also adds to the atmosphere. The MRL Trio will be performing all afternoon with plenty of room for you to sit and listen or get up and dance! MRL is Butch McCarthy, Chris Richards and Dori Rubbicco Legge, local favorites. The trio will dip into the pop, rock and Americana songbook to entertain the crowd. Percussionist Dan Schwartz will also be joining the performance. We also have DJ’s services from Ensemble Events to entertain us between the band’s sets.

Restaurant applications to participate are available by calling the DNB office or can be downloaded from our website. There are also many sponsorship opportunities for companies who want great exposure to the 2,000 people who attend this event annually.

TICKETS are $15 in advance, $18 day of, $5 for children 6-12, free for 5 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online here: http://www.downtownnb.org/chowderfest.html


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The history and tradition of New Bedford’s Portuguese Feast

In the 1910s the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament was a parade followed by a few hours of festivities on a Sunday (Museum of Madeiran Heritage)

Portuguese religious tradition, culture and community meet at the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament 

The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament is such a city icon that it’s referred to as the Portuguese Feast. There are the grand buildings of Russell Warren, the Sea Captain homes, and the Whaleman Statue. There was the Paul Revere Sign. There’s the Fishing Industry and the Waterfront. All these things are conjured when someone says New Bedford. The Portuguese Feast is in league with them.

Everyone knows New Bedford is also known as the Whaling City. Some know that it was once known as the “City of Light.” It could easily be dubbed as the City of Portuguese. Well, that’s unimaginative. Perhaps, the City of Malassadas? Cacoila City? Lil’ Lisbon?

OK, I won’t quit my day job. You get the picture.

New Bedford is synonymous with Portuguese Culture. No one can imagine New Bedford without it. Who wants to go the rest of their lives without cacoila, linguica, malassadas, pops, quezadas, or boiled dinner? I don’t want to live in a city where there are no Botelhos, Perreiras, Costas or Silvas in the phone book. No Fado, no Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, no Portuguese Clubs, no avos?

NO THANKS. Sorry, I mean “NOA OBRIGADO.”

Feast of the Blessed Sacrament founders Manuel Santana Duarte, Manuel Santinho, Manuel Abreu Coutinho, and Manuel Agrella (Museum of Madeiran Heritage)

While there isn’t a soul that hasn’t been to the Festa at least once, there are a lot of people who don’t know why there is a Feast of the Blessed Sacrament. Who’s bright idea was it? Who was the genius that merged the best of America and Portugal in one of the city’s favorite events that draws up to 300,000 people? Let’s give thanks to the group that thought to put beer, wine, meat on a skewer, and live music right here in New Bedford.

Can we do a short trip through the history of the Feast without being boring? You bet we can. Should we? We sure should! It’s not just the history of the Portuguese Community. It’s the history of America. It’s your history. It’s our history.

A sizable portion of Portuguese – who have been known for centuries as some of the world’s best navigators, pilots, and shipbuilders – came directly to New Bedford attracted by the burgeoning whaling industry. What some do not know is that many did not originally have intentions of living in New Bedford.

A whaling voyage could take up to four years and it wasn’t uncommon for a ship to set sail with a very light crew. Traveling to ports all over the world for supplies, repairs or respite, the captains of these vessels would try to grow his crew size. Because of the history, culture and seagoing experience of the Portuguese and the position of the Portuguese owned islands in the Atlantic, stops were frequently made in the Azores and Madeira.

Many Azoreans, Cape Verdeans, Madeirans and mainland Portuguese would seize the opportunity, but were unaware that these voyages were not only many years long, but that the ships were heading back to New Bedford and not delivering everyone back to their homes. Many Portuguese were brought back to New Bedford and were expected to find and make their own ways back home.

Many of them arrived and immediately saw the economic opportunities that New Bedford offered. Not only could the seafaring peoples make a living off the sea, but they could do so without long voyages on whaling vessels. The whaling industry needed logistics support, i.e. coopers, carpenters, smiths, laborers, etc. In addition, there were unrelated jobs available in textiles warehouses, labor, and agriculture. Enough to tempt many to stay in New Bedford and with the better financial conditions and modernity of the New World, they could send for their families to relocate.

So now that we know why the Portuguese Community established roots in New Bedford, why the festa? Well, just because the relocated Portuguese decided to stay in America, didn’t mean that they didn’t still deeply love their country. At this point in world history there were greater opportunities for a better quality of life here in America and specifically New Bedford. Their passion for their country and culture didn’t wane.

Each group of Portuguese celebrate their heritage. For example, the Dia de Portugal is a celebration of all Portuguese communities and the Feast of Senhor de Pedra is specifically the Azorean community’s celebration. The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament is a Madeiran celebration rooted in religious tradition – Roman Catholicism in this case. The “Blessed Sacrament” being the bread and wine that forms the Eucharist or Holy Communion.

The Feast is founded on Roman Catholic tradition of Madeiran immigrants.(Museum of Madeiran Heritage)

Madeirans Manuel Santana Duarte, Manuel Santinho, Manuel Abreu Coutinho, and Manuel Agrella, founded the Feast in 1915 because they deeply missed the little festas they enjoyed in the small villages they were from back home. From these four founders the feast grew to the point that there are hundreds of feisteros who help organize the event – all who can trace their lineage back to Madeira.

While the Feast has greatly evolved since its first celebration in 1915, it has retained its name demonstrating the importance of the religious roots of the community and the first organizers. The first festas were just a small gathering of folks around barracas or stands, for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. Imagine that?!

It’s a genuine tribute to the warm Portuguese culture that they happily welcome everyone to celebrate in their festivities – Catholic or not! It is this tolerance, and warmth that has contributed to the festa growing into the massive celebration that it is today. While many people simply go to the Feast, because they understand that it is a place to meet old and new friends, eat mouth watering food, and enjoy a few libations, we should at least acknowledge that the feast is one based in religious tradition, culture and history of the Portuguese Community – without whom we would not have the feast.

If you are interested in learning more about the Portuguese or Madeiran culture and/or history of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, you will be pleased to know that on the feast grounds is the Museum of Madeiran Heritage, jam packed with vintage photos, a timeline of the feast and those involved, and many interesting objects of historical importance.

Whether you are of Portuguese descent who wants to learn more about your heritage or someone who has no Portuguese ancestry and just want to learn more about the feast, the role of the Portuguese community, or the city’s history you will thoroughly enjoy exploring the museum. During the feast, the museum will be having a small festa of its own: you can enjoy some musical entertainment – yes, Fado – wine, coffee, espresso and some Portuguese pastries at the Museum Cafe until 10:00pm each night. Admission is free. Want to know more about schedule of activities and entertainment? Stay tuned.


Are you of Portuguese descent and can trace your family back many generations in greater New Bedford? There are missing portraits of five Feast of the Blessed Sacrament presidents. The Museum of Madeiran History needs your help in filling in the missing presidents:

1. Joao De Souza (Jardin) – Served in 1917. Born at Santa Cruz, Madeira. Lived at 929 Victoria Street.
2. Jose Antonio – Served in 1920. Born at Santa Cruz, Madeira. Lived at 276 Davis Street.
3. Guilhermo Silveira (Gonsalves) – Served in 1930. Born at Santa Cruz, Madeira. From Oakland, California.
4. Jaoa Pedro Vieira – Served in 1944. Lived at 206 North Street.
5. John Teixeira – Served in 1946. Lived at 32 Alpine Avenue, Fairhaven.

If these names are familiar to you and you have images or know how to find images of these individuals, please contact us at nbgarts@gmail.com.

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Website: portuguesefeast.com/
Facebook Page: facebook.com/FeastOfTheBlessedSacrament