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May 17, 2024

Friday Food Insider: The restaurants at Portland's boutique Longfellow Hotel are opening

interior of a hotel lobby bar Rendering / Courtesy of Longfellow Hotel Five of Clubs will be Longfellow’s lobby bar, featuring classic cocktails, wines, local beers and non-alcoholic drinks.

How about some crispy chickpeas, warm chicken liver mousse or Siberian caviar to start your evening? All of this and more can be found on the menu of the brand-new 48-room boutique Longfellow Hotel

The hotel, which was developed by Uncommon Hospitality, opened Friday and offers a wellness-focused café, Twinflower Café, and a European-influenced lobby bar, Five of Clubs. The bar and café will be walk-in only and will not take reservations. 

Twinflower will be a daytime counter-service cafe serving breakfast and lunch. The menu will emphasize vegetarian, plant-based and gluten-free dishes. 

Photo / Courtesy of Longfellow Hotel
Pictured here are menu items of the Five of Clubs lobby bar.

Five of Clubs will be Longfellow’s lobby bar, featuring classic cocktails, wines, local beers and non-alcoholic drinks. Bar snacks include a cheese board, a selection of fresh seafood dishes, salads and desserts, including profiteroles with chocolate and hazelnut ricotta and cocoa nib tuile.

Executive Chef Wilson Suliveras and Kyle Miller, general manager of food and beverage, will lead the property's culinary operations.

About the executive chef

Suliveras was born in Puerto Rico, and his love for cooking began when he was 14. 

“Something like holding a knife or pairing foods that will go together or sauteing vegetables really felt like second nature to me," Suliveras told Mainebiz. "So it felt natural to pursue a career in culinary.” 

Photo / Courtesy of Longfellow Hotel
Wilson Suliveras

After attending the Culinary Institute of America, he worked across various dining institutions nationwide, including Forbes-five-star properties like Inn at Dos Brisas in Washington, Texas, under the leadership of his mentor, Chef Matthew Padilla, an alum of the famous Noma restaurant in Denmark. 

Padilla moved to Maine and convinced Suliveras to move here to hone his culinary skills at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, where he worked his way up from executive pastry chef to executive sous chef. Suliveras more recently served as the executive sous chef at Elda in Biddeford under James Beard Award nominee Chef Bowman Brown. 

“I never thought I would be in Maine,” Suliveras said. “I remember back to ninth grade when I moved to the States for the first time. My class did geography and because my first language is Spanish, they only gave me 25 of the states to remember and I still couldn’t narrow it down. I didn’t know about Maine until my senior year of high school." 

Suliveras told Mainebiz that the two restaurants will have different menus and approaches to delivery. 

“The morning concept will concentrate on wellness and food that tastes really good. You may feel guilty at the moment, but you won’t feel guilty 20 minutes after eating it because it will be good for you,” said Suliveras.

“The menu items won’t have sugar or fat, and you won’t miss those flavors because they weren't there to begin with. It will have coconut or avocado fat, which is good for you. At night, we will offer a snack and cold dishes. The concept is not necessarily to fill you up and ready for bed but to help you get to that point. Whether you're winding down to go to bed or getting ready to go to your next destination.” 

About the general manager of food and beverage

As the general manager of food and beverage, Miller will wear many hats. He will oversee the daily operations of two restaurants and in-room dining. He will also be involved in everything from hiring, scheduling and training staff to managing inventory and maintaining food, beverage and labor costs. 

Photo / Courtesy of Longfellow Hotel
Kyle Miller

“A big focus for us at Twinflower Café is making sure the menu is accessible to everyone,” Miller told Mainebiz. “We’re committed to offering various gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options so all our guests can find something they love. At Five of Clubs, we’ll have plenty of non-alcoholic drink options, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and included, whether they’re in the mood for a cocktail or a [non-alcoholic] beverage.
“The Longfellow is all about connecting with the community and drawing inspiration from the local culture, so I’m excited to bring that spirit into our food and beverage outlets,” he continued. “I can’t wait to create a vibrant atmosphere where every guest feels a sense of energy and discovery, making their stay unforgettable.”

Miller told Mainebiz that he began his hospitality journey at the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colina, in Irving, Texas, where he worked in the resort's fine-dining Cafe on the Green. After winning a local gingerbread house competition, he decided to take the leap and train as a pastry chef.

“Then I switched gears, becoming general manager at Crú Food & Wine Bar in Dallas and later overseeing the buzzing food-and-beverage scene at the Joule Hotel, where I managed bars, a restaurant, in-room dining, and banquets,” said Miller. 
"In 2017, I had a blast working with master sommelier James Tidwell on TexSom, one of the biggest international beverage competitions around,” he continued. “After getting married in Maine in 2015, my wife Heidi and I fell in love with the state and moved here permanently.

"In 2021, we bought a 12-room lodge in the foothills of the White Mountains. After three great years of running the lodge, I returned to the food and beverage industry with Uncommon Hospitality. Now, I’m bringing all my experience and passion to the Longfellow Hotel.”

What else is going on in the food world?

Orono Brewing Co. and Wyman’s have crafted the ultimate summer beverage, the Wicked Maine Blueberry Ale, also known as the “Wicked,” which will give people a little taste of Maine. The drink is brewed using Wyman’s wild blueberries and a light malt and hop recipe. Wicked will be a year-round offering. So grab your lobster roll and a Wicked Blueberry Ale for a little piece of Maine this summer. 

If you are looking to satisfy your pizza cravings this weekend, you are in luck because Off Track Pizza is hosting its opening weekend. The restaurant is located at 15 Exchange St. in Portland and will be open from noon to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday. 

Bao Bao Dumpling House, owned by Cara Stadler, announced Monday via social media that it is relaunching in Brunswick at 22 Pleasant St. (formerly Stadler's Tao Yuan). The new hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, from 4:30-9 p.m. An opening date has not been announced yet. 

What restaurants you are excited to see open? The Mainebiz Food Insider wants to hear from you! Contact Alexis Wells at

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