What’s the the pop-up wine bar boom?
Similarly, Briana and Andrew Volk are looking to overhaul the little grocery that’s attached to their restaurant, Little Giant, in the other Portland (Maine). They’ve launched a series of monthly wine nights, called Hush Hush, a beta version of the wine bar they’re hoping to realize later this year. Each night has a theme: funky wines and caviar and yes, you guessed it, tinned fish; magnums and pasta; West Coast white wines and Chinese food.
“We’re doing them to see if this sort of concept has some legs to become more permanent,” says Briana. But it’s also about taking the opportunity to share what they love in a relatively low-risk fashion and quite simply, she says, “Andrew and I just think it’s fun.”
The Best Bars in America in 2018 Will Convince You Bars Are Fun Again
Portland's Little Giant offers Maine-tinged cocktails that are equal parts inventive and playful. The menu will have you chuckling while furtively Googling “fermented pineapple tepache.” Get the martini, made cleverly briny with filtered seawater.
Food & Wine
Fall Entertaining Tips from Maine’s Coolest Culinary Couple
Because if anyone knows how to make cold weather living look good, it’s the husband-and-wife team behind Portland, Maine hotspots Portland Hunt + Alpine Club and newer sister restaurant Little Giant. Through their inspiring book, the Volks share secrets to getting hygge-with-it (sorry) Northern-style, blending inspiration from their Maine lifestyle and Briana’s Scandinavian heritage.
Portland, Maine is the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year
Swing by Little Giant, the sophomore effort from the team behind local favorite Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, which gets clever with dishes like lobster chips with serrano ranch and Moxie-braised pork belly. The sister market next door sells local beers and groceries and daily specials (don’t miss Friday and Saturday’s roast chicken and biscuits).
Six New Restaurants to Check Out in Portland, Maine
I went to Little Giant twice. Because I liked it, but also because Little Giant is two things. It’s a restaurant and a small market next door, both of which are operated by the team from BA favorite Hunt & Alpine Club. Little Giant is absolutely beautiful, simultaneously acknowledging and disregarding the clean, contemporary design trends of stark, white-walled restaurants. Creative director Briana Volk has hung watercolors of old family portraits on deep gray walls, above colorful knives and shiny copper vases on the tables below. Guests sitting in the retro-striped wooden booths attack giant plates...And the cocktails are as impressive here as they are at Hunt & Alpine Club. Killing time before my flight, I had a couple amaro-based whiskey drinks with orange peel and herbs.
The Golden Dish
BRUNCH REPORT: SO SWEET, SO SAVORY–LITTLE GIANT SOARS WITH TASTE AND STYLE
What also distinguishes brunch at Little Giant is that the place evokes that sort of tip-toe-inn neighborhood haunt, glam without glitz. And that’s because you’ve got two pros, Andrew and Briana Volk who gave Portland the Hunt and Alpine Club, which racked up notable recognition as rising stars in the food and drink world.
Portland Press Herald
Portland restaurateurs big fans of the Sea Dogs – and the Sea Dog Biscuit
"When they are not attending baseball games, the Volks oversee Little Giant, a bright, attractive neighborhood spot in Portland’s West End; and Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, a Nordic cocktail bar with such imaginative and impeccably made drinks as Lily of the Tundra, which combines Allen’s Coffee Brandy with pineapple rum, bitters and amaro. Both places have attracted enthusiastic national notice from the likes of Food & Wine and Bon Appétit."
"It is in style of service that Little Giant stands out most. Experts have made up a fantastical style of parenting called “authoritative” — neither too authoritarian, nor too permissive. Little Giant’s service is analogous: solicitous-meets-chill. If your cocktail is sweeter than expected, they remake it without syrup (resulting in a complexly bitter blend of rye, cognac and amaro). They decant your young wine, even if you paid half price for it (Wednesday nights!). When one dish arrived a bit late, the apology was a complementary lemon custard (creamy and tart) to finish our meal."
The Golden Dish
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, LITTLE GIANT IS AN INTIMATE NEIGHORHOOD DINING NEWCOMER SERVING A BIG-DEAL MENU
Rating: Excellent, distincitvely prepared fare from a great burger to haute fare and much in between done well in a restaurant owned by industry veterans, Briana and Andrew Volk of Hunt and Alpine fame; also pop into their grocery shop next door to the restaurant for some equally distinctive treats and basic necessities