With the first hints of autumn in the air and summer visitors heading home, many Maine restaurants are showing the first signs of slowing down for the season. That said, there are new places to look forward to this fall, and here's the line up, in alphabetical order:
1) Old Port, Portland: Buck's Naked BBQ
The Players: Wendyll and Alex Caisse
The Situation: A third location of the popular barbecue joint - the other two are in Freeport and Windham - is rumored to be opening in the Old Havana South space on Union Street. Stay tuned.
Projected Opening: Unknown
· [All Coverage of Buck's]
2) Yarmouth: Gather
The Players: Matt Chappell, chef Chad Conley
The Situation: Housed in a former Masonic Hall in downtown Yarmouth, Gather is the first restaurant venture for Chappell, scion of the Tom's of Maine family. According to its Facebook page, "the food will be locally and regionally sourced, with a menu that is creative, unpretentious and, most of all, affordable."
Projected Opening: September
· [All Coverage of Gather]
3) Portland, West End: Outliers
The Players: Peter Verrill
The Situation: The plane that once projected from the roof and the dive-y atmosphere are long gone and what was Popeye's Ice House has been transformed into a sleek, modern restaurant with an enviable water view. Verrill will only say about the chef that he is committed to a gig in Bar Harbor through October; the menu is also vague, but will feature seasonal, local foods.
Projected Opening: November
· [All Coverage of Outliers]
4) Portland, TBD: Vinland
The Players: David Levi
The Situation: The most hotly anticipated restaurant of the year doesn't yet have a location or target opening date, but owner/chef Levi has the concept nailed down. Drawing on his experiences at Scandinavia's famed Noma and Faviken Magasinet, his training with Tuscan butchers and a stint in the kitchen of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Perry St. in NYC, Levi envisions Vinland as a "strictly local" restaurant using solely foods farmed or foraged in Maine. The exceptions to this mandate are coffee, tea and wine.
Projected Opening: Late fall
· [All Coverage of Vinland]