Krista Kern Desjarlais is giving up high-end cuisine in the city for hot dogs in the countryside — and a much shorter commute. One of Portland's, and indeed, Maine's, most celebrated chefs, the multi-year James Beard Award semifinalist has closed her popular restaurant Bresca to focus on a "summer snack shack at Outlet Beach on Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester," according to Meredith Goad in the Portland Press Herald's Maine ala Carte blog. Her last dinner service was "a week ago Saturday."
Located in the town where they live, Bresca And The Honey Bee, which Desjarlais and her husband, Erik, also a chef, are in the process of renovating, "will open for boating and swimming Memorial Day weekend and start serving food June 10."
Guests will be able to build a picnic from the menu, which will include hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and other simple fare. (Given Desjarlais' talent in the kitchen, though, it will probably be the best hot dog you've ever had.)Changes at the six-year-old Bresca began in January, when Desjarlais introduced an instantly successful lunch menu and scaled back dinner service to weekends only.
The chef isn't ready to say yet that Bresca is over for good. She still holds the lease on the restaurant space ... and if no one steps forward to take it over, she may have to re-open in the fall in order to pay the rent.Goad promises more details in a piece in this week's Maine Sunday Telegram.