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Yes, Slab Opened Yesterday; See Menu Here

Photo: Adam H. Callaghan

In a move inversely proportional to the excitement levels surrounding the restaurant, Slab's public opening yesterday was so quiet that it was neither officially announced nor truly believed by most—until it was seen, that is. Despite the lack of formal invitation, plenty of customers made their way to the outdoor beer garden, indoor booths, and well-stocked bar. We even heard from the first "public" customer (and our first real confirmation that the restaurant was open to the public), who tried something called "shoes and gravy" and took home a hand slab and ice cream cone cannoli.

Now that the brainchild of owners Jason Loring, Stephen Lanzalotta, Matt Moran, Tobey Moulton, and Emily Kingsbury is finally here, it should be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., with Sunday brunch planned for later this summer. Take-out is available by calling 207-245-3088 or stopping in (most items don't take too long to prepare); free delivery should be available through www.2dinein.com, though at the time of writing Slab is not listed on the site.

If you're as curious as we were about "shoes and gravy" ("[vegetarian] 2 luna bread 'soles' with our Slab sauce and a chunk of aged provolone | $6"), you'll want to check out the menu images below. Naturally, "the hand slab," chef/co-owner Stephen Lazalotta's famous one pounder, is featured, but under the PIZZE section rather than the MONSTRI (The Monsters) section. Currently, the only monster listed is "meatloaf meatball: beer-braised beef and pork sausage meatballs, sauce, and melted cheeses stuffed into a whole fresh Luna loaf | $14." This suggests more Monstri will haunt the menu over time.

The draft list is impressive, as expected, but expect it to be outdated and likely reprinted by the time you need it. Five of the signature collaboration beers were still available last night; two more have yet to show up at the restaurant. For those who worry about copious menu reprinting, Slab calls itself "a biodegradable and recyclable restaurant," and even the table settings are compostable brown paper sheets.

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· All Slab Coverage [-EME-]

Slab Sicilian Street Kitchen

25 Preble St., Portland, Maine 04101