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Crisis Averted as Conte's 1894 Owner Joins Spruce Head Pizza in So. Thomaston

Fresh seafood and New York-style pizza, together at last.

Spruce Head Pizza/FB

Fans of chef John Conte — a notoriously cranky seafood wizard who was featured on Anthony Bourdain's food show No Reservations — wailed when they learned that he'd been evicted from and sued for rent and damages on his eatery Conte's 1894. It appears the spirit of that ramshackle restaurant will live on in a nearby business, though. Spruce Head Pizza announced on its website that Conte will bring his signature style to the South Thomaston pizza place when it reopens Memorial Day weekend:

The chef will be preparing the freshest fish and seafood in his unique Italian style, with the menu changing daily (just like in the old Conte's, you come in, peruse John's daily blackboard specials, and place your order).

Along with this major acquisition are additional changes: gone are the Italian sandwiches, the lunch service (Spruce Head will now open at 4 p.m. every day but Monday), and the deli staples (the case will now house fresh fish for retail sales). Slice fans take heart, though: the "real-deal NY pizza" will remain, and beer and wine will now be served in-house, too. Sounds like a compromise anyone can live with.