Blue Hill Peninsula: Harbor Cafe, Dennett’s Wharf

The Bangor Daily News has the scoop on some interesting restaurant developments in Castine and Stonington.

Max Katzenberg, who worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant and owned two highly praised restaurants in Brooklyn, recently took over the Harbor Cafe in downtown Stonington and plans to reopen Dennett’s Wharf on the Castine waterfront next month.

While Katzenberg, who had previously spent summers in Maine and moved to Deer Isle during the pandemic, brings big-city credentials and acclaimed chefs to the two projects, he promised he and his team are focused on upgrading what already made the two local favorites great.

The article explains that Max Katzenberg worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and was a co-owner of Olmsted (a Beard Best New Restaurant nominee in 2017) and Maison Yaki, both in Brooklyn.

The Harbor Cafe (instagram) project is in collaboration “with friend and Deer Isle dining veteran Matt Spector” which they bought “to prevent the town losing the Main Street fixture.”

For the relaunch of Dennett’s Wharf (instagram) in Castine is Katzenberg is working with Ingrid Paronich and Taylor Hester. Paronich has degrees from Johnson & Wales in Food Marketing and Hospitality and in Italian Gastronomy and Tourism from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Parma. Her recent work has been in restaurant operations and management in the Northeast.

Taylor Hestor will be the executive chef at Dennett’s Wharf. He was part of the original team at Sean Brock’s launch of Husk in Nashville. In 2017 he joined the team at Olmsted which that year was on the Bon Appetit list of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America and which was the Food & Wine 2017 Restaurant of the Year.