Review of In a Silent Way

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a four star review of In a Silent Way in Wiscasset.

Co-owners Chandler Sowden and Zack Goodwin have put together a masterful selection of wines served in some of the best glassware you’ll ever encounter, as well as a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-length menu of exquisitely prepared, vegetable-focused small plates. Sip a glass of tart, pale Guy Breton Régnié and order food with abandon. Everything I ate at In a Small Way was a delight, most especially a watermelon salad with peppers, tomato, feta and cilantro, and an exquisitely roasted eggplant in a nearly raw passata of Sungold tomatoes.

There have been a number of changes in the Wiscasset restaurant scene over the last year or so:

  • In late 2022 owners of the now closed Ruby’s West End in Portland opened Back River Bistro at the former location of Little Village Bistro.
  • Longtime mainstay Sarah’s closed earlier this year with the retirement of its namesake owner Sarah Heald. In its place Jodie Roquemore is opening a new rendition of her restaurant Jodie’s Cafe and Bakery.
  • A new raw bar named Jolie Rogers opened earlier this summer. They’re located on the water-facing side of the same building as In a Silent Way.
  • Treats and Water Street Kitchen + Bar remain established favorites in Wiscasset as are Sprague’s and Red’s.
  • Just a short drive away is The Alna Store, a restaurant and market in the small town of Alna.

The Danforth Closing

Owners of The Danforth have announced plans to close their West End bar and restaurant.

We love and believe in everything we’ve done. The unfortunate reality is that we have been unable to find a path that would sustain the business financially and ensure its future. Our priority during this transition is supporting our teams with financial provisions in the short term, and beyond that, helping them to secure future employment.⁠

Thank you to everyone who stopped by for a drink, meal, or just to say hi over the last year.

The Danforth opened July 22, 2022. Their last day in business will be Saturday, September 23rd.

For additional reporting, see this article in the Press Herald.

Oak & Ember Opens Friday

Oak & Ember (website, instagram), the new farm-to-table gastropub in Buxton, is scheduled to open on Friday. Owner Shannon Keefe and her team have lightly renovated the former Buxton Common building. It includes an outdoor deck that seats 38, and a variety of rooms and seating areas inside the building that overall seats 60.

Chef Kirby Sholl is the executive chef at Oak & Ember. Sholl was formerly the chef de cuisine at Chaval. The menu (see below) includes a mix of small bites, apps, pasta and mains. Shown above are the Grilled Shrimp and the Grilled Iberian Pork.

The beverage program includes wines (mostly old world) by the glass, draft and packaged beer/cider/seltzer and a short list of house-designed cocktails. In addition to the restaurant there’s also a on-site wine shop that will sell all the wines of the by-the-glass and bottle list offered at Oak & Ember.

Oak & Ember will initially be open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner. Reservations are available online on

Bon Appetit Best Dishes

Bon Appetit recently came out with their list of the best new restaurants of the past year. While no Maine restaurants were highlighted this year, dishes from two new restaurants were featured.

The Milk Bread with Brown Butter and Smoked Pecans at Twelve was called out in BA’s article on “The Absolute Best Dishes We Ate at New Restaurants This Year“.

And, the Lemon Meringue Kakigori at Bar Futo was selected for their list of “The Most Delightful Desserts We Ate at New Restaurants This Year“.

The Maker’s Galley Closing

Owner Rachel Sagiroglu has announced she’ll be closing her business The Maker’s Galley which is located near the corner of India and Commercial Streets. The last day of operations will be September 27th. Maker’s Galley opened on November 13, 2021.

After careful consideration, I have come to the difficult decision to close The Maker’s Galley. The Maker’s Galley was created to bring together local makers and food enthusiasts as the brick-and-mortar location for Experience Maine. Sadly, the last year has been increasingly difficult to manage two growing businesses and maintain work life balance. In addition, I can no longer carry the burden of the rising costs impacting restaurants in Maine and the constant staffing challenges. As Experience Maine continues to grow, it has also become clear that I need to focus my energy on this business and the greater impact it can have on Maine’s hospitality and tourism industry.

Sagiroglu plans launch a new catering and private chef business called Experience Maine Culinary to carry on some of the services and events that Maker’s Galley produced.

Wine Enthusiast: Best Wine Shops

Wine Enthusiast has included Vessel & Vine (instagram) and Maine & Loire (instagram) on their list of The Best Wine Shops of 2023.

Our 2023 shops are information hubs and community centers. They open windows into local wine regions, introducing consumers to the ferments happening in their own backyards. These shops help tell America’s wine story as it is today—one that celebrates new varieties, new approaches to winemaking and a diverse maker space.

Today’s shops don’t only sell wine, either. They’re expanding notions of where wine fits into our lives, with many shops offering cider, sake, bread, cheese, coffee and books. They’re also crafting thriving communities, paving the way for a new kind of wine culture.

The article was written by Portland area wine professional and journalist Margot Mazur (instagram).

Upcoming Events

ThursdaySur Lie is serving a gluten-free menu.

FridayThe Waldoboro Inn is hosting a wine dinner in collaboration with Devenish Wines and Elbow’s Catering.

September 18 – an all-star line-up of female chefs from Maine are collaborating on multi-course Fabulous Femmes dinner to benefit MOFGA and to highlight Maine women in farming. Chefs Ashleigh Shanti from Good Hot Fish in Ashville and Jordan Rubin from Mr. Tuna are collaborating on a 6-course dinner at Bar Futo.

September 22-24 – The Common Ground Country Fair is taking place in Unity.

September 24 – the Latino Food Festival is taking place, and The Saltyard is holding a cocktail brunch at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

September 24-30Maine Lobster Week is taking place.

September 30Tender Table is holding their 3rd annual food and art fair in Congress Square Park, and Biddeford is holding an Oktoberfest celebration. The Maine Needham Festival is taking place in Wiscasset.

October 4MOFGA is holding an apple tasting at the Maine Heritage Orchard in Unity.

October 5Inside Wayside, a fundraising food event for the Wayside Food Programs is taking place.

October 7Oxbow is holding their annual Goods from the Woods event in Newcastle.

October 8Dandelion Spring Farms is holding a Harvest Dinner, and Maine Open Creamery Day is taking place.

October 15Twelve is holding a Harvest Party. Tickets go on sale on September 15th.

October 25-28 – Harvest on the Harbor is taking place.

November 5Chaval is holding a late harvest dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

December 7 – Secret Supper is holding a (sold out) holiday dinner in the Portland area.

June 26 – Secret Supper (instagram) is holding a dinner in the Portland area.

Review of Dara Bistro

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a four star review of Dara Bistro in Cumberland.

…Dara Bistro is a cozy, under-the-radar treasure in Cumberland. Chef/owner Bryan Dame has been preparing buzzworthy breakfasts, brunches and lunches in the space since 2017, but it wasn’t until last summer that he began serving a dinner menu inspired by New England, European bistro cooking and Southern food. The combo works delightfully…Absolutely worth a drive.

Seagriculture Conference

The Press Herald has a report on the Seagriculture Conference that took place in Portland this week.

Johnson was among 300 attendees at “Seagriculture,” the second annual International Seaweed Conference USA, held this week at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. The two-day event featured presentations by global leaders in seaweed innovation exploring its production and various uses, including food, bioplastics, medicine and sustainable economic development.

Here’s a link to the program for the conference.

Maine Food & Dining News

Here are some recent food and dining highlights from around the state: