After clocking long shifts at Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine, chef Mike Wiley needs a gratifying meal, fast. “It’s a quick and dirty little fried fish sandwich,” he said of this week’s Slow Food Fast contribution, known at the restaurant as the Mike. “I eat it regularly.”
At the top of Ms. French’s list of must-visit restaurants was Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland. We grabbed two seats at one end of the concrete bar; an imposing block of granite loaded with oysters on ice occupied the other. The lobster roll, served on steamed bun, diverted us deliciously, but the real star that day were the oysters served on the half shell, accompanied by kimchi, horseradish and Tabasco ices. We tried a half dozen, including the Basket Island and Glidden Point varieties and could have happily whiled away the afternoon at that sunny counter, sipping white wine and slurping up more oysters, but Bar Harbor waited.
“I’ve only been to a handful of real clambakes in my life,” said Mike Wiley, co-chef and co-owner of three restaurants in Portland, Maine. “I mean the kind by the ocean, cooked with fresh seaweed and seawater. But I’ve tested countless clambake recipes at our restaurants.”
Cod has a mild, firm flesh that lends itself to a wide range of preparations. But Maine chef Mike Wiley is especially partial to poaching the fillets in olive oil. “The green, grassy oil perfumes the fish,” he said, “and the texture this technique achieves is remarkably luscious and light.”
As the days grow colder, scallops are the silver lining: The lower the water temperature, the plumper and sweeter they get. Mike Wiley, co-chef and co-owner of Eventide Oyster Co., Hugo’s and the Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, will be serving them liberally from here on in.
Since opening this summer, this bright, inviting spot has quickly established itself as the pearl of Portland's Old Port. Grab a seat at the bar hewn from cement and Maine granite, nosh on house-made pickles and a cup of chowder, and browse the selection of oysters arrayed on crushed ice: 18 enticing varieties, nine from Maine and nine "from away." Don't neglect the top-notch cocktails, like the surprising and simple celery gimlet.