Mediterranean restaurant opens in Old Port: Meet Ebb and Flow

the team

Melissa Santos, chef William D’Auvray and Angelo Ciocca.

The new owners of Ebb & Flow, formerly Spread on Commercial Street, have had a busy summer. Behind the shrouded windows on the corner where most people turn for their daily catch at Harbor Fish, a stunning, 130-seat restaurant has been under construction. No more!

Urban Eye got a peek into this sprawling space this week and no matter what chef William D’ Auvray, of L.A., Miami and Raleigh, is throwing down, the decor will please you. It’s got umami.

Glass-blown lights punctuate the warm, wooden and brick room located directly on the water. A large half-moon bar, designed with pillars from the first frat house at Bowdoin College, lend Ebb & Flow a hand-made vibe. This is a bold restaurant with Big City brawn, yet manages to feel cozy.

bowdoin bar

Bowdoin College bar

Hard to get excited about another Portland opening?

Not when the bar keeps getting this high. D’Auvray is a newcomer to the scene, but he is no carpet bagger. His partner Angelo Ciocca owns Nova Seafood, the Portland fish distribution company and that’s akin to Omega-3 gold. That means fresh fish with a capital F.

Yes Portland, Ebb and Flow could be your Legal Sea Foods.

The chef’s Mediterranean dishes (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy) fall between subtle and satisfying. “No foams or emulsions,” said D’Auvray, who is presenting fish, steak and plans to bake his own bread (including pita) on the premises. There is also a crudo bar in one section. Crudo, you may recall is the new sushi. Raw fish served plainly and simply. No out-of-control rolls here.

lights flow

A design-forward chandelier punctuates the space

There is not a grand opening planned said front-of-house manager Melissa Santos, but look for Ebb & Flow’s doors to swing open middle of next week. “Nothing too crazy,” she said. “We will just start cooking food and you will know we are open.”

Stealthy and confident. We are going with this flow.

Ebb and Flow, 100 Commercial St., Portland.




Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.