We will miss the octopus appetizer, but look forward to fresh pasta and antipasto in a revived Old Port setting.
Mediterranean powerhouse Ebb and Flow closed on Commercial Street in March and reopens in early May as Solo Italiano, featuring a new chef and new cuisine.
Owner Angelo Ciocca said the restaurant needed a refresh. He turned his focus to his favorite fare: classic Italian.
“Customers that came into Ebb and Flow were repeat customers, but there was not enough of them,” said Ciocca, who also owns Nova Seafood, a Portland-based distribution company. “The food was fabulous, but it was not enough to pay the bills.”
In January he decided to change course. Ebb and Flow’s executive chef William D’Auvray departed for North Carolina shortly thereafter.
Solo Italiano, which translates to “only Italian,” will feature authentic Northern Italian cuisine, something this food city could use more of. An Italian native from Genoa, Paolo Laboa will shake things up in the kitchen.
“He’s cooked at Farina in San Francisco, Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa Valley,” said Ciocca, and is no stranger to Michelin-stars. “I’m really excited. People around me are really excited.”
In the redesign, pasta and antipasto stations take center stage. Here Laboa and crew will prepare traditional dishes behind glass for chianti sipping crowds. More menu details will be revealed in coming weeks. “We will be specializing in food, wine and good times,” said Ciocca, who is re-energized by the transformation of one of Portland’s largest rooms.
“I’m a first generation Italian and I don’t think there are any Italian chefs in Portland. I don’t think you can say you are authentic unless the chef in the kitchen is from that country.”