The permanent line outside Eventide Oyster Co. on Middle Street just got longer. Yesterday the editors of Conde Nast Traveler, a well-fed bunch, released their first ever best places in the world to eat list and the bivalve hotspot is the only Maine mention.
“The oyster bar of your dreams: briny half-shells most likely harvested that morning, note-perfect lobster rolls, a killer wine list, and all sorts of unexpected treats on the daily menu,” cooed writer Peter Jon Lindberg.
This comes as no surprise to diners in Maine’s culinary capital. Since the teal-hued glamorous grotto opened in 2012, hipsters, shucksters, tourists, newcomers, old comers, the curious and well heeled have all beelined here for fired oyster buns and Bloody Maria tequila drinks. Chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor have been shortlisted for James Beards, become Bon Appetit darlings, made National Eater’s Top 38 list and garnered enough ink to start a printing press.
With 207 spots on this list, and states like Rhode Island (which yield some quality oysters btw) mysteriously gone missing, this is another feather in the trifecta’s cap. Eventide is flanked by Hugo’s and The Honey Paw, all under owner Arlin Smith’s trend-forward empire.
Meanwhile, staffing shortages plague even the most popular spots in town.
Wiley, chef/co-owner, writes in his new PPH column that success isn’t always as easy as shucking a dozen Glidden Points. “Occasionally, cooks quit because they don’t like the job. Earlier this summer, in an unforgivable display of cowardice, a cook walked out the door without giving any notice on a very busy Saturday afternoon,” he wrote. Poor form. No matter how obnoxious the tourist trap.
See you in line for steamed brown buttered lobster buns in February!