A Portland chef is opening a restaurant on Sunday River


Harding Lee Smith. Photo by Greta Rybus.

Far from the city bustle, the owner of The Rooms Restaurants, Harding Lee Smith, will hoist his shingle at the crossroads of skiers at Sunday River Resort this year.

On Dec. 20 Smith’s fifth restaurant, The Mountain Room opens at North Peak Lodge.

“It is going to be awesome,” said Smith, chef/owner of Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room, The Front Room, The Corner Room and The Grill Room — all in Portland.

Smith is partnering with the Newry ski resort on the new venture and plans to open in two phases.

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This year, phase one, is “a full service bar and small plate appetizers,” he said. Next year the plan is to offer full entrees for lunch and dinner. What can fans of his steak, seafood and Italian dishes expect this season? “Our greatest hits,” says Smith.

Think tuna poke with Sriracha aioli, oysters on the half shell, Montreal poutine, pork belly buns, and more. Don’t worry, you can ski it off.

Located mid-mountain, The Mountain Room can be accessed by skies, snowboards or the Chondola Lift. Smith has created a big city vibe in this alpine setting. The Rooms’ modern casual aesthetic (walnut and concrete bar), craft beers and signature cocktails, gives new meaning for slope to table.

So you don’t have to be a double black diamond expert to dine like a pro, just hop the lift for elevated cuisine.

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.