September 16, 2013

Dine Out Maine: At Seabright, celebrated chef elevates the humble pizza pie

By NANCY HEISER

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Chloe Squibb chops scallions in the kitchen as she prepares for the dinner hour at Seabright in Camden, where the staff creates an imaginative array of wood-fired pizzas.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

SEABRIGHT

Seven Public Landing, Camden

230-1414; seabrightcamden.com

****

HOURS: 5 p.m. to close daily

CREDIT CARDS: No; cash or check only

PRICE RANGE: $4.99 to $21.99

VEGETARIAN: Yes

GLUTEN-FREE: Yes, but not pizzas

KIDS: Yes

RESERVATIONS: No

BAR: Full. Special cocktails, homemade sangria, small selection of distinctive Italian wines by the glass, carafe or bottle; four beer taps

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

BOTTOM LINE: Exceptionally good, creative wood-fired pizzas using local ingredients and served in a casual, subterranean setting along Camden's harbor.

Ratings follow this scale and take into consideration food, atmosphere, service and value:

* Poor

**Fair 

***Good

****Excellent

***** Extraordinary

The Maine Sunday Telegram visits an establishment twice if the first dining experience was unsatisfactory. The reviewer dines anonymously.

Even a casual eatery should concern itself with this kind of customer ease. Service was appropriately informal, but a quick table swipe between main and dessert course would have kept our elbows clean of stray white beans and toppings.

Seabright's setting is cave-like, as the restaurant is below street level on one side where the stone foundation takes up a wall. The entrance at the other end fronts the restaurant's outdoor seating and the harbor-side walk. The interior walls are painted bright blue, the tables and booths are basic wood, and the busy wood-fired oven and surrounding workspace is central to the action.

Choose between the dark recesses at the back or brighter tables and bar at the front, or sit outside next to the tidy woodpile and enjoy a cool evening breeze.

Wherever you settle, be sure to bring a check or plenty of cash, as the restaurant does not take credit cards. And you can run up quite a bill if you opt for a few courses, like we did. Our two appetizers, two pizzas, three drinks and one dessert came to $120 with tip.

On this Sunday night in late August, the restaurant was half-full and seemed to be still undiscovered. But now you know. If you're a pizza gourmand, a visit to Seabright is a must for your shortlist.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at:

nancyheiser.com

 

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