Ondine’s menu will feature sustainably caught fish, and locally raised organic meat and vegetables.

Chef and cookbook author Evan Mallett, owner of the Black Trumpet restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will open a new restaurant in Belfast this Friday.

The 40-seat restaurant, Ondine Oyster + Wine Bar, will be located in a historic building at 108 Main St., the former home of chef Erin French’s The Lost Kitchen and two restaurants from raw foods chef Matthew Kenney’s The Gothic and Arata.

Mallett, who is known for his dedication to serving locally sourced, sustainably raised food, said he’s been considering opening a place in the midcoast for about a year and a half, but it was the “unparalleled” agricultural community around Belfast that “seduced” him into choosing that town over others. The “spectacular” number of organic farms and farmers markets and the local oyster aquaculture scene in the area were just what he was searching for, he said.

“I do believe that Belfast is the next ‘it spot’ for food in Maine, if not New England,” he said.

Ondine, named after a myth about a mermaid who falls in love with a human, will serve dinner seven nights a week, and may eventually add weekend lunches. The menu will be heavy on seafood – oysters and sustainably caught finfish and groundfish – but will also include meat and vegetables from local, organic farms.


Mallett said the prices will be similar to, but “slightly more affordable” than those at Black Trumpet. Fish entrees will range, roughly, between $15 and $22, and vegetarian dishes between $10 and $19. Lobster dishes will average $22.

“It’s not setting out to be a fine-dining place,” he said. “We very much want it to be accessible to locals year-round, and to have an appeal to everyone. We believe that everyone deserves oysters.”

The website for the new restaurant, ondinebelfast.com, will go live Wednesday.

Mallett and his wife and business partner, Denise Mallet, plan to keep Black Trumpet open, and they will continue to live just over the Maine-New Hampshire border in Berwick.

“Black Trumpet has never been better,” Mallett said. “It’s really doing well, so much so that I have a team that’s been with me for a long time and are thoroughly autonomous that I can trust my restaurant to.”

Mallett is living in a yurt in Belfast for now, and plans to commute back and forth to Berwick.


The chef said he will continue to participate in community projects in Portsmouth and southern Maine, including the annual eco-culinary retreat he runs each summer with Portland restaurateur Sam Hayward on Appledore Island and the Heirloom Harvest Project, in which local farmers grow endangered heirloom varieties of plants and then share the seeds with other farmers. “I see the potential to bring a lot of those ideas up there” to Belfast, Mallett said.

In 2016, Mallett wrote his first cookbook, “Black Trumpet: A Chef’s Journey Through Eight New England Seasons,” which recently won Book of the Year honors in Boston at The Readable Feast, a cookbook competition that promotes New England cookbooks and food writing.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:


Twitter: MeredithGoad

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