Maine oysters are prized by chefs and gourmets around the country. Now Mainers are discovering them, too.

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Arlin Smith remembers the first time he ate a raw oyster. He was fourteen, a Buffalo boy with little experience with shellfish. “It was a Pemaquid,” he says reverently. “It was joy, salt, and sweet. It was so pleasant, I didn’t want to stop.”

That sensuous encounter with a Damariscotta River mollusk was, in fact, life-changing, one of a handful of food experiences that set Smith on the path to where he is today — overseeing Eventide Oyster Co., the little sister of Portland’s venerable Hugo’s, which he acquired, with chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, from Rob Evans last spring.

By Virginia M. Wright
Photographed by Douglas Merriam

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