Eventide Oyster Co.
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A revival of the great American oyster bar, Eventide Oyster Co. offers pristine shellfish and a fresh take on classic New England fare—such proximity to the Gulf of Maine provides the sharpest seafood money can buy. A wine list chosen to complement shellfish, craft cocktails, and a warm sense of hospitality bring laid-back extravagance to Portland’s Old Port. Sunken into the concrete bar sits an enormous block of Maine granite that serves as the shellfish display, home to an ever-changing array of oysters and shellfish. The restaurant’s bright colors, picnic table seating and reclaimed nautical lighting encourage a playful experience.
A counter-style reimagining of Eventide Oyster Co., Eventide Fenway offers the tried and true classics made popular at the Portland restaurant. Eventide Fenway is more tightly focused, intent on meeting Boston’s demands for freshly shucked oysters and craveable brown butter lobster rolls.
Andrew Taylor, Owner and Chef
Growing up scavenging for wild oysters and mussels while vacationing on Cape Cod, Newton, Massachusetts, native Andrew Taylor had a passion for seafood and local ingredients at a young age. After graduating Bates College with a degree in economics, Andrew pondered law school but ultimately opted to pursue a culinary career. He sharpened his skills while working under renowned chefs Thierry Rautureau at Rover’s (Seattle) and Chef Ken Oringer at Clio (Boston). Andrew moved to Portland in 2009 and accepted a position at Hugo’s, a local mainstay known for elevated New England fare using the best of seasonal ingredients. Three years later, Andrew joined forces with colleagues Mike Wiley and Arlin Smith to purchase the restaurant from their mentor, then-owner Rob Evans, and founded Big Tree Hospitality. Since then, Big Tree Hospitality has opened Eventide Oyster Co., The Honey Paw and Eventide Fenway with the purpose of delivering modern, innovative and influential dining experiences. In 2017, Andrew and Mike won James Beard’s “Best Chef: Northeast” award. They were previously nominated in the same category in both 2014 and 2015. Today, Andrew guides the evolution of all of Big Tree Hospitality’s properties, in terms of culinary direction and overall growth of the brand.
Mike Wiley, Owner and Chef
Though he holds a Bachelor’s degree in literature and creative writing from Colby College and a Master’s of rhetoric from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mike Wiley always felt called to the kitchen. His food and hospitality education began early: as a child, he frequently cooked alongside his mother and later took a summer job as a busboy. When Mike moved west to Colorado, he spent several formative years working in various restaurants to support his ski and study habits. Ultimately, he decided to pursue a career in the culinary field and moved back east in 2010 to join the team at Hugo’s, an enduring Portland standby that had evolved into a beacon of New England cuisine under the direction of chef/owner Rob Evans. He founded Big Tree Hospitality with Mike and Arlin in 2012, and has since opened Eventide Oyster Co., The Honey Paw and Eventide Fenway. Along with Andrew, he won James Beard’s “Best Chef: Northeast” award after being previously nominated in 2014 and 2015. These days, Mike has a hand in the culinary direction of all of Big Tree Hospitality’s properties, as well as the group’s continued evolution and growth.
Arlin Smith, Owner and General Manager
The only member of Big Tree Hospitality to hold a culinary degree, Owner and General Manager Arlin Smith graduated the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 2005. During and after his time at the CIA, Arlin furthered his hospitality career by taking front-of-house management positions at esteemed Hudson Valley restaurants. While visiting Portland in 2009, Arlin dined at Hugo’s, a leader in New England fine dining, and fortuitously met chef/owner Rob Evans. Immediately taken by the excitement and energy that Evans exuded, Arlin decided to move east to join the team as General Manager. After three years working side-by-side with his mentor, he purchased Hugo’s with his colleagues, Mike and Andrewand founded Big Tree Hospitality. The team has since built two more restaurants – Eventide Oyster Co. and The Honey Paw – in Portland and one – Eventide Fenway – in Boston. At present, Arlin drives the Big Tree brand forward by directing FOH management across existing BTH restaurants, and advising on concept, build out, and design of forthcoming properties.