Ryan McCaskey’s Chicago restaurant earned two Michelin stars for its fancy Maine-inspired meals. Now, the chef is bringing a dressed-down spinoff of his big-city eatery to small-town Maine.
By Michaela Cavallaro
Photographed by Anthony Tahlier
Old turf, new project. McCaskey’s Chicago restaurant, Acadia, is one of fewer than 200 in the U.S. to have earned stars in the famed Michelin guides. His new Stonington restaurant, Acadia House Provisions, offers a chance “to be back home again,” he says. Although he grew up outside Chicago, his family spent summers on Deer Isle. With his new outpost, he’s much closer to the fishers and farmers who also supply his Chicago operation.
Michelin stars, not Michelin dollars. The 10-course menu at McCaskey’s Chicago restaurant checks in at $185 per person (with an optional $125 wine pairing). But both there and on Deer Isle, he makes a $12 hot dog, from Bangor’s W.A. Bean & Sons, topped with lobster mayo, tonkatsu sauce, and kimchi pickles. Other dishes at Acadia House Provisions: lobster grilled cheese for $16, roasted half chicken for $20, and local halibut for $22.
Big hurry, bigger plans. Acadia House Provisions occupies the prior home of popular restaurant Aragosta, which moved up the road to the former Goose Cove Lodge, where McCaskey once worked summers in the kitchen. This year, he had to scramble to open by late June for a season that will run through Columbus Day. But down the line, he’s thinking about adding a full-service bar on the patio, a bakery, and maybe an upstairs bed-and-breakfast. Betting that’d be a pretty good breakfast.
27 Main St., Stonington. 207-365-2555.
“I have this history here, so I’m used to it. I love doing nothing. But my other guy that drove out with me, if he’s not on his cell phone every minute, he freaks out. He can’t just sit. I said, ‘Dude, you going to be okay just sitting here and watching the ocean?’”
— Chef Ryan McCaskey, who brings staff from his award-winning Chicago restaurant, Acadia, to Deer Isle every summer to soak up the setting and meet the restaurant’s purveyors.