CRANBERRY ISLES — Emily Damon, former chef-owner of Northeast Harbor restaurants 151 Main Street, House of M and the Watermark, will be the chef at the popular Islesford Dock Restaurant when it opens for dinner June 1 under new ownership.
Lunch will be served starting June 3.
Bar Harbor restaurateur Michael Boland and Northeast Harbor summer resident Mitchell Rales bought the Islesford Dock property, including the restaurant, in January from Dan and Cynthia Lief, who had owned and operated it for 24 years.
Damon said Boland, who will oversee the day-to-day operation of the restaurant, approached her about being the chef.
“We have always been colleagues and have had a great rapport,” she said. “We both love to continue our education in the culinary world.”
Boland said he is “super excited” to have Damon at the helm in the kitchen.
“Emily has been a major part of the restaurant scene on MDI,” he said. “Many folks list 151 Main Street and House of M as two of the best restaurants on MDI over the last 20 years.
“Emily is classically trained as a pastry chef but well versed in all aspects of the kitchen. We couldn’t be putting the Dock in better hands.”
Damon said some of the restaurant’s most popular traditional items will remain on the menu. Those include the Dock burger and clam chowder.
She also is planning some new items.
“I’ve been working on a lot of healthy, fresh, clean choices,” she said. “That’s my style of cooking. Of course, we will be sourcing everything as locally as we can.”
For the past three years, Damon has been known as “Chef Emily” at Mount Desert Elementary School. She intends to keep that job because the Islesford Dock will be open only into the early fall.
“I’m happy to be able to stay with the school, but the opportunity to cook for adults again is pretty exciting,” she said.