A new eatery opening in Kennebunk will be the first “sustainable sushi” restaurant in the area and offer a sushi tasting menu experience known as omakase.
Rosella’s Kennebunk location inside The Grand Hotel will be headed up by chef Matt Kramer.
Omakase is a similar concept to a tasting menu where the chef chooses what’s served on any given night. It often includes several courses featuring sashimi, nigiri, maki and other dishes.
In the case of Rosella, that omakase will be between 15 and 18 courses. There will be an a la carte option as well. The restaurant will also offer a takeout dinner menu, including sushi rolls, sashimi and ceviches, though that’s not expected to be available immediately after opening.
“We will highlight underutilized or emerging species of fish not commonly served in sushi restaurants and the local bounty wherever possible,” Rosella’s co-counder and beverage director TJ Provenzano said. “We are excited about fish local to Maine and highlighted on our menus.”
For instance, the NYC location of Rosella serves striped bass and smoked steelhead trout from New York and yellowtail amberjack from Maine, which aren’t typical sushi fare. The menu and offerings at the Maine location will change seasonally depending on what fish is fresh and available. Provenzano said that the wild-caught fish will always be sourced from North America and preferably from the East Coast.
That’s a departure from what’s typical of restaurants of its kind. Most sushi fish served in restaurants is imported from Japan, according to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
This is the second restaurant for Rosella, which also has a location in the East Village neighborhood of New York and has been highlighted in articles about the sustainable concept in Bon Appetit magazine and The New Yorker. Being a sustainable sushi restaurant means both sourcing fish closer to home and “avoiding unsustainable bycatch and methods such as large-scale dredging that damage reefs and the sea floor,” Provenzano said. The restaurant aims to use every part of the fish in its cooking as well to reduce food waste.
The restaurant chose Kennebunk for the second location because of what the owners say is a burgeoning culinary scene.
The Maine location of Rosella will be located inside The Grand Hotel in Lower Village, Kennebunk, at 1 Chase Hill Road. It’s expected to open in June, and will operate 5-10 p.m. Thursday through Monday year-round.
Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated who was speaking on behalf of Rosella.