Everybody loves to play, but Eloise Humphrey does it for a living. At Salt Pine Social, the recently opened Bath restaurant that she co-owns with Daphne and Paul Comaskey (her twin sister and brother-in-law, respectively), she specializes in carefree, sometimes irreverent ways of expressing herself.
After spending 13 years focused on Mexican food at El Camino, her beloved neighborhood eatery in Brunswick, chef Eloise Humphrey is throwing off the constraints imposed by a single style of cuisine. Salt Pine Social, her new venture with El Camino co-owners (and sister and brother-in-law) Daphne and Paul Comaskey, is a freewheeling plunge into modern American cookery.
“Salt is for the sea, pine is for the land, and social is the community,” Daphne Comaskey explains to me as we sit at the bar of the recently opened restaurant in Bath she owns with her husband, Paul, and her twin sister, Eloise Humphrey. The three also own El Camino, the popular Mexican restaurant in Brunswick. “Eloise is the creative one, the chef. I’m the more grounding influence and good with details,” Comaskey says. “We complement each other.” The sisters had been looking for another project, and “this building just kept popping into our lives over the past several years,” Comaskey continues. The dark grey contemporary building with bright red trim has had many previous lives, including antique store, gift shop, and sheet metal shop. “We had an idea about what we wanted and a layout in mind,” she says. David Matero Architecture, also in Bath, worked to realize their vision by adding the bar and kitchen, as well as helping with the details. Making the building energy efficient and environmentally friendly was a priority, and there are many new systems in place to accomplish that goal. The look is all clean lines, sparse décor, and soothing neutral colors with a chic, Scandinavian feel.
Bath’s food scene will see a boost this month as the owners of popular Brunswick restaurant El Camino open a new restaurant called Salt Pine Social.
The restaurant’s modern American cuisine will depart from El Camino’s classical Mexican cooking. Although official menu items have yet to be set, Eloise Humphrey, one of the owners, alluded to a diverse menu featuring locally-sourced produce, meats and a highly anticipated oyster and seafood bar.
Similar to El Camino, the use of fresh and local products remains at the core of Humphrey and the Comaskeys’ vision for the new restaurant.
The sea and sky were a wondrous shade of deep blue. I suspect my toes were also deep blue as I walked in the sub-zero winds along stretches of vacant sand at Popham Beach State Park. Mother Nature made it clear that my weekend in Maine would not be about lackadaisical beach strolls or hiking. The previous day featured drizzle, snow, and the kind of ashen sky that prompted me to hum Radiohead songs.
... Carolyn Lockwood, director of Main Street Bath, is quick to remind me that Bath is developing its own scene. The city has new businesses coming in, such as Salt Pine Social, an offshoot of the nearby Brunswick restaurant El Camino. Any city with a restaurant called Salt Pine Social is moving into a new stratosphere of lumbersexual chic.