Telling a story at Sammy's Deluxe
Rockland — For Sam Richman, owner of the new Sammy's Deluxe restaurant on Main Street, every dish should tell a story.
For that reason he puts care into the simplest ingredients. He has driven around the county tasting and picking apples that he then made into a unique cider vinegar. When people taste the food in his restaurant, he is telling them the story of their own community, of what grows and lives here.
Richman, 36, of Lincolnville opened the restaurant this summer at 488B Main St., former location of the Sunfire Grill. He has about four employees and can seat 49.
His menu includes such items as oysters, lamb shoulder with turnips and whole chilled lobster with spicy mayo, washed down with rhubarb-hibiscus sweet tea. He also plans to sell Sloppy Joes.
He defends the inclusion of the humble Sloppy Joe, saying just because the junk food industry has co-opted staples of American cuisine does not mean that if the food is made with the perfect ingredients it cannot be amazing.
Aside from that, he hopes his restaurant on Main Street will be accessible to a wide range of tastes including families, locals, visitors and foodies, but not exclusive to any one group.
Richman has been working in restaurants his whole life, starting as a dishwasher and working his way up. He also studied math and economics in college.
He said he has worked in restaurants including Jean-Georges in New York and The Fat Duck outside London. He is from Durham, N.H., originally.
He lived for 11 years in New York and at one time loved it as the capital of the world, but toward the end of his time there wearied of the dirt and noise and the long hours needed just to survive. He moved to the Midcoast three years ago.
So now he tells his stories here.
"I'm putting my life into what's for dinner," he said.
Sammy's Deluxe is open Tuesday to Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m., for dinner.