Since its successful launch in late 2003, the Damariscotta River Grill has firmly established itself as a welcome addition to the coastal Maine dining scene. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Rick Hirsch (Executive Chef) and Jean Kerrigan (General Manager), the popular restaurant has been a favorite of locals, summer visitors and vacationing celebrities alike.
“At the Damariscotta River Grill, we’re known for our regional, grownup comfort food,” Chef Rick Hirsch noted. “While there is a creative, fusion edge to some of our dishes, our uniqueness is really our simplicity.”
The Damariscotta River Grill is equally regarded for its impressive wine list, which features a generous selection of both Old- and New-World varietals. Our wine selection is actively updated with a focus on wines that are affordable and represent the best in value and variety we can find. To that end, Wine Spectator awarded Damariscotta River Grill its 2008 Award of Excellence as well as honored the restaurant as it “features inexpensive wine pricing.” The restaurant team’s longtime involvement and interest in the “wine world” led them to form their popular Damariscotta River Grill Wine Club in February of 2006. The restaurant’s owners have hosted a variety of established vintners from the U.S. and abroad during the Wine Club’s monthly food and wine gatherings.
Rick Hirsch, Chef/Owner
Rick Hirsch, Chef/Owner of the Damariscotta River Grill and previously the Anchor Inn Restaurant, brings over two decades of culinary experience to his well-known restaurants situated in mid-coast Maine.
While earning his business degree at Ohio University, Hirsch cooked during summer breaks at several Maine restaurants. Wanting to experience other food cultures he headed to the Virgin Islands where he joined the busy teams of two restaurants on St. Thomas. Hirsch returned to New England for his formal culinary training at Providence, Rhode Island’s prestigious Johnson & Wales University.
The talented duo next launched their very successful Red Plate Catering business, which continues to serve events ranging from wedding receptions and anniversary celebrations to holiday events and large corporate gatherings.
In 2004, Hirsch and Kerrigan decided to grow their culinary enterprise further still by launching the Damariscotta River Grill in nearby coastal Damariscotta, Maine. The well-regarded restaurant, open year-round and situated just a stone’s throw from the scenic Damariscotta River, has earned raves from the Portland Press Herald and numerous online food sites, including TripAdvisor.com, Chow.com and FoodPundit.com.Â Known as much for its impressive wine list and active wine club as for its regional, comfort food selections, the Damariscotta River Grill today continues to serve full houses of enthusiastic diners at its brunch, lunch and dinner seatings.
Chef Hirsch has long been committed to purchasing locally grown ingredients and supporting nearby Maine farmers, producers and fishermen. At both of his Maine restaurants, he serves dishes which feature fresh Maine lobster and fresh oysters from the Damariscotta River, supplied by Pemaquid Oyster Company. Chef Hirsch also offers patrons dishes which feature wild mushrooms from Oyster Creek Mushroom Company, and a variety of fresh produce from Morning Dew Organic Farm.