Overlooking Penobscot Bay from the heart of downtown Rockport is Union Hall, a classic 19th century historic mixed-use building. It is an excellent example of how Maine’s multitude of 19th century buildings can be rehabilitated to meet 21st century expectations for function, reduced energy consumption and user comfort.
On the ground floor is Salt Water Farm at Union Hall, a leader in Maine’s Farm to Table movement. Designed to meet the owner’s vision and practice, the entirely new restaurant is a elegant blend of outdoors (water view deck) and inside (cozy fireside), of sophistication and simplicity, of old and new, of private and public, of cooking as theater and eating as ritual, of formal and relaxed, of expansive views out and intimate spaces within. In her own words:
At Salt Water Farm at Union Hall we invite you into the beautiful space that has been built for us, overlooking magnificent Rockport Harbor. Over the past year, we have traveled the globe in search of inspiration for this project and so much of it is manifest in both the design and concept.
Our work at Salt Water Farm is tied to all that is around us: the provisions of the land and sea, the labor of those employing our resources and the community that supports this effort. We are proud to live here, to work here and to contribute to a community with a growing food consciousness. Our mission at Salt Water Farm is to build a sustainable restaurant model, by minimizing waste and maximizing the quality of our product.
Our menus pay homage to our food growers and purveyors, through simple, unadorned preparations and resourcefulness in the kitchen. Our staff comes to us from all over the country, from farms and kitchens devoted to food sustainability. Each night, our chef crafts a set menu for all of our guests, as if hosting a beautiful dinner at his home. This singular menu served family style, allows us to source in small quantities from small farmers, the best and freshest ingredients harvested that day.