Novio’s, new Italian-inspired downtown Bangor bistro, has opened

Braised Short Ribs from Novio's. Photos courtesy Kara van Emmerik.

Braised Short Ribs from Novio’s. Photo courtesy Kara van Emmerik.

Novio’s, the new Italian-inspired bistro located at 130 Hammond St. in downtown Bangor, quietly opened the day after Thanksgiving, and is now taking reservations.

Novio’s, announced in mid-October, is the latest venture from Bob Cutler, owner of The Family Dog in Orono and the Grammie’s Grilled Cheese and Stray Dog food trucks in the Bangor area. The intimate, stylish bistro takes the place of Massimo’s Pizza Bar, which was open for less than a year until it closed in early October.

Heading up the kitchen at Novio’s is Kara van Emmerik, the acclaimed chef who most recently opened Dudley’s Refresher in Castine with owners Michael Rossney and Michelle Levesque, who also own El El Frijoles in Sargentville, where van Emmerik also worked. Van Emmerik is a 2014 graduate of Eastern Maine Community College’s culinary program, where she still teaches, and in 2015 was named Maine Chef of the Year by Eater Maine. Serving as sous chef will be Dustin Cyr, most recently of Evenrood’s and the Fiddlehead Restaurant, both in downtown Bangor.

The menu at Novio’s features smaller plates with an emphasis on both seafood and on Italian-inspired dishes. It includes an array of soups, salads and appetizers such as seared cod in a dashi broth, a corn-battered oyster trio and goat cheese and sage polenta. Entrees include sweet chili sesame-glazed scallops, smoked scallop and lobster ravioli, and roasted airline chicken breast. A selection of cocktails and desserts rounds out the menu.

For more information, or to make a reservation, visit 

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.