Award-Winning Local Chef Khristopher Hogg Opens Sustainable Eatery ‘Circumstance’ in Swanville, Maine
Award-Winning Local Chef Khristopher Hogg Opens Sustainable Eatery ‘Circumstance’ in Swanville, Maine

fermented knotweed, labneh, pickled chive blossom, and birch syrup on a ceramic plate

Course #2 on the opening menu: fermented knotweed, labneh, pickled chive blossom, birch syrup

Natural wood and wood walls and dark blue bar with windows showing the homestead beyond

Where the magic happens: The open kitchen where Chef Khristopher Hogg creates 3- and 6-course dinner Friday & Saturday and brunch on Sunday

More than a restaurant, Circumstance stands out as a beacon of creative and organic excellence in Maine’s vibrant food scene

BELFAST, MAINE, USA, June 24, 2024 / — Circumstance, a new restaurant in Swanville, Maine opened its doors this weekend to resounding acclaim. Khristopher Hogg, the award-winning chef and curator known for his first project, Perennial Cider Bar + Farm Kitchen in Belfast, is bringing his unique culinary philosophy to 24-seat Circumstance, a restaurant built directly on his homestead, which features 100% organically grown and locally sourced fare each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May through October.

The highly-anticipated eatery is an intersection of cooks, craftspeople, farmers, gardeners, foragers, and fishermen from across Maine’s fertile landscape and pristine coasts. Circumstance beautifully balances creative expression, a high level of service most often associated with fine dining, and an authentic response to both the location and a particular moment in time.

“Circumstance is a restaurant, but it’s also an extension of lives lived close to the land, our home, and our curiosities and we are delighted to welcome you into our barn in the woods for a unique taste of the moment,” says Chef Hogg. “The depth of relationship to place and the quality of the food this supports are impossible to replicate with industrial ingredients.”

Each night diners will discover unexpected and vibrant flavors, sustainably sourced and lovingly prepared, featuring a combination of ingredients from both land and sea which are unique to the region. The menu changes weekly based on season, availability, and inspiration. Each dish is a creative expression of Maine’s diverse and ever-changing seasonal bounty, with 3- and 6-course tasting menus showcasing the freshest offerings of the day.

Popular dishes from the most recent dinner menu include: fermented knotweed with chive flower and birch syrup, roasted radishes with sunflower pistou and cured egg yolk, and coppa braised in a broth of black locust flowers, chamomile, and white wine.

Sunday brunch is built around a Brunch for Two that covers the table with a variety of house-smoked, cured, and fermented meat, fish, and vegetables, along with soft-boiled eggs, cheeses, sourdough bread, and Islesboro oysters on the half-shell. The cuisine is supported by natural wines and ciders from the region and from abroad, highlighting small producers who are exploring their terroir, indigenous varietals, and supporting non-toxic agriculture, including Hogg’s’ own Perennial Cider.

The team’s passion for creating a unique experience that celebrates Maine’s terroir, people, and abundant natural resources is apparent in every detail of the visit to this beautiful homestead. “We recognize our share of the responsibility every restaurant has in determining the kind of agriculture we collectively practice and, by extension, how our species cares for its current and future environment,” says Chef Hogg. “Though it’s not always easy, we consistently revisit and reevaluate the impact that human activities are having on the foods we choose to work with. Thinking deeply and honestly about what’s going on in our land and seascapes keeps us honest and inspires creative exploration. We hope that the way we’re redefining what ‘the restaurant’ looks like will stimulate conversation going forward, while still providing a delicious, interesting experience in the moment.”

Circumstance’s team is also committed to environmentally-friendly practices in the restaurant’s daily operations.

Beyond its hyper-local sourcing, the Circumstance’s dining tables are predominantly built from off-cuts and sawdust saved during the construction process, kitchen scraps are composted on-site, bakeware and silverware are PFAS-free, the restroom uses a professionally designed composting toilet, the hand soap is locally made and chemical-free.

“A circumstance is the view we have of a particular place at a particular time,” says Chef Hogg. “Moving within a circumstance, we confront and interpret the immediate and essential. We seek out and notice our interactions with woods, waters, meadows, and cropland. These become the way we define our world and ourselves. The menu becomes a journal entry about these interactions. Each day, we find ourselves among new guests and we are ready to make a new offering of place, to share in a new circumstance.”

Circumstance opened its doors on June 15th to a full house, with summer reservations already filling up fast. Given the intimate nature of the restaurant, Circumstance encourages reservations and can accommodate most dietary restrictions.

Reservations will be available at Read more about Circumstance and see weekly menus at

Media Contact: Hunter Sunrise
Circumstance Maine
+1 207-322-1366
[email protected]

Originally published at

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