A Friday evening meal at Fore Street in Portland, Maine was something both Brett and I had been looking forward to since we started planning our Maine trip. Fore Street is a popular restaurant, so much so that even before the summer season really begins, you need to call and make a reservation 30-60 days in advance. The restaurant does reserve some tables for walk-ins, but you need to show up quite early to snag one of those and we didn’t want to be rushing. Plus, the anticipation of a great meal makes the prospect of a vacation even better. At least I think so.
Fore Street is located on, you guessed it, Fore Street, which runs through the heart of the Old Port area in this small city. It’s a block or two away from the cluster of souvenir shops and other eateries on Market and Exchange streets, and you’d hardly notice it as you were walking by unless you were looking carefully. There’s no way to tell that it’s a restaurant from the outside.
Once you enter and are seated, all that changes. Most of the main dining room is centered around the large open kitchen. The inside of the restaurant is decorated in a rustic wood style perfect for Maine, and the kitchen sticks with that theme while also clearly containing every cooking contraption necessary to make each dish on the extensive menu.
The service was great, especially for someone who is gluten free or has other allergies. I noted all of mine when I made my reservation, and our waitress was absolutely attentive to each one. What made it even better was that I ordered off the menu without the need for any adjustments, though they would have made them for different dishes, because there was enough to choose from that was just good food cooked simply. We decided to begin our meal with classic Maine clams. They were fresh and tasty, exactly as they should be. Brett also sampled the sourdough bread brought to each table.
For our main courses, I opted for the pork loin with pickled red cabbage, and Brett chose the hake fish pot with more grilled sourdough and churned butter. We decided to share two sides, the garlic mashed potatoes and the broccolini with lemon olive oil. Everything was fantastic. The pork loin was tender and juicy, Brett’s fish (before he started dipping the bread!) was fresh and flaky, the potatoes were smooth and perfect paired with the pork, and the broccolini was green and crisp.
Throughout our meal, the waitress came by to check on us and to make sure we weren’t missing anything, but she needn’t have feared. We were happy with everything and impressively enough for people who usually split three burgers between the two of them, walked out of there completely stuffed. (I did end up with room for a little ice cream afterwards, but you know, that’s just because I can ALWAYS make room for a scoop). I would recommend the restaurant to anyone with or without allergies who’s visiting Portland, because rest assured, you’ll enjoy your experience.
Have you ever been to Portland, Maine?
If you have allergies, what do you typically find challenging at restaurants?
Which of our dishes would you want to try?
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