Dinner in Portland, ME – Fore Street
As the saying goes, save the best for last. And that we certainly did. After all of our walking and shopping in the Old Port area, we were famished and ready for a nice, relaxing, full-fledged sit-down meal. Our 8:30 reservation was at Portland’s one and only Fore Street.
This is the scene as you walk into Fore Street. A huge open area where the cold prep is for salad and bread. Behind the host stand is a walk-in refrigerator teeming with colorful fresh vegetables. It is a beautiful sight and a reminder of the local produce and products used at Fore Street.
Fore Street’s menu is printed daily and therefore not available online. The menu is sectioned nicely with bold headings including:
- Chilled and Raw Sea Food
- Wood Oven Roasted Sea Food
- Wood Grilled and Pan Fried Meats
- Chilled Meats and Offal
- Pan Seared Sea Food
- Wood Oven Roasted Sea Food
- Wood Grilled Sea Food
- Wood Grilled Meats
- Turnspit Roasted Meats
We started out with two appetizers for the table, and two salads:
Wood Oven Roasted Frenchman’s Bay Mussels, diver harvested, Lamoine, ME, with garlic almond butter. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Wood Oven Roasted Sardines, Portual. Green onions, fingerlings, apple bacon mayonnaise. Salty and tasty, for any sardine lovers out there.
Mixed Organic Maine Salad Greens, barrel aged cider vinaigrette. Cripsy, simple and perfectly dressed.
We ironically ended up picking entrees from each of the major groups to get a true taste of the variety, selection and incredible dinner offerings:
Fore Street’s Dry Rubbed Pork Loin, natural Quebec Pork, Morse’s sauerkraut. Although all of our entrees were spectacular, this was my favorite, incredibly juicy and flavorful.
Ribeye Steak, natural Angus beef, Montana, butter roasted radish and turnips, balsamic onion marmalade. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare, this steak was well-seasoned and delicious.
Marinated Organic Chicken, Quebec, duck fat fried sourdough, wilted greens. The light seasoning on this dish allowed the true flavor of the chicken to really stand out; this is one of the best-cooked chicken breasts I’ve ever had.
Atlantic Swordfish Loin, Grand Banks, lemon fennel risotto, aioli. All of of the flavors of this dish came together very well; the aioli highlighting the swordfish and the risotto was incredible.
Since a couple of our entrees already came with some type of side, we only ordered two additional sides a la carte for the table to taste and enjoy.
Butter Braised Fingerling Potatoes, sea salt and sherry vinegar. Simply roasted, crispy and the prefect accompaniment for the steak entree.
Morels, purple scallions and butter. Salty and savory, I would highly recommend this side dish any time it’s available on their menu.
Somehow we had managed to leave a little room for dessert, although only enough room to split two desserts. The men had a sweet tooth and the women went for savory.
Dark Chocolate Torte, cookie crust, hot fudge sauce, cinnamon caramel ice cream. The torte was very rich, but nicely portioned and complimented by the sweetness of the ice cream, a great pairing.
Three Artisan Cheeses (from left to right), Hahn’s End Petit Poulet (Phippsburg, ME, soft, cow’s milk, bloomy rind with ash), York Hill Capriano (New Sharon, ME, firm, goat’s milk, washed rind), Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue (Greensboro, VT, semi firm, cow’s milk, blue veined, natural rind). This cheese platter was one of my favorite parts of this entire meal. There were seven local cheeses to select from, and we paired ours with Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine.. The perfect end to a perfect dinner.
This meal at Fore Street was one of the best we have ever had. The high quality food is evident. The menu is large without being overwhelming, yet small enough to change daily and offer only the most in-season, fresh ingredients. Fore Street is worth the trip from Boston and a very high recommendation any time you are in Portland and looking to enjoy an delicious, elegant meal in a warm, rustic atmosphere.
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