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“Solid food but rushed uneven service”
Review of Fore Street

Fore Street
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Ranked #12 of 617 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Franklin and Pearl
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Solid food but rushed uneven service”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

My wife and I descended upon Portland during the busiest weekend for the city: camp visiting weekend. We booked Fore street and Street & co for our two dinners 2 months in advance to ensure we would get in during the overpopulated weekend. We had read about the James Beard Award, the top 16 resturant in the country ranking and watched a very enticing piece on the food network on the restaurant. In short, we were quite excited to dine at Fore st.
We arrived 10 minutes before our scheduled reservation and were seated promptly. On our way to our table, pass the open kitchen, the aromas wafting in the air reassured us this would be a terrific dining experience. Our waitress was very friendly and knowledgeable. The wine list was extensive and very reasonably priced with few wines exceeding $100. The featured Chenin Blanc we ordered was delicious. Unfortunately, things began to unravel when 5 minutes after we ordered, before we could take in our surroundings, the basket of bread arrived accompanied by my wife's fettucini appetizer but not with my moulard of foie gras. The latter appeared 5 minutes later when my wife had finished half of her appetizer for which she had not received a necessary spoon. The fettuccine accompanied by exotic mushrooms in a basil-pesto sauce was solid but not memorable. The foie gras was delicate and delightful, easily spreadable over the provided toasted minibaguette. Twenty minutes had elapsed since we had arrived and we were through the appetizers. Our hope that we would be given some time to enjoy our wine, watch the activity in the inviting open kitchen and check out what our surrounding diners were eating was truncated when less than 10 minutes after our plates were removed, the main course arrived. Our immediate thoughts were that they wanted to move us along so that the next couple could be seated. However, despite all the hype, there were no hordes of people waiting to be seated. In fact, for a Friday dinner during the busiest weekend of the year, the front of the restaurant and the adjacent eating bar were very subdued.
My wife's flounder on a bed of mushrooms was very good and generous, again, without being memorable. My wood-smoked lobster out of the shell, the most expensive item on the menu at $40 was excellent. Given the size of the tail and claws I did wonder however how they could get away with serving a lobster that must have been in its infancy. The accompanying portion of sweet corn was not sweet but passable. The side dishes of garlic roasted mashed potatoes and heirloom tomatoes were succulent. Fifty minutes after arrival we were ready to order our check and felt somewhat cheated from what we hoped would be a terrific dining experience.
In all likelihood, we will be returning to Fore street a year from now expecting a more appropriately timed service and an opportunity to try new items from the ever changing farm to table menu that has garnered Fore st high acclaims in the gastronomic world.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Dgcts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
nyc
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Disappointing....”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

My husband and I had read and heard great things about this restaurant. We called and reserved a table. In fact I had done enough research to request a specific table. When we arrived the hostess showed us to a table, not the one I had requeseted that was in a poor location and next to a loud, very large party. When I asked if there were any others available, Andrea very haughtily said if I waited 20 to 30 minutes there might be. We had walked past several empty tables. I wish they had just honored my original request and that she had a far better attitude. Perhaps this led me to being more critical of the food and my dislike of the restaurant. I will say we had a very nice waitress and she was upbeat, pleasant and knowledgeable. The food was uneven. My fish was over peppered and did not allow the delicacy to shine. Appetizers were fine, not outstanding. My husbands lobster dish was very good. When they called to confirm I did tell them again it was my husbands birthday. They acknowledged others special date, but did not remember this either. We did enjoy the dessert. Overall I would not return here. Perhaps they need to listen.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank rogo57nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
82 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“good food, way too noisy”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I have eaten at Fore Street several times, without ever enjoying the experience. The food is good and I would have rated the restaurant higher except for two things; it has the reputation of being one of the best places to eat in Portland, a totally undeserved reputation, and the atmosphere is so incredibly noisy it is impossible to have a conversation. Also, as most of the neative reviews point out, the service is poor, one waits forever for their order and the wait staff are not very pleasant. The only other restaurant I know of in Portland that is even noisier than Fore Street, is Street and Company, which has the same owner.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank ThePurpleProfessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
104 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“great vibe and food”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Terrific spot and Portland with excellent food and service, o-pen kitchen concept, great presentation, fresh local produce, superb seafood and local beer selection. Very NYC-like feel. Remarkable place in a city with quite a few nice restaurants

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank alexshulman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
61 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Always great”
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

I come here every year and this year was the best yet. The halibut was awesome and the mussels are great every year. Tried the pork belly and loved it too.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hello1220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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