Disappointment at Fore Street. Portland Maine.but a nice time at American Pie!
- Mr. W. Nov 8, 2000 08:40 AM
1 week ago Wednesday, I had the opportunity to dine with friends at Fore Street in Portland.
Before I get technical, I must stress that the service was brilliant, and the wine, a Cabernet Franc I think from Ahlgren Vinyards, delicious.. Our waiter, Lucian (sp?) was a true professional.
I can only speak for myself, and the others in our party of 8 may have had a nice meal, but I was disappointed.
My appetizer of Scallops and Butter Clams was extremely salty.
The wood-roasted "Free-range" chicken was raw and cold on the inside. I would have sent it back, but by then, I had driven 7 hours, and was dead tired.
Maybe I should have said something, but sleep was the only thing on my mind.
This past wednesday I dined at the other "STREET" restaurant: American Pie. Now this is more like it.
A well run place with incredible Brick, wood fired Pizza. After a week on a remote island off the coast of Downeast Maine, Pizza was perfect... And the service couldn't be nicer.
I always thought Fore St. was overrated in many ways, except for the service you mention. When you said it was brilliant, I knew your waiter must have been Lucian (who, I will disclose, is a friend). I prefer the owner's other establishment, Standard Bakery. American Pie is also good.
Of course, I must stress, that I was disappointed, the other members of my party seemed to really enjoy their dinners. I should have ordered differently perhaps.
One of my friends had the fois gras. Next time I will order that.
Another had the Pork.. That was what I wanted in the first place, but it was late, and I felt chicken would be better at nearly 9:30 in the evening.
I was wrong.
This is a fine place. I had a disappointing meal.
But I will return, hopefully to a better meal.
Thanks for allowing the clarification.
re: Mr. W.
I too would like to edit my reply, wherein I said I thought the place was overrated. The truth is, the place has incredible appetizers and desserts. I just think the entrees are a bit boring. Lots of grilled hunks of meat. Now, I LOVE grilled meat, but I can get that at home and hate paying the high prices at Fore St. for it. So, don't take my previous post as a "diss" of Fore St. And don't forget, my husband is a great cook, so I like restaurants that serve stuff that he doesn't generally make.
After all the raves from you-all, we went to American Pie last night. Nice place. We found the room and the food to be comfortable and unpretentious, with the well-constructed brick ovens inspiring a lot more confidence than the brand-new but already cracked wattle-and-daub looking ones at Flatbread Co. (which does have excellent pizza).
We started with a couple of mixed green salads, which were very generous piles of mesclun with a few olive oil saturated croutons and covered with about twice as much balsamic vinaigrette as we wanted. As for the pizza: it was good. As is our usual practice, we got the pizza without cheese. The crust was nicely charred, with a slightly pretzelly flavor (could there be baking soda somewhere, or is this just from the ashes in the ovens?) and the toppings (roasted onions, roasted fennel, and artichoke hearts) well cooked and yummy, although the onions and fennel seemed almost as salty as the artichokes. They were pretty sparing with the red sauce, which was reduced to a thin tomato glaze beneath the toppings.
The overall verdict, however, is that, while the atmosphere is cozier and more rustic at American Pie, we still prefer the pizza at Ricetta's. We've been to both the old South Portland and the new Falmouth Ricetta's locations, and found the new one to be a much more pleasant place to have dinner, if not any less crowded, but the pizza to be equally good at both. The crust is a little crisper, without the pretzel undertone, and the sauce-to-crust ratio a little more favorable.
A group of us (10) will be joining the Canada-US AIDS Vaccine Ride and bicycling from Montreal to Portland. We will have one night in Portland (staying at the Danforth). Our hostess recommended Fore Street for dinner, but after reading your posts, I'm not sure.
Where would you suggest for a memorable dinner/drinks while in Portland?
Look for us (and about 1500 other crazy people) at Monument Square or City Hall on Sunday, September 9