Portland, Fore Street or Back Bay Grill?
Going to see the Sea Dogs in a couple of weeks and based on what I have read many feel that these are the top 2 restaurants in Portland. Any opinions on which to go to. Unfortunately, the Fore Street website doesn't print their menu as they say it "changes daily".
Without a doubt Fore Street is a great culinary experience. The open kitchen, reach in coolers displaying the product and the simple but masterful flavor of the food make it our favorite in Portland. 555 is a great choice as well if you have more than one night. And if you're a wine buff, check out the "Clown."
I've made this recommendation elsewhere on these boards but I think right now you'll get the most bang for your buck at Bresca. It's only been in business a few months and I suspect that prices will be going up soon as word gets out. The food is really wonderful and prices reasonable. Entrees around $20. Dinner for two with wine will probably be in the $85-$90 range.
555 is another great choice, and there's dining both in the restaurant and the bar. Steve Corry was named a top 10 young chef by food & wine earlier this year. Duck Fat is the sister restaurant to Rob Evans's Hugo's. Hugo's is pricey, but you can also sit at the bar and nibble off that menu. Yes, Back Street is great, and a tad more fine-dining atmosphere than the others. I guess a question for you is how you're defining the top restaurants -- the award-wining, nationally known ones (Fore Street, Hugo's, 555) are all going to be pricy, just goes with the territory. Or do you want more really great food but without the foodie-pub kiss-of-approval places that Portland has in spades?
"Or do you want more really great food but without the foodie-pub kiss-of-approval places that Portland has in spades?"
Bravo Mainegal, a great turn of phrase and certainly not limited to the Portland "scene".
Obtw, I see that Vignola's just lit it's first candle. How are it and it's senior sibling, Cinque Terra, holding-up these days?
We were there last year in August and Fore Street was Amazing, but yes, a small fortune. Go during the day to the bakery located below and behind the restaurant. The product is as good as any in New York.
Duck Fat is also great but very informal (...more of a lunch crowd?). They fry the fries in duck fat (oh so good). Try the truffled ketchup. I think they were building another restaurant but can't remember.