Great Experience at 555 in Portland -- and Amazing Child-Friendliness
It was this board that convinced me to go to 555 instead of Fore Street on our one post-Thanksgiving night in Portland, so I've got to post to let people know how great an experience it was. This was one of the best meals I've had in a restaurant in the last five years or so -- quite unexpectedly, to be honest -- and I've eaten at most of the great restaurants in the US. We started with a mussels small plate, then had lobster/truffle mac and cheese, irish salmon, and hanger steak, with cheese, an assortment of ice creams, and a nuts/apple cake with a raw milk/honey sorbet for dessert. Everything was great. What really made the experience special was the level of child-friendliness that was totally unexpected for a relatively elegant restaurant. We were there with our 5-year-old son, who kicked off the meal in the first 90 seconds by knocking his water glass over the entire table. While I seethed, they literally could not have been nicer. It wasn't possible to move us to another table (and I didn't want to anyway), so they first brought out napkins to soak everything up -- and then, having already done that, reset the entire table with all dry linens and new napkins and silverware, without so much as making us get up. They never for a minute made us feel bad for hauling an unruly child into a nice restaurant (which is what I was feeling enough on my own). In fact, as the evening went along and our son eagerly enjoyed all the fancy food, one waiter -- who had no connection to our service and whom we had never seen before -- came over to show our son a trick with a cork that he said his own parents had shown him when they used to drag him to restaurants as a child. That was a huge hit, and occupied him for quite some time, as he made the cork stand up more than 20 times. So talk about Thanksgiving -- an unexpectedly great experience of both food and non-snootiness. Recommended to all!