[Portland] Fore Street
We liked the buzz here. Not least because there is very much an open kitchen and you almost get a feel of the chefs being amongst the diners.
Apparently the menu changes daily, with the exception of a few of their popular dishes which are always available. One such was a starter of roasted mussels, cooked in their wood fired oven. Truth be told, I couldn’t detect any enhancement from cooking them in an oven, as opposed to on top of the stove. But these were fine local mussels, cooked in a seafood broth , enhanced by butter, garlic and alomonds. And there was good bread for mopping up.
The other starter was also good. An imaginative salad of leaves, chcickpeas, seared artichoke slices, fennel, olives and pancetta. What’s not to like?
For mains, hanger steak was packed with flavour. It came with a gravy and a scattering of white beans. My own plate of Rohan duck breast, roasted in the wood oven. It was delicious and came perfectly rare. For absolute perfection, of course, you’d want crispy skin and a good layer of fat, but both of these had been removed. It sat on Puy lentils which were cooked through but still retained a nice bite. We also ordered a side of fingerling potatoes. And one of fiddleheads – a new one for us but, on asking, we were told these were an edible fern, harvested just before the fronds started to unfurl. A mild taste that was more interesting than enjoyable.
We passed on dessert but finished with OK coffee.