Father's day Night in Portland, Me
Philadelphia hounds will be stopping in Portland Sunday night on our way to New Brunswick. Would like a terrific restaurant for Father's day (or any other day). Cost doesn't matter -- just great food.
Depends on what you want:
Fine dining: Fore Street or Emilitsa
Fun/Casual: Front Room, J's Oyster, Duck Fat or Portland Lobster Co. (can be a tourist trap but I love their outdoor patio when the weather is nice)
I'm really liking the Fore Street rec for one great Portland meal. Reservations might be tough for this Sunday but they do accept walk ins starting at 5: 00PM (for a 5:30 seating when the dining room opens). 1/3 of the tables are for walk ins. I might save the steamed lobster dinner for one of the many lobster pound type places you'll pass on your drive. Oh yeah, even though Fore Street and others might be considered "fine dining", Portland is a pretty laid back casual place when it come to dress. Enjoy!
Fore Street and Street & Company have both jumped the shark. There's a reason Bourdain called Dana Street insufferable. Best place for a calm, well paced meal is Bar Lola up on the Hill. Best place for steamed lobster in good weather is the Portland Lobster Co.
If you must go to Fore Street the tip above is true - 33% of the tables are for walk ins.
Re. Fore St. If serving the freshest ingredients cooked to perfection with impeccable service for more than a decade defines "jumping the shark" then I guess it has. It is interesting that Fore Street might not be my first choice when I'm in the mood for what I might call an "exciting" meal but if I want a sure bet and especially when I'm trying to show off Portland to people who might not be as adventurous as me with their food, it fits the bill exceptionally well.
I still do not believe there is a better pure seafood place in town than Street and Co for variety and creativity. I like the bar much more than the tables which are too close together imo. Dana Street, whether or not he's insufferable, has very little to do with the day to day operation of either restaurant.
I happen to like Bar Lola though it would not be fair to compare the pacing of a meal there with the other two. They're not the same animals. If I were looking for a delicious meal in a more relaxed, quiet atmosphere, Bar Lola would come to mind first. If I were looking for a more lively evening it would never enter my mind.
Then there's Portland Lobster Company. I love the place and stop in a couple of times a week for beer and music. I believe the overpriced lobsters are reserved strictly for the tourists or for a local bringing an out of town friend (read: tourist ) out for a lobster and music. You'll rarely find a local under the tent eating an $18 pound and a quarter lobster but beer and music? I'm there with you.