Fore Street was hands down my favorite Portland dining experience. It comes with a pedigree of James Beard accolades and was once a top 50 best restos in the US by Gourmet magazine. Most importantly, Fore Street introduced me to Standard Bakery so how could it not be the creme de la creme? It’s hard to snag a table, even though they leave half of the resto available for walk-ins. I strolled in around 6PM on a random Wednesday and was asked to sit at the bar or come back around 7:30PM. I opted for the latter and had a stroll about Fore Street.
The whole gist of the place is this not-exactly-massive open air kitchen and wood burning oven. Many booths are angled in a sort of stadium style so that everyone can have a glance. I was tucked into a back room with some lively groups. Couldn’t see much cooking action, but the people watching was top notch.
First up, that bread though! So, so good! And baked daily from Standard bakery below – pain Franciase. They reserve a couple loaves every day for regular folks to come and nab. Just a couple! Also on deck was a glass of white Burgundy – a bargain at $10- and a simple leafy green salad with sourdough croutons.
For the main – some big ass seared scallops served over ember with a balsamic drizzle. This was so simple, but absolutely incredible. If the menu didn’t change every day, I’d have made another reservation on the spot, just to eat this (and the bread) again. In hindsight, I wish I had anyway.
Finally, what’s a romantic meal for one without dessert? I opted for the house made limoncello which was served in a wine-sized portion (yikes! left most of it), and a mini ginger cake with an artisinal ice cream whose flavor now escapes me.
This was truly an incredible meal and it was clear half of the town though the same as co-diners in the packed restaurant. If you’re heading to Portland, please do yourself a favor and book this. Fore Street has several affiliate restaurants as well, but no doubt this won’t be topped!