This has been considered one of, if not the best restaurant in Portland for many years. I think they are resting on their laurels and have slipped from great to very good.
Knowing they reserve 1/3 of their tables for walk ins we went during the slower season and early in the evening. A table for 4 was available but they wouldn’t seat us until everyone was present. One of our group was running late so we changed to 3 and got seated. A few minutes later our 4th showed up and joined us. Did they REALLY need to make us go through these tricks?
The waitstaff are knowledgeable and attentive. The only complaint was our waiter put butter on the table but refused to bring bread until AFTER we ordered, like we might just eat the bread and leave.
The menu is long and detailed. Maybe it is the trend of the times but now you need to order an entree and add a starch separately. Two of us ordered a side of mashed potatoes ($8) and the tiny size of the dish that arrived was comical.
It was scallop season so I would have ordered them but the only main dish with them was a complicated concoction with too many ingredients. They have always been known for hanger steak but it was not on the menu either. I did get a seafood appetizer with scallops but their flavor was overwhelmed by beets.
All in all Fore Street seem to have dropped from their peak and while the food is delicious, the choices seem to stress numerous ingredients instead of good simple (and complete) dishes.
The open kitchen is fun to watch but after leaving we all smelled of smoke like the exhaust fans weren’t working.
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