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“Friday night dinner”
Review of Stove

Ranked #11 of 215 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Cuisines: American
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 4 December 2017 via mobile

Wonderful atmosphere and staff, the food is perfectly prepared...make a reservation and go. Don’t even think about it and enjoy!

Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 147 reviews

Reviewed 26 November 2017

Sydney Meers plays up his Mississippi heritage at every turn, the decor, the art, the menu, the website, the "cozy" layout, and the food. It's clear from Sydney's pedigree that he's not a bumpkin from the deep south, but instead a businessman whose looking to charge as high a price as the local market will bare for what I would call an over-rated dinning experience.

The restaurant is in reality a hole-in-the-wall, jammed onto a residential block that at one point in the not so distant past was targeted for gentrification, that apparently never materialized. Despite the neighborhood never quite shaping up as planned, the Stove has endured which is surprising given that they are only open Wednesday through Saturday. Their continued existence is most likely due to their ability to dense-pack dinners and demand a very high price for the experience.

My fiance and I arrived and were able to obtain a table without a reservation, perhaps due to the fact that I'd mentioned to the host that my fiance had literally moved into the neighborhood a couple of days prior (playing upon their good will and desire to acquire a new regular)... Ultimately, we have come to regret our apparent good fortune.

We were seated at what I now refer to as the "dog testicles" table (due to the fact that I was seated below a quaint (approximately) 10' x 6' painting apparently painted by the owner that prominently features a dog whose "anatomically correct" hind quarters were depicted immediately above my seat. I was simultaneously amused and insulted by my placement, but I did my best to focus my attention on my companion instead of any imagined disrespect that might have been intentionally or unintentionally heaped upon my person.

Even though the place is small I would say that the waitstaff was working at a one server deficit and as a result service was generally slow. We noticed as we left that our server (who was very nice to us despite his inability to attend well to our needs) was working behind the bar and there didn't seem to be a dedicated bartender. Our longest wait was for the bill and then when their square / iPad payment device failed to read my credit card multiple times... it required a disappearance of several minutes to work out what was wrong (apparently their IT department was on break fro the evening).

I enjoyed the fresh bread flavored with cilantro, while my finance found the texture too chewy and she did not enjoy the flavor. We shared the Rock Fish stew as an appetizer which we both enjoyed, but the effect that we experienced later we attributed to the stew (e.g. when an ingredient is about to go bad turn it into a soup or stew)... since this was the only portion of the meal that we shared the blame of a night of severe discomfort squarely lands on the stew.

I ordered the NY Strip Steak special while my fiance ordered the baked Rock Fish (yes a seemingly redundant order, but in reality I ate most of the stew)... She enjoyed her meal, but my steak was very disappointing. I would characterize the steak as having been steamed right before char grilling. The rind of the meat had the texture of tough stewed beef with embedded char cinders that hurt my teeth as the chunks cracked as I bit into each bite. There were two sauces on my plate one of which I would best describe as a brunt ginger sauce (that had a flavor reminiscent of burnt rubber) and the second sauce I have nicknamed "dead sea A1"... The amount of salt in the sauces explains why there's no salt of pepper on the table...

Maybe it was a bad night on which to have caught the Stove, but for the high price it was an entirely unacceptable experience...

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3  Thank Neoheurist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2017

We started coming to Stove back in 2011 and have been enjoying this small, Southern gourmet fine dining bistro ever since. It's tucked in a small artsy neighborhood of Port Norfolk. Syd the owner puts together creative flavors procured from many local area farms. There are always great cheese selections and it's one of our favorite parts of menu. But it definitely doesn't stop there. The appetizers, main course and desserts and of course the local wines are chosen well and the menu is different every time we've gone. It's a small restaurant with only a dozen of so tables, but the cozy atmosphere is part of the charm of Stove. It's prices are on the higher end, but absolutely worth it for a special occasion or a monthly date night.

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Thank 495samuele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2017

We love coming here to try new dishes. Always call for a reservation as it is limited seating. Dim lighting adds a comfy, warm and inviting meal and the decor gives you a lot to look at while you wait.The cheeses are a must to start. House made crackers, smoochie bear ham, pickles... so delicious! We end up getting the salt and pepper goat cheese, pimento and a third cheese that we haven't had before. The menu changes depending on what is fresh at the time and don't forget to check the specials. Shrimp and Grits is good, any meat of the day and rockfish...oooh don't get me started on the rockfish YUM!

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Thank Jennifer h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2017 via mobile

The service and food are exceptional. There is no sign outside to indicate where the restaurant is and it is in an industrial area. Once inside the decor is eccentric and a bit off putting however the food and service make up for it. It has been a while since I've had a meal with a large group where everyone loved their meal. The dry aged steak is amazing, the salmon superb and the portions appropriate. Well worth a visit. Reservations are a must as the restaurant only has about 10 tables.

Thank JDA60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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