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  • Fore Street

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Fore Street
Fore Street

Fore Street Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.forestreet.biz
  • Phone: (207) 775-2717
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm, Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm; Bar opens daily at 5:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Organic, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Sam Hayward
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Franklin and Pearl
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Fore Street has free parking from 5pm to 12am in the parking lot behind the building, depending on availability. Street parking is available as well as customer paid parking in 2 parking garages within 1 block.
A word from Fore Street
Located in Portland's Old Port District, Fore Street opened in June, 1996. The interior surrounds a unique brick and soapstone hearth with a wood-burning oven, grill and turnspit; visible from most tables. We believe that good food travels the shortest possible distance between the farm and the table. Our menu changes every day and is founded upon the very best raw materials from a community of Maine farmers, fisherman, foragers and cheese makers. Most of the Maine foods are organically grown or harvested wild, each brought to us at the peak of its season. In 2002 and again in 2007, Fore Street was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of the Top Fifty Restaurants in the United States. In 2004, Chef-Partner Sam Hayward was named Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "The menu is fit for foodies and wine connoisseurs, of which I am neither, so take that into consideration when reviewing my comments. I had the steak frites and it was good, but my girlfriend's fish had lots of little bones and turned her off. The wine was good, but the prices were a bit expensive. Overall, the place is best for foodies and those that do not mind rich foods prepared in heavy butters and oils."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We keep returning to Fore St., although there are many other options in the area, mainly because we are never disappointed. This time the oysters were delectable, the soup & salad tasty, and the entrees amazing---Mackerel was melt in your mouth. And, the desserts met our high expectations. We will be back!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We have eaten here numerous times per year over the past twenty years and never been disappointed. Using locally sourced ingredients, the chefs are able to create unique dishes that always please. The wood grilled fish and meats are always a winner, with creative side dishes, such as beets in a ginger vinegarette, adding the right touch. The wine list is well chosen to compliment the food and fairly priced. Servers are very knowledgable and willing to share chef's ingredients in meals, something other restaurants are not interested in doing. Save room for the desserte, all made in-house."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Food at Fore Street is reliably good. My choices this time were from the starter menu--roasted kohlrabi and green olive salad, with exactly the right amount of dressing, and mussels. The salad was excellent. The mussels were so much larger than any mussels I've had before that I was a bit put off, although nothing was wrong with the flavor. Dessert was amazing--chocolate chip bread pudding with vanilla ice cream, all in a bite-sized portion that was just right. And, as always, the bread from Standard Bakery was fantastic! Lower than usual scores for ambiance and service were due to large and one very loud group--noise level was beyond what I want in a good restaurant, and the server tried but looked as though he was run off his feet."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Once you walk in you can smell the delicious foots. Wing prepared as it is an open kitchen. Wide open so you never feel crowded in.service was great. Answered all of our questions. Timing was perfect for ll courses. Highly recommend the mussels. It's like a meal, they were huge and delicious. Not rubbery. A must order if you are a mussel lover. All in all, a must visit during your stay in Portland."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "If you are looking for a high-end dining experience with a relaxed and refined feel, Fore Street is where to eat in Portland. Think of Fore Street as that old Bean boot that is a quality product with a lifetime warranty, a meal at Fore Street has a lasting memory. Mussels were a high light, the broth was extremely flavorful and the amazing bread produced by Standard Bakery was the perfect dunking tool. Portions are reasonable and sharing a main course is recommended. The ambiance of the place, and the decor are rustic and the open kitchen adds to the accessibility of the food. The menu is expansive with several meat, sea, and vegetarian options, server was very friendly and warm and overall dining at Fore Street is a Maine experience."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The server seemed annoyed when i mentioned a dairy restriction- (did I detect a deep sigh?) but other than than was perfectly attentive and was very knowledgable about the food and ingredients. The menu is created daily and had lots of great options, but it did not appear that it was very friendy to substiutions or adjustments."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Interesting combinations and expertly created. Laid back atmosphere but energetic. We had a great time."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This popular and upscale restaurant served us excellent, very high quality food in a relaxing atmosphere. It was a week night so it was uncharacteristically quiet. Service was very professional and unobtrusive. My only caveat is the prices, especially for smallish sized entrees, making it generally only affordable for a special occasion dining experience, which this was. if however, you're only hungry enough for a salad and appetizer, prices are more moderate. My daughter and I had one of the best salads ever: frisee and other salad greens, foraged /roasted mushrooms, turnips, carrot in a wonderfully creamy dressing. Delicious!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "..... and never disappoints. Had a great server, MJ, who knew her stuff and made the whole experience 5 stars. Appreciated that we were seated at the window with a view of Portland's waterfront. Some of the menu selections are pricey and wish mashed potatoes weren't an extra on top of that but we loved our choices, muscles, Arctic Char and home made vegetable ravioli. Topped off with their signature coffee it was a perfect meal."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Fore Street once again lives up to its reputation. Staff is helpful and friendly, the food is unbeatable, and the atmosphere is terrific. We enjoyed the finnan haddie and jonah crab for apps, followed by monkfish and scallops for mains. Excellent all around!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Everyone who's ever been to Portland knows that Fore Street is THE place to go for foodie dining. Compared to other options available in Portland today, I will forego Fore Street in favor of some of the competitors popping up during my next stay. Of all the places I went in Portland on a weekend getaway, the Fore Street staff, inc our server, were the least friendly and welcoming. The noise level was overwhelming to the point that our server had difficulty hearing our orders. The food was certainly good, but was overshadowed by a less than remarkable dining experience."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Do not understand why this restaurant gets such great reviews. It's good; not great, and there are several better, less expensive options in Portland. Beans in the soup were undercooked. Glass of wine was skimpy for the cost."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Always a wonderful dining experience form beginning to end. Haven't been in a few years though and last night's dinner was even better than we remembered."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Outstanding food and service. This has to be one of the best meals I have had in a long time. I highly recommend it and it was worth every penny."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The food was elegant...the server provided answers to all of our many questions. Mike was pleasant, warm and knowledgable."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "A flawless evening of relaxed dining where everything goes right-from service to food to drinks, ambience, and everything that makes a special night out enjoyable. Basically a restaurant without flaws......Keep up the good work!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Fore Street is our favorite Portland, ME restaurant. They specialize in beautifully cooked local meats and produce, mainly from local purveyors.They also have fish, but we never tried any. Desserts are excellent too. The open kitchen with its rotisseries and grills is fun to watch and adds to the warm ambience. There is a nice looking bar and a good wine list."
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "Found the raw oysters to be on the small side and the accompanying sauce watery and unsatisfactory. Also we find that entrees priced in the high range when considering they offer no side with included, rather the sides are additional. This is not an attractive attribute on a menu. We travel quite extensively and this is very uncommon in our experience.Also my wifes ravioli was very good but the mushrooms accompanying the dish were severely over done. While the service was outstanding and the ambiance pleasurable, the food fell short of expectation based upon our research prior to the visit when considering the price point/value for $180."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Fore street is very expensive, but for a special occasion, it is a wonderful place to go. The food was great and there were many wonderful options to choose from. The lighting is low, but we still had no problem reading the menu. We were seated relatively close to the cooking area and I enjoyed watching the cooks using the wood fired brick oven. So many of the dishes are cooked in this oven! The fire adds to the ambience of the restaurant. The service was excellent and we were able to linger over coffee and dessert after the main meal."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "The exposed brick and copper tables complimented each other. Our server was attentive and efficient, but not too intrusive. The organic mixed greens were a delicious starter. And the scallops were cooked to order and very tasty. Overall the dinner was very enjoyable."
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "Overall, this was a delicious meal. However, after hearing so much about Fore Street for so long, we expected a much better experience. Compared with 90% of restaurants, this is a great place. We would not put it in the top 10% by any means. For example, the grilled calamari appetizer was swimming in oil. The two main dishes were good, but not extraordinary. If we had not heard such rave reviews for such a long period of time, we may have rated this higher. Also, the prior night we dined at the 555 Congress Street, which is another Portland restaurant. That was extraordinary."
    Dined on 1/8/2014
  • "Oh those Mussels! Perfection. Tender, sweet goodness in a broth you want to tip up to your mouth in a very unlady-like manner. Go."
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "It had been a longtime between visits and we sure hope to get back sooner than later! It was a delightful dining experience, nicely presented and perfectly hot when served......."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "We started with the oysters which were crisp and delicious, then moved on to the famous oven roasted mussels which lived up to the raves on Yelp. My husband ordered the duck and while he liked it, he felt a more petite duck might have had more tender flavor. I ordered the pan seared flounder with some beautiful mushrooms, the fish was perfectly cooked and the exterior had a beautiful brown sear on it. The woodsy earthy flavor of the mushrooms, along with lentils in a buttery sauce was a perfect counterpoint to the delicate white fish. Our other guest ordered the pork loin, which had an impressive char and juicy flavor. The sticky toffee pudding dessert is a must! Fore Street does not disappoint!"
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "We try to dine at Fore St. regularly & yet are rewarded with not only the old favorites but new refreshing features. The food is fresh & delicious although sometimes a little on the salty side. The wait staff are attentive yet not intrusive & very knowledgeable about the food options. We are rarely disappointed no matter what we chose to eat & the wines are great!"
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "received a gift certificate from our son for a speical evening out. we found the service, the specialty menu ( changes daily), and the setting very enjoyable. meal selection was unique and delicious. look forward to dining at Fore Street again."
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "My only complaint is that I had a dish labeled "summer flounder". Summer flounder is actually fluke....a flat fish cousin of the flounder. The dish I got was not summer flounder but some other fish. It was good....but not what I expected."
    Dined on 6/20/2013
  • "We ate at Fore Street on our honeymoon in Portland. The food was spectacular, the service was great and we would definitely return there. The only downsides were the noise level in the restaurant and how close we were seated to the tables next to us. We were speaking loudly to be able to hear each other and I am sure that our 2 neighboring tables heard our entire conversation. We were there on a Saturday night, but I would assume that it might be quieter on a weeknight."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "Have been there many times when we visit Portland and always forget menu does not have "plain" food. Always have to ask for sauce on side. Would be nice to have plain roasted chicken rather than something with "extras" I do not care for. Also they have a policy of no substitution. Need better lighting at some tables - could not read menu with one small candle and no overhead lights. Took out small flashlight, but felt ridiculous doing it."
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "Restaurant was warm. With wood oven burning away; the wait staff was great, stopping periodically to check in with us. Food was superb! Greens salad was just right; a sampling of raw oysters from various waters near & in Portland; our waitress explained in detail. The crusty bread was wonderful. I had flounder, the filet was thicker & seared to perfection with a small dollap of root vegetable hash, for a differing taste, was a nice addition. My husband had a med. rare ribeye steak; again, cooked to perfection, accompanied by a side of chunky garlic mashed potatoes; the best steak ever! I ended my meal with a samplers plate of locally made chocolates; the ones taken to go never made it to daylight! Just a great experience."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "I had been waiting to eat at Fore Street for over three years and the experience did not disappoint! All menus are created that day with local ingredients with shows the dedication and skill they put into their kitchen. The mussels are by far the best I have ever had and the fish and meat options were great. The ambience is fun and romantic at the same time."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "Loved Fore Street! Good was amazing and the service by everyone including the hostess was fantastic. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "It's a great restaurant with inventive and delicious food. But we had the misfortune of sitting at a table next to an incredibly loud group of inebriated people, one of whom whistled through her fingers piercingly and repeatedly, as if summoning a cab. While it was not the fault of the restaurant, they probably should have done something to ameliorate the situation, as it was disturbing to many of the diners and definitely affected our experience."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "Nov 7th. Arrived at 5:40 for a 6pm reservation. Seated at the back of the restaurant at 6:20. I asked for a better table. Snobby hostess stuck my husband and I in between four people. There were other tables available. Food was very good except for the $45 rib-eye steak (rib-eye is not supposed to be tough). Waitress was excellent. Spent $400 for just the two of us. Personally I will not return to this restaurant because of the way we were treated."
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "Loved some of the choices on the Fore Street menu which changes nightly. I sampled for the first time ever, despite spending months along the seashore every year, razor clams baked in a very tasty sauce. Lots of choices for adventuresome eaters, and for more typical diners too. My husband loved his pork loin. Our waiter gave good recommendations for a wine, and was very friendly. Prices not bad at all for the quality of the food and atmosphere. Delicious homemade bread. Would love to go again, next tie I am in Portland."
    Dined on 10/30/2013
  • "The restaurant had an old world charm. The meals were excellent and the restaurant was charming."
    Dined on 10/7/2013
  • "Wow. Dining at Fore Street was definitely a memorable experience. After talking to several people familiar with Portland, and reading the reviews, my expectations were definitely high. The experience delivered and then some, with fantastic ingredients, sublimely prepared food, knowledgeable service, and beautiful atmosphere. We walked in about ten minutes before our reservation, and were immediately ushered to a sweet two-top that I would have picked myself if given the choice. This was a highlight of our visit to super foodie Portland! Fore Street is clearly a fantastic restaurant with people who care deeply about what they do. If you have the chance, go! I hope to visit many more times to taste many seasons worth of wonderful food."
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "If there were not so many great choices on Portland I'd send people here. Too many other choices for the money we spent here. A bit pretentious. 2 top seating is terribly uncomfortable, people who were walk in got larger tables eventhough we had a reservation for a month. Served brown mushy apples in a $12 salad. We expecteded more based on the reviews."
    Dined on 10/22/2013
  • "This was an incredible special occasion dinner for us! The food was delicious on a chilly fall night in Portland. We will definitely return when we are back in Portland."
    Dined on 10/21/2013