Make a reservation or arrive early to score one of the walk-in tables at Fore Street, the restaurant that launched Portland’s culinary fame. Chef-partner Sam Hayward won Maine’s first James Beard Best Chef Northeast award in 2004, and since then the accolades have continued—both for Hayward and for other young chefs in Portland. Located in a renovated former warehouse with big windows facing the waterfront, Fore Street is upscale casual, with a bi-level dining room accented by brick, wood, and exposed ductwork, and with an open kitchen that has a wood-burning oven, grill, and turnspit. The flavor is pure Maine: Hayward, a pioneer in farm-to-table, began working with local farmers, fishermen, and foragers decades before it became trendy. Although the menu changes daily, the signature items always available include house-made charcuterie, wood-oven-roasted Maine mussels, and wood-grilled hanger steak.
Wood Fired Taken to New Levels
This stop is worth booking 2 months in advance or showing up when they open to pray for a table, their fresh local ingredients, inventively combined, are unforgettable. They stick many items in their open wood fired grill, including mussels and meats. But be sure to leave room for dessert!