We have been regulars at Fore St. since we moved to Maine almost 8 years ago. Previously, we lived in a city just brimming with one fine restaurant after another, so we were glad to see that Portland had a respectable food/restaurant scene, with Fore St., in our opinion, leading the pack. A while back, we had a couple of negative experiences at Fore St. and were concerned that this was an indication that the restaurant was waning in quality. I wrote a post here on Chowhound about it, and even though it was a while ago, I just want to set the record straight because this is just not the case. Also, people haven't written about Fore St. recently here from what I have seen and I think it is time for some updated commentary.
Fore St. is still our family favorite here in Portland. In my opinion, and after having dined in many other places in this city, nothing else quite measures up. This is not to say that I have not had favorable and even very good dining experiences in other places, but none have been as consistently satisfying as the meals I have eaten at Fore Street. Of course, one should be prepared to spend a little money there as it is not inexpensive, but still, compared to other restaurants in its league here and around the country, it is not priced off the scales, especially given the high quality and the fact that the portions are always more than ample--you will never be served on excessively large plates with tiny portions in the center that are more like ornaments than food at Fore St! The spit roasted meats over wood fire are a strong suit at Fore St. as are the wood-fire roasted muscles, pasta and pizza, most all of the appetizers, the soups, and the cheese selections. The salads really stand out and are consistently delicious, and the desserts are also very special. There are always offerings to satisfy vegetarians, too, and plenty of fish on the menu. The menu changes with the seasons, featuring dishes that use foods that are available from local and regional sources (often organic) during that time of year. It is noteworthy that while I've heard some say that Fore St. is pretentious, I find this not to be the case, esp. compared to other restaurants in this town. I think the service is very good, with the servers well-versed in food, and attentive but not hovering. I also like the "dress down" atmosphere that is consistent with the culture here in Maine. At the same time, I have shown up at Fore St. moderatly dressed up at times for a special occasion, and that works, too. I also like that it is child friendly as my son loves the food there and we always feel he is welcome and fits in. While the hustle and bustle that fills the room at Fore St. does not make it a place for a quiet meal, it can still be a cozy and romantic place, depending on where you sit, and I find that the din actaully provides some privacy. I really think that we should feel very fortunate that Fore St. is still going strong after all these years as it is truly our culinary gem here in Portland.