Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Street and Company

What did I love most about Portland, Maine? Everything. Well, besides the amazing people I stayed with I’d have to say that a highlight of the trip was being treated to an exquisite dinner at Street and Company, located at 33 Wharf Street.

The atmosphere was rustic yet lovely. All the table tops were copper and the kitchen was open so you can see the chefs hard at work as they prepared fresh, delicious meals. The menu was very simple, and yet it was still difficult to make a decision.

One of our main aims for dinner was to get me some oysters (what else is new?), and Street and Co. turned out to be the perfect place for it.

So my appetizer was an easy decision, of course. Our server told us they had three types of Maine oysters that night, so rather than getting a half dozen of one kind I got two of each. Good choice. The three oysters were Bagaduce from Brookesville, Nonesuch from Scarborough, and Winter Points from West Bath. Not surprisingly they all tasted very similar, seeing as they all came from Maine waters. My favorite, however, were the Winter Points because their flavor just seemed to pop a little more. All the oysters had that delicious brininess—the mark of an Atlantic Ocean oyster.

 Next up was salad. I decided to go for something I would never usually order or make at home: a seasonal salad of local cabbage with house-cured bacon, local cheddar, and Dijon dressing. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I never work with cabbage much unless I’m making egg rolls or throwing it in a pot of boiling water with corned beef and potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day. It. Was. Amazing. The cabbage was thinly shredded, so it was fresh and crunchy but much easier to eat that large pieces of cabbage would be. It was lightly tossed in the Dijon dressing, which gave it a little kick. And then those small chunks of cheddar and bacon were a happy surprise in every bite, the cheddar offering a sharp flavor and the bacon a meaty, savory taste.

Danny got a beet salad, which was tossed with apples and topped with some sort of something…honestly, we had no idea what it was and I completely forgot to ask the server. But it was tasty and soft and crumbly. Who knows? We just knew that we loved it. The beets were flavorful and tender, which juxtaposed nicely against the crunchiness of the green apples. I always think I don’t like beets until I eat them, and this salad may have converted me into a beet lover.

Susan ordered an arugula salad, which came with lots of little goat cheese crumbles. The arugula embodied that quintessential spicy, peppery flavor that it’s known for, and the cheese was nice and creamy. Susan couldn’t finish it, but Danny and I happily devoured the rest.

For the entrée I opted for scallops “in the pan” with a pernod cream sauce. The succulent scallops came with green and yellow beans and barley. Scallops can be tricky, and I’ve had some experiences at restaurants where they are overcooked, not seared properly, and sandy. Street and Co., however, cooked them absolutely perfectly. The sear on those scallops was something to write home about. They were a beautiful golden-brown color, but when I cut into them the center was soft and tender. Each scallop was like a jewel on my plate. They were something to be admired for their beauty and quality, and then eaten with care and consideration. 

Danny ordered clams with white sauce over linguini. The linguini had that nice, al dente bite to it. The clams were abundant and, like all the seafood in Portland, rich with that fresh essence of the ocean. 

Susan ordered a special—a blackened tuna steak in a lovely, rich heirloom carrot puree. When asked by the server how she wanted it cooked, Susan responded like a true foodie, "I want it the way the chef likes to cook it." Again, the sear was perfect and the middle was still raw, just the way you want high-quality tuna to be.

Oh, and dessert! It was heavenly. We were pretty full so we decided to split dessert. The server told us our options, and by that point I had no idea what I wanted. But Danny knew: pecan praline pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The pie was sticky and sweet and oh-so satisfying, and the cold, creamy ice cream was the perfect accompaniment to the pie. Not only does Street and Co. serve up fresh seafood in all the right ways, they can also make one hell of a dessert. 

I ate everything. Absolutely everything. I’m usually the type to take home half my entrée because I’m too full, but not at Street and Co. I couldn’t resist finishing every single bite. Needless to say the itis set in as soon as we stepped out the door. My mind was in a fog of delicious tastes and the feel-good chemicals that only a decadent meal can release. It was as though I was drunk off food. As soon as we got home I tucked myself into bed, turned out the lights, and dreamed of oysters and scallops and clams and…

Street & Co on Urbanspoon

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