Looking for a restaurant for Valentine’s Day dinner, I had a desire to try something new. After having heard from a number of friends and coworkers about Street and Company’s culinary delights, I decided that would be an excellent choice for a nice meal. As a bonus, since the restaurant was a little pricier than the places we usually eat, I had the added pleasure of wowing my lovely wife with my exquisitely refined taste – something most everyone I know appreciates about me.
After checking out the Old Port a bit and stopping for a pre-dinner drink elsewhere, we ended our cobblestone walk at Street and Company on Wharf Street. Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately noticed the rustic theme throughout. As beautiful as it was inviting, the lounge in all its rustic glory offered an excellent place to have a drink. The bar, which was full when we got there shortly after 5pm, was topped with tons of oysters on ice and backed by hardworking bartenders keeping smiles wide and glasses full.
Because we were both driving that night and had a drink elsewhere, we enjoyed water in the lounge along with a couple Valentine’s Day chocolates and perused the extensive beer and wine menu. The lounge proceeded to fill up with a diverse crowd of couples waiting to be seated for a dinner with their loves while the attentive staff served drinks and seated everyone as tables became available.
We were led to our table in short order, walking by the kitchen on the way. My sense of smell was piqued and it reminded me of my days as a cook in the Bar Harbor area. The smell of fresh seafood and the sight of fresh vegetables made my mouth water with the anticipation of a Pavlovian overeater. We also walked by a working giant pepper grinder which looked like an antique. I have no idea if it actually was old, but it looked cool as Antarctic hell.
As the dining room was starting to fill up, we sat and were provided water, bread, and menus. The waitress described three different raw oyster offerings, presumably the ones I had seen on the bar. There were also three special menu offerings including a salad, a whole hake, and a yellowfin tuna Bolognese. Once the waitress left, we scoured the menu for what we wanted to feast upon. The menu displayed a great combination of apps and salads, linguine plates, grilled and broiled entrees, and “in the pan” offerings.
My wife wanted a salad, so I decided to order the Calamari in Puttanesca. I had no idea what it was other than some type of squid, but I haven’t had much calamari I didn’t like, so I assumed it was a good choice. My wife ordered an Organic Arugula and Shaved Fennel Salad. For my main course, I was particularly interested in the Lobster Diavolo but was slightly disappointed when I saw that it was not available as a single serving, but rather for two. Putting that out of my mind, I focused on the Scallops in Pernod and Cream. Mrs. Portlandeater settled on the broiled scallops.
The appetizers came out after we ate a couple pieces of fresh bread. The mystery calamari turned out to be served in the pan which I found to be quite interesting. It swam in a tomato basil sauce – I assume that was the puttanesca part of it. It was very tasty and much healthier feeling than the breaded squid you might get at most other places. I tried a bite of the salad which was outstanding even though I’m not much of a fan of fennel.
Our appetizers down the hatch, plates and pans were cleared in anticipation of the arrival of entrees. Scallops #1 and #2 came out within a few moments. My scallops were again served in a pan which made sense as they were an “in the pan” menu item. They came alongside a broccoli and matchstick carrot mixture and some barley. The broiled scallops were served with red bliss potatoes and the same broccoli mix. I was immediately impressed with the quantity of the food. I am always willing to pay for quality, but I don’t like going home hungry. I won’t normally complain about a smaller portion if it’s delicious, but if it leaves me unsatisfied, that will lower my score of a restaurant a bit.
My pan held 6 very large, perfectly cooked scallops – double the amount of some higher end restaurants in the area that run at about the same price or higher. The sauce was small in quantity but huge in flavor – obviously a flawless reduction. It shall be noted too that the mushroom caps that were included were probably the best mushrooms I have ever put into my mouth – absolutely incredible. The barley, a rare restaurant selection, was delicious with a texture straight out of a cooking textbook. The broccoli had strong acidic bite which balanced the entire meal. Overall, the meal hit with intensity in all aspects of flavor. The potatoes in my wife’s dish followed suit with a hint of orange which I normally despise. I prefer my orange as either an orange itself or orange juice, but this time the unique taste it added was a great citrus compliment to the starch.
Dinner was exceptionally filling and left no room for dessert. With tip and all, including a glass of wine with the meal for my wife, dinner came to $110. It was a pricey night without a doubt, but it was worth it for some outstanding food in a really warm atmosphere. To be sure, there was love in the air on Valentine’s Day.
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