If you live in New England and haven’t heard of Duckfat in Portland Maine, you’ve probably been living under a rock. It’s constantly topping best of Maine lists and always seems to make its way into any conversation about Portland. And how could it not? The food is simply prepared with the freshest ingredients, it’s impossible to resist the casual rustic atmosphere of the place and the servers are passionate about the food. And those fries! zomg.
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about Duckfat when this post is clearly about a different restaurant. Well, on a recent trip to Portland, Jacki and I tried Eventide, a newly opened restaurant right down the street from Duckfat. Eventide is basically the oyster bar/seafood version of Duckfat. Raw and cooked seafood small plates, oysters from around the world, lobster, etc. And it’s perfect…already. Like Duckfat perfect. Open less than two weeks and it had no apparent new restaurant growing pains whatsoever. The service, food, and execution of the concept were all spot on.
We had just planned on a quick snack and drink, but as you’re about to see, we went way overboard (per usual). We just couldn’t help it. Every time we saw a dish go out to another table we had to order one for ourselves, even though we had dinner plans later in the night.
The white wine list is extensive, but doesn’t include your typical Chardonnays, Sav Blacs and Pinot Grigios (well maybe a couple) — every white was interesting and carefully curated. Jacki went with a Gewürztraminer which had a dry mineral taste – perfect for pairing with oysters and I went with something I had never heard of before, a Txakoli from Spain. It was so different! It had this smokey taste as well as an acidic brininess. So basically we were already obsessed with Eventide pre-food. ALSO they give you a legit pour, which makes me really happy. Huge glasses, lots of wine. We were basically drunk after one.
And now for the food, which we loved every single bite of…
First up, the light and refreshing Fluke Tartar made with Cucumber and Hyssop.
The $10 mini lobster roll (honestly who needs a huge one when you’re ordering everything on the menu anyway?) is served with your choice of hollandaise, house mayo or brown butter vinaigrette (holy shit). We went with the vinaigrette, which was perfectly portioned and gave the lobster a light coating of acidic butter, which should be more of a thing everywhere. And the bun! It was like a mix between an asian baobun and bread.
Roasted Jumbo Winterpoints Korean BBQ, Fried Potato. Sweet tangy sauce on oysters should also be more of a thing everywhere, so good.
Fried oyster bun with tartar and pickles. To say we were happy to see this amazing bun again after the lobster roll would be an understatement.
Our only non-seafood course was the housemade charcuterie platter with pickles, mustard, terrines, salami, pork loin and pork belly. Every element (especially the salami) was done really well.
Almost forgot this amazing cocktail! Made with jalepeno infused tequila and blood orange soda, it was refreshing and had a nice bite. Sigh. I can’t wait to go back.
Eventide is something special! We loved everything about it. It’s definitely a new must-visit spot in Portland, I have a feeling it’s going to get just as much critical acclaim as Duckfat.
86 Middle Street