Picture two scruffy post-campers rolling up in East Portland. We smell a little smoky, our hair has gone wild, and we have a damp dog in the back seat of a pick-up. The air in Portland is misty. The rain starts coiling down the window of the truck slowly, as it collects the dew from the air into little zig zags. We feel a bit out of our traditional element, but we seem to fit right in.
A collection of boutique restaurants, pubs, distilleries and breweries occupy the East Bayside neighborhood where Eventide resides. In front of Eventide, a pesky huddle of hungry folks gather out the door to check in with the hostess. It’ll be an hour+ wait, but it’s all good. They provide a browser notification system that keeps everyone sorted. We roll up, drop our names down, pop in for beers across the street at Tomaso’s Canteen, and faster than expected, we’re called to return.
Everyone working at Eventide could be on the set for the next hit Portland musical. Funk, edgy, casual. The place is pouring with eager seafood lovers and Sunday brunchers, but you won’t find the stress on the staff’s faces. Their samurai shuckers behind the bar are flat out, but still kind enough to take a second from the knife for clever exchanges with customers.
Today is just an oyster-only experience for us, but I could find myself addicted to exploring that menu. While reading through the crudos/buns/bakes and absorbing the ambiance, I caught a brief wave of Portland fever… you know, a moment where you start to get real existential on yourself. The feelings relented in seconds, reminding myself that Boston is a damn good town, and I am a damn happy person. Our warm, friendly waitress approached for requests, and minutes later I’m elated by our delivery of oysters, rosé and beer.
Otter Cove was a must, as I had just recently covered their story. We opted additionally for Norumbega and John’s River, all Mainers. Can you really go wrong in Maine? I’m not going to review them, but I will say that I was partial to Otter Cove, just because I knew the love behind their story. See? A story makes a difference… it weighs in on what you’ll look to taste, to feel, and measure. John’s River and Norumbega – I’m hunting ya’ll down with questions. 🙂
Thanks for looking after us, Eventide. Us townies down south are looking forward to Fenway.