Now in its 26th year, Dana Street’s esteemed Street & Co. shows no signs of slowing its pace. It’s open seven days a week for dinner, and patrons old and new know to make reservations, or to at least call ahead to ask about availability.
However, one of Street & Co.’s best-kept secrets is its homey, informal bar and lounge section that offers ample seating; enough room to stretch out with a small group.
The room is a quiet respite from the restaurant’s bustling dining sections and Street & Co.’s notable open kitchen – but be careful not to bump into any servers carrying hot iron platters of fish stew as you make your way to the restrooms.
Street & Co. has been celebrated as one of Portland’s longstanding first-rate restaurants, serving fresh seafood nightly, and boasting a constantly changing menu of local fish, Maine oysters and lobster.
Yet, one of the restaurant’s more recent additions happens to be the cocktail menu. With a short list of five, Street & Co.’s foray into specialty drinks was jump-started last year by bar manager Kirk Torregrossa, a veteran server and bartender at such popular Portland eateries as 555, Petite Jacqueline and Blue Spoon (you will probably recognize him as the really tall, friendly guy).
Torregrossa’s cocktails are remarkably simple, using only a few ingredients at a time in order to highlight the spirit and keep with the “elegant, delicious” theme of the seafood menu.
Whenever possible, Torregrossa incorporates Maine-made spirits; to wit, Cold River Gin Vodka and Back River Gin in two current drinks.
The Caesar cocktail is a maritime take on the Bloody Mary, made with Cold River Vodka, clam brine, horseradish, Tabasco and tomato juice for $10.
Street & Co.’s wine list is undoubtedly one of the best-curated menus in town, as owner Dana Street has been perfecting his list for nearly three decades. Featuring mostly Old World wine, the menu is intended to complement the Mediterranean-inspired dishes, offering an authentic taste of Europe and Street’s timeless favorites.
Bar regulars have come to see Street & Co. as an oyster bar where they can order a dozen Basket Island oysters and a bottle of wine before heading somewhere else for dinner. The enticing smells from the kitchen and your neighbor’s plate might convince you to stay, though, for the nightly special.
The bar area usually quiets down – and bar seats empty out – after 8 p.m. Otherwise, expect to sit elbow-to-elbow with your guest or friendly neighbor.
Lounge seating is also available, but early birds with reservations often use the space as a waiting room. The servers are attentive, accommodating, and aim to give each guest the best experience possible.
Duck into this cozy bar room as the weather cools – you’ll warm up quickly.
33 Wharf St., Portland | 207-775-0887 | streetandcompany.net
HOURS: Dinner 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday. Bar opens at 5 p.m. for drinks and oysters.
AMENITIES: Lounge seating, spacious bar area, comfortable bar stools, excellent service, plenty of coat racks, better noise level in bar/lounge area.
BOTTOM LINE: Street & Co.’s bar and lounge section offers a cozy surrender from its bustling dining room and open kitchen. You’ll likely be elbow-to-elbow with neighbors at the bar as you devour fresh Maine oysters, or you can stretch out in one of the several lounge sections with a cocktail and affordable bites ($4.50-5.50).
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes