// Location86 Middle St.
Portland, ME 04101
// Hours Daily, 11 a.m. to midnight
// Contact(207) 774-8538
// Price Range$$$
// Cuisine Type Seafood,
// Features Brunch, Great Cocktails, Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair accessible,
// AT A GLANCE
Eventide Oyster Company may well be Portland’s best-known seafood restaurant (and with a Boston outpost planned for this year, it may soon become Beantown’s). Owned by chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, along with general manager Arlin Smith, Eventide has been lauded by both local and national press for its updated, eclectic take on classic seafood shack cooking. Start with an assortment of oysters on the half-shell, most of which come from Maine. The selection rotates with seasonal availability, but if fat, barely wet Browne Point (Damariscotta) or flinty, mineral Pine Point (Scarborough) oysters are on ice when you visit, order them, along with the sinus-clearing horseradish ice. Any of Eventide’s exceedingly good buns — all served on a housemade, steamed, split-top roll — are a safe bet, but the brown butter-and-lemon-dressed lobster roll and Southern-inspired fried chicken bun, topped with pickled jalapeños and onions, are unmissable. You’ll find Asian-inspired dishes on the menu as well, most of which pair well with Eventide’s selection of light, mostly European wines by the glass and bottle, as well as something from their unusually deep list of aromatized wines. Both the sultry, spicy, Thai-style Maine lobster stew and the unique nori-vinaigrette greens, served with long, thin ribbons of pickled carrot and daikon, are unforgettable standouts. Still, Eventide has a few drawbacks: You will very likely have to wait for a seat, and the space — all glass and hard surfaces — can get very loud. Both are especially true during high season, but even then, Eventide’s pleasures far outweigh its minor discomforts. It is easy to see why practically everyone, from locals to tourists, loves it here.