You would think after the obscene amount of Boone’s Farm wine and malt beverages I have consumed, that I would have also tried out its namesake, Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room. You would think incorrectly, but not anymore! Our latest Friday Lunch excursion was my first experience to this Old Port fixture, and it was quite enjoyable.
I will rave about the food that I had, because I make good choices. I will also rave about their cocktails, because I made good choices in that department, too (well, having two might not have been the wisest at noon). First, I’ll have to get one major complaint out of the way: smoke. We are partly to blame, being a large party we had to sit inside. Chances are good that you will find outside seating in one of their two decks, but if you’re inside, you are going to want to be ready for a smokey experience. Boone’s ventilation was not properly equipped to handle their open wall facing the downstairs deck, so much to our disappointment, the dining room was very smokey. Luckily our clothes did not become permeated, but the experience was frustrating. Given the empty dining room and packed decks, we guessed that other patrons weren’t interested in the smokiness. My advice is to stick to the outdoor seating.
But, there’s a reason we stayed: the food and cocktails! Boone’s really brought it when it came to the fare. I would definitely go back for my new favorite drink: the Bee’s Knees. Gin, honey, lemon, and bitters combined for one of the best drinks in the Old Port (from establishments that aren’t the Dry Dock!). Everyone in the party enjoyed their drinks, ranging from Sully’s usual beer to a shared bottle of rosé.
The appetizers were certainly appetizing; save for the mussels. We don’t know if it was just a bad batch or a mollusk uprising, but they did not meet the seafood expectations of Portland. The Brussels sprouts, bacon wrapped scallops, and pork belly nachos were delicious. Being the celebrated eater that I am, I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish my entree if I fully sampled all of these great app choices.
As for my entree, all hail the fish tacos. While I would have preferred three on a plate instead of the two I was allocated, The fish portions were very large and overflowing from the corn tortilla. They were a little on the spicy side, but not too spicy for the delicate flower that I am. I would liken their firecracker sauce to a sriracha. Sully’s wood fired hanger steak (the wood fire being the main culprit for the smokey ambiance) looked a little paltry but he enjoyed his choice. I can’t fault Boone’s, they did advise that the steak is a five ouncer. I’m glad I picked the fish tacos.
We would definitely recommend Boone’s Fish House to our visiting clients, friends, and family. Overall, we had a great experience despite the persistent smoke. I’ll save you the trouble: don’t bother opening the windows, they’re glued shut. Trust me, I tried.