Thursday, January 12, 2012
Two prominent restaurants feature wood-fired ovens. I recently stopped into Fore Street (located on. duh, Fore St.) and Flatbreads (on Commercial St.)
Their ovens differ greatly in design but function well for the food they specialize in.
Fore Street has a sprung-arch rectangular oven, visible from the dining area, and set behind a work station. At two in the afternoon, the fire was stoked for roasting and ingredients set out in preparation for the evening's influx of customers.
The oven face, finished with brick and a black keystone, gives a sophisticated impression, and the restaurant is known for its well-prepared food.
Flatbreads oven is a rustic assembly of stone and cob with a central fire and raised cooking hearths on the left and right. From the color of the interior, the baking of the thin-crust, lightly topped flatbread pizza is done using reflected heat from the central fire. The oven vents into a large exhaust hood above the oven.
Make no mistake, if you go to Portland to eat, you WILL be distracted by dozens of fine restaurants even before you reach either of these two establishments.