Boone's. [Photo: Facebook]
The day is finally upon us. Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room will finally open today, according to its Facebook page. The eagerly awaited fourth room from Harding Lee Smith originally targeted a spring opening, then early summer, then a week ago, but it appears that, at long last, the double-decker restaurant on Custom House Wharf will open its big swinging doors. Smith, of course, is the owner of the Front, Corner and Grill Rooms. Boone's, probably his most ambitious project yet, gives Smith an unprecedented fourth restaurant in Portland.
The structural rehab was a major factor in the elongated renovation timeline. Alexander Boone, likely inventor of the baked stuffed lobster, opened the original Boone's in 1898 on the site, which served a lot of the split crustaceans over the next 100 or so years before shuttering a few years back. "The potential of this historic property was too promising to ignore, unfortunately so was the structural damage. In December we began demolition, stripping it down and replacing wooden beams with steel," says the website.
The large restaurant will have two distinct elements. More from the website:
The first floor will be Boone's, a traditional Maine seafood restaurant with the same high-end preparation that The Rooms restaurants are known for. We've furnished the dining room with custom-built tables made from cherry wood to match the wainscoting on the walls.
The second floor will be the Oyster room. It will feature a 25 foot full raw bar, wood burning ovens for flat-breads, and a spacious function area which can hold up to 85 people. The outside deck with views of Portland harbor will be a great place to sit with some oysters and enjoy Portland's beautiful summer nights.
The menu is an elevated take on traditional Maine seaside dining, with the usual fried offerings, steamed lobsters and clams, etc., then some more unique options like "Oysters on Piggy Back" (fried oysters with local pork confit, bitter greens, golden raisins and pistachios), lobster and scallop sausage and sardines. The cruise ship crowds will undoubtedly love the option to pick your own lobster from the tank or select your fish off the ice display.
Boone's will be open all days of the week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with reservations accepted. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily and if it's anything like at the other Rooms, it'll be worth hitting up.
· Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room [Facebook, Official Site]
· All Coverage of Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room [~EMAINE~]
· All Coverage of Harding Lee Smith [~EMAINE~]