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Critic James Schwartz Fears Street and Co. has Lost That Loving Feeling After 25 Years

Stick to the classics and don't expect the world's best service from the venerable restaurant, Schwartz warns.

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Now celebrating its silver anniversary, 25-year-old Street and Co. may be showing its age. Certainly its web presence lacks something; instead of sharing enticing photos, telling a story, or fleshing out the history, it leans on phrases like "Less is more" and "Simple." The only nod to modernity on the company's sparse website is one that might have been hip in the late 90s: A jazz sample autoplays over a GIF of restaurant video clips when the landing page loads.

Press Herald critic James Schwartz finds similar issues with the dining experience in yesterday's Dine Out Maine column, noting that the steadiness or consistency of a long-term relationship, which should replace the spark of young love, seems to be missing here. "Dana Street's trademark dishes are as delicious as ever, but other entrees - and the service - were bland," he summarizes bluntly, doling out three-and-a-half stars.

The long story short is that diners should stick with the classics like Sole Francaise and Scallops in Pernod and Cream, "signature dishes that showcase the kitchen's strengths," according to Schwartz. Fisherman's Stew was "insipid," as was the swordfish, and these are not cheap blunders. "At $29.95 [the swordfish] was an expensive letdown," he bemoans. Desserts were also "uneven."

The restaurant has 472 visible reviews on Yelp (the site's obscure algorithms also hide many reviews that are "not currently recommended" behind a tiny link at the bottom of each page, if you're truly seeking the rabbit hole), averaging a mighty 4.5 stars. The less-than-perfect reviews tend to focus on the rushed or negligent service. Kelly A. gives one star, hollering, "Hey Street & Co., wake up!! I guess this is now a famous locale, so you don't need to care. Rush the customer and turn those tables." Angelique I. concurs: "This is a shame because the restaurant is beautiful but the service was incredibly lacking."

Regarding the overwhelmed, under-attentive servers, Schwartz hopes they can dig deep and recapture some of what has carried the restaurant through its first 25 years. "Welcoming guests night after night may seem like more of the same for them. For us, each dinner's a first date. We still want to be wooed," he tuts.

Street and Co.

33 Wharf Street, Portland, ME 04101 207-775-0887