Tuesday, May 17, 2011
189 State St
Located on the corner of State St and Penhallow in downtown Portsmouth N.H. is a wonderful little restaurant called Four. Four is French for oven and a well suited name. Open for dinner Monday thru Saturday from 5:30 to close, it is a small yet intimate restaurant that should not be missed! First I will say that if you are planning to visit this hidden jewel, I strongly recommend calling ahead of time and making a reservation. There are a limited number of tables available for seating (about 10 total), a cozy outdoor patio is also available for seating in warmer months as well as a six seat bar area. Co-owner and Chef Simon Lampert prepares some wonderfully, unique dishes using local, fresh ingredients as often as he possibly can. To quote the chef, "Food is the love of my life every single day" and I couldn't agree with him more after an evening of dining at Four and experiencing his talented cooking. On each of my dining experiences the staff has been attentive and friendly and I havent ever felt rushed during my meal. The open window kitchen gives you a view of the wood fired oven and of the talented kitchen staff while they prepare meals.
Four offers 2 menus each evening. One is a unique daily four course Prix Fix tasting menu ($40) and the second is a Steakhouse menu. They bake their own fresh bread in the wood fired oven and serve it with butter and a garlic and olive oil dipping sauce. I have yet to dine from the four course tasting menu but have not been disappointed by what I have enjoyed from the Steakhouse menu. There are several delectable appetizer options to start your meal with and I have enjoyed the Sticky Ribs-Hoisen sauced pork ribs ($9) and will visit again to try the Marrow Bones ($10). Each entree from the Steakhouse menu is served with your choice of 2 side dishes. The 8 oz filet mignon ($29) cooked to your liking is topped with a pat of herbed garlic butter melted in my mouth. I have opted for the house made macaroni and cheese on each of my visits as a side dish after first having it and wishing I could make it at home as well as it is prepared here. On my most recent visit, my other side dish of choice was sauteed patty pan squash. I have also tried their tomato and bacon salad which I was told by my waitress that the bacon is cured in house. It was light and innovative and a perfect accompaniment to any of their entrees. My meal was wonderful and I again was unable to have enough room to try one of their desserts! Two other dishes I must mention here is their 10 oz steak tips soaked in soy honey ($19) that do not disappoint and their amazing, mouth watering bone in 16 oz double pork chop with a maple mustard sauce ($23). Yes, it tastes just as great as you thought it would! Four has created an eco-friendly, calming dining atmosphere that allows the guests to relax and enjoy an excellent meal that definitely has me wanting to go back for more. If you are looking for a unique dining experience I highly recommend calling Four and making a reservation. I know I will be doing so myself again very soon!