Trying to squeeze every last drop out of what has been a glorious summer for us, we headed to the waterfront for some outside dining. After swinging by the Portland Lobster Company, we realized we wouldn’t be able to navigate the crowds there as we were not the only ones who were looking for al fresco dining on this sunny afternoon. So, we continued further up commercial street and stopped into the Dry Dock instead. We were in the mood for a casual, relaxed lunch and the menu had some nice offerings.
Having spied their two-floor outside deck hidden behind the back of the restaurant and conveniently overlooking the wharf, we had been wanting to stop in for a while. We entered the first floor of the Dry Dock and waited briefly at the hostess station, before being lead upstairs and to the blindingly sunny outside deck.
The deck has picturesque views of the waterfront, but what it does not have is a lot of shade. A few scattered, smaller umbrellas were trying to lend support, but most of the tables somehow avoided these attempts and instead sat in direct sunlight clearly rising in temperature as each new ray of sunlight hit. We were still ready to give it a go and, having just come off a morning hike, we were dressed for the heat and still lathered in sunscreen.
We could have opted for the downstairs deck if we were looking for shade, but the downside of that deck is that it overlooks the parking lot and we preferred having a bit of a higher view to enjoy the ocean. I think the Seagulls agreed with our choice as I spied a few at the top of the new Portland Science Center which shares the wharf with the Dry Dock. The seagulls were enjoying equally advantageous views of the water, and seemed less concerned with the heat than we did.
When reading through a seafood heavy menu, I am always drawn to the clam chowder and somehow even the heat could not deter me from my old standby. My husband opted for the fish sandwich. We also got a few cold, local beers to go with the food. I stuck to my favorite Allagash White, and my husband went for a blueberry infused option. The beer was the perfect refreshment in the pounding heat.
We relaxed and enjoyed the view while one random breeze taunted us until our food arrived. The people at a table next to us caved to the heat, and moved with their drinks to the air-conditioned inside dining area. But, we held fast and were ready when our food came out although I did order a few ice waters to help with our hydration.
I enjoyed my clam chowder. It had a hint of sherry, and even though it was on the thinner side, still had a rich, creamy flavor. It was full of clams and small pieces of unpeeled potatoes. It was quite tasty. My husband was also happy with his fish sandwich. Once we finished our lunch, we headed out. While it’s always fun to have ocean side views, it was a little too hot on this Saturday to linger.
Instead we made a bee line for Gelato Fiasco and a frozen treat to end our afternoon in Portland. It was the perfect way to wrap up our lunch. I’ve a seen a lot of mixed reviews on the Dry Dock, but our experience was extremely pleasant and I would recommend a visit. I know I’ll be back.
|things to know|
|Address||84 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101|
|Favorite ♥||Outside Dining|