Portsmouth is such a great hub for dining options, and my friends and I are constantly on the lookout for fun new places. A few weeks ago, we wanted to go out for a celebratory dinner and cocktail. Our initial plan didn’t work out, so we found ourselves scouring Yelp and dozens of websites looking for a place we could get into without a reservation. Enter: STREET. It’s definitely not in what I would consider “downtown” Portsmouth, in fact it’s basically in a strip mall. But don’t let that distract you; inside it is full of character and the food, service, and drinks are incredible.
My friend had the brilliant idea of calling ahead and getting us in the queue before we arrived. Note: they don’t take reservations! After a short wait (we took the bustling atmosphere to be a very good sign) we were seated by really friendly staff and were quick to order cocktails. Pictured above is the Sparkly Unicorn – how could I not order something with that name?! According to their menu it is: Calvados, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Rosé, Splash of Soda. A rare creature of delight seldom tasted.
I’d have to agree. It was delicious and sweet but also refreshing with the hint of lemon. Throughout the night we sampled each other’s drinks which consisted of liquors and flavors from all over the world and somehow they all exceeded expectations.
Our group was quite ravenous by the time we sat down at our table, so we basically ordered everything on the appetizer menu. We tried the Thai ribs, spicy fries, and fried cauliflower. We essentially inhaled the three platters of food which were truly finger-licking delicious. The Indian spiced and fried cauliflower with Tamarind glaze was probably my favorite, with a creamy garlic yogurt dipping sauce. The fried texture was perfectly crunchy and satisfying, and one of those “street foods” you can snack on all day or night. My taste buds were dancing in the street. (Sorry, had to.)
My main course was the bibimbap. One of my favorite things about their menu was that they offered phonetic pronunciations for each meal. This was super helpful since their dishes were from all over the place! Bibimbap (Korean for “mixed meal”) had a little bit of everything and was tied together with a delicious sweet and spicy sauce called Gochujang. I liked the soft yet slightly crunchy rice as the base which was really tasty and helped everything stick together, combined with the plethora of hot veggies and an egg on top. I added avocado for another realm of texture, and you can also add meats like beef or chicken. This is a massive skillet of food and I loved it.
Overall the food, atmosphere, visual chaos, and friendly people made our first experience at STREET very enjoyable. You can visit them at 801 Islington in Portsmouth, Monday through Saturday from 11:30 to 9:00 pm, and Sunday from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm (they serve brunch until 3).
Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in The Taste.