More than 25 years ago, chef Sam Hayward was on the vanguard of a simple and revolutionary concept in fine dining: use local and organic ingredients as much as possible and avoid fussy presentations. Fore Street has since become one of northern New England’s most celebrated restaurants, an acquirer of James Beard awards, a stalwart of magazine best listicles, and so forth. The dining space centers around a busy open kitchen where a team of chefs constantly stoke the wood-fired brick oven and grill, which feature prominently in the culinary philosophy here. The menu changes nightly, but entrees might run to spit-roasted pork loin, grilled duckling, grilled marinated hanger steak, or a piece of pan-seared bluefish; the wood-roasted mussels are also a big hit. Finish with a dessert such as chocolate soufflé, hand-dipped chocolates, or gelati—these are often accented in summer by seasonal Maine berries or fruits. Though it can be difficult to snag a reservation here on summer weekends, management always sets aside a few tables each night for walk-ins. Get there early and grab one.