Walter’s was previously located on Exchange Street in Portland. When the opportunity arose to move the restaurant to 2 Portland Square, owners Jeff and Cheryl Buerhaus took the leap and opened their fresh space on Dec. 29.

Cheryl handles the general manager tasks while Jeff uses his years of experience as a chef in the kitchen. In addition to a full lunch and dinner menu, Walter’s also has a bar menu with lighter fare. Want a little snack to pair with your wine? Try the Nuts Olives Pickles ($4) or the Wine Companion with copa, figs, toasted focaccia, camembert, pistachios and honey for $11. We sampled the Thai chicken lettuce wraps for $7, and they proved to be quite tasty.

Walter’s offers unique pairings and changes the menu seasonally, but you can check out the current selections at waltersportland.com/menus_bar.php.

The new atmosphere and design have kept the old regulars coming back and enticed new folks to join the party. Bar manager Steve Lovenguth said the old bar area had four seats, while the new one boasts 14 and is frequently filled to standing room-only capacity. With 12 seats in the lounge and a full dining area, there is plenty of room to relax and enjoy a cocktail and a tasty meal.

The wall entering the lounge is lined with wine bottles and you can ask your server for a perfect pairing by the bottle or glass. Try Joseph Drouhin chardonnay ($8/32), Callia Alta pinot grigio ($6/24) or Klassen merlot ($9/34.) Walter’s has one of the largest wine selections I have seen in Portland and offers the complete list on its Web site.

Walter’s features an expansive and ingenious drink menu, created by Lovenguth, who entered some of his concoctions in this week’s Maine Bartenders Bash. Try the Union of Four, with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, Hypnotiq, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, X-Rated Fusion liqueur and passion fruit juice for $10. The Bluebell is a combination of Copolla Sofia sparkling wine, Bar Harbor blueberry syrup and blueberries ($8). There’s also the Nutty Scotsman with Dewars, Frangelico and crushed hazelnuts ($9), or sample the Cosmic Dance, Walter’s version of a Cosmo, made with Absolut Raspberri vodka, 3 Olives citrus, Cointreau and cranberry juice for $9.

Our server was attentive, but hardly overbearing, and helped us narrow down the drink choices while we relaxed in our cushy chairs. We tried several and approved of them all.

The bar menu was satisfying and I was quite happy with my Walter’s experience. I’m sure you will be too.

 

Amber Olesen is a freelance writer who lives in Westbrook.