February 28, 2013

Bar Guide: A good brunch spot comes along in a Blue Spoon

The bar is a hot spot, and tiny for the crowd it draws.

By EMMA BOUTHILLETTE

I really love going out to breakfast. I also love going to bars. So when I get the chance to go to a bar for breakfast, I grab it.

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Bartender Jenny Williamson pours a glass of Alias Cabernet during “Wine Time,” from 4:30 to 6 p.m., when wine specials are featured at Blue Spoon in Portland.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

BLUE SPOON

WHERE: 89 Congress St., Portland

PHONE: 773-1116

WEBSITE: bluespoonme.com

HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

PARKING: On street

SCENE: A cozy restaurant and bar with a flair for different drinks.

My friend Melissa and I headed to Blue Spoon on Munjoy Hill for brunch on a recent Saturday. It was the perfect opportunity to enjoy some good food with good drinks while catching up.

We were able to score parking right in front of the small restaurant and bar, plus the last seats available right around noontime. Blue Spoon is a hot spot, and tiny for the crowd it draws. There were only five bar stools and a handful of tables.

We tucked ourselves into a high-top table barely big enough for two in the corner of the bar and watched many customers come in, realize the wait and leave.

Thus seated, we started by perusing the drink menu. Blue Spoon has an array of liquor to make your usual drink of choice, but I recommend being adventurous and picking one of the restaurant's signature cocktails.

There's a list of classics featuring the likes of "Remember the Maine," a mix of rye, sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering and Absinthe, and "Between the Sheets," made with rum, cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice.

Blue Spoon bartenders get even more creative with the list of contemporary cocktails, including "Ticker Tape," a bourbon cocktail with Campari, lemon juice, Fernet Branca and Grand Marnier, and "Sunroom," made with vodka, lemon juice, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and soda.

We both had heard about Blue Spoon serving some delicious blood orange mimosas, but our waitress reported that those were no longer available. Unable to decide if I wanted to try one of the signature cocktails, I went for the old mimosa standby.

Melissa ultimately made the better pick by choosing hot cocoa with bourbon. It's not that I didn't like my mimosa. The drink just wasn't that impressive, and despite the large size of the wine glass in which it was served, I thought it was under-poured.

In addition to its full offering of beer and cocktails, Blue Spoon has a full-page wine list. The bar loves its wine, considering that it offers "Wine Time" from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During that time, the bar features a daily wine special and a small bites menu, perfect for an apres-work outing.

If you have the chance and get there at the right time, I would highly suggest trying this bar for brunch. The steak and eggs plate I ordered was absolutely delicious, as was Melissa's eggs benedict.

If Blue Spoon is busy whenever you're able to drop in, be patient. It's worth the wait.

Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.

 

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