Sunday, March 9, 2014
By EMMA BOUTHILLETTE
Seasons Grille and Bar may be overlooked as just a bar attached to a hotel, but it really has a lot to offer.
Bartender Laura Lunn serves a beer to Brian Batchelder as Mike Verville, left, and Peter Hoglund enjoy the fun and friendly service at Seasons Grille & Bar.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
Lunn pours a martini.
SEASONS GRILLE & BAR
WHERE: Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, 155 Riverside St., Portland
HOURS: 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, with brunch on Sunday
PARKING: Parking lot
SCENE: A quiet, casual bar for relaxing
GUILTY PLEASURE: Try a Pick Me Up Off the Floor -- there's a reason they place a two-drink limit on it.
Like on a recent Wednesday, when my friend and I could have shared any bottle of wine for just $15. How many places can you do that?
But it was a Wednesday and we weren't in the "bottle of wine" kind of mood, so the bartender pointed us to the specialty drink menu.
A list of six drinks was written on a large chalkboard, offering a variety of cocktails between $6 and $9. A Pick Me Up Off the Floor -- a mix of vodka, rum, gin, tequila and Monster energy drink -- was one of her suggestions.
She described it as a Long Island Iced Tea, but with the boost of the energy drink mixed in. It was a tempting suggestion, but I was sure someone would have to pick me up off the floor if I drank it.
Instead, I ordered a Naughty Mocha. Served in a martini glass, the combination of espresso, Pinnacle whipped vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur and cream was sure to fulfill my never-ending craving for chocolate.
This particular martini was $9. Some may consider that steep for one drink, but I thought it was well worth it, and it was so rich, I don't think I could have had more than one anyway.
Tucked behind the Howard Johnson just off the turnpike, Seasons Grille is a great place for people staying in the hotel. There were only a few people in the bar as my friend and I sipped our drinks. Some enjoyed a table by the small fireplace, while one man sat at the other end of the bar.
But with something scheduled Monday through Saturday nights, it's not just for hotel guests.
In addition to the "Wine Not Wednesday," there's "Margarita Monday" and 20 percent off dinner on Tuesdays with your business card.
Then there's potential for a good party with trivia at 7 p.m. on Thursdays, live music every Friday, and karaoke at 8:30 p.m. Saturdays.
For the traveler or local on a budget, there's also happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, offering half-price wings and flatbread as well as $2.25 Bud Light or the draft of the day. On that particular day, the special was Harpoon IPA.
I'm someone who appreciates a good cocktail with brunch, and Seasons Grille also accommodates that. On Sundays, they serve up eggs and bacon with a twist that's more than just your classic mimosa or Bloody Mary.
There's Hair of the Chihuahua, a tequila drink with orange juice and a few splashes of Tabasco sauce, and a Pick Me Up, a refreshing gin cocktail with mint syrup and club soda.
I'll have to go back some Sunday and try one of those as well.
Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.