When it comes to seating options, The Thurston Co. has something for everyone.

The Thurston Co. sign came from a family boatyard. Photos by Angie Bryan

Located on Main Street in Blue Hill, the patio seating offers front-row people-watching (with umbrellas for shade). Head inside to the bar for excellent air conditioning and a serene décor with sage green walls and a gorgeous wooden bar. The comfortable wooden barstools have backs but are a little high for the height of the bar (which sadly has no purse hooks underneath). As a result, the bar hit our thighs when we tried to scoot closer. For a third option, head downstairs to the dining area, where several of the tables have stunning water views.

My drinking companion and I would have been happy with any of those three locations; ultimately, we chose to sit at the bar.

The Thurston Co., which husband-wife team Matt Thurston and Kate Wentworth opened in summer 2018, has a full bar, but the specialty cocktail menu consists of only four drinks, for $8-$12. My friend ordered the $12 rhubarb margarita; I chose the $8 pineapple cooler (sauvignon blanc, pineapple juice, Cointreau and soda water). Both were highly drinkable, but the pineapple cooler in particular was the kind of light summer beverage you could easily accidentally drink an entire pitcher of. (We did not. I swear.) It had just the right amount of Cointreau in it, smoothing out the pineapple flavor without overpowering it.

Specialty cocktails at The Thurston Co. go down easy.

The rhubarb margarita was tart but not sour and also light and refreshing. It marked the first time I’ve ever consumed something rhubarb-flavored without thinking that it would taste better with strawberries. It was perfect as is, and this Texpat was delighted to discover a brand-new margarita flavor.

Also on the drinks menu? Six red wines by the glass ($8-$11), four white wines by the glass ($8-$10) and four roses or sparkling wines by the glass ($7-$8). The beer list is a full page and includes descriptions of most of the beers, a nice touch for people not familiar with the local options.

We didn’t eat anything during our visit, but we ran into a friend there who was having the $10 halibut ceviche tostada appetizer, which he said he ordered frequently because it was so good. The word on the street is that the $19 fried chicken (served with buttermilk biscuits, country gravy and coleslaw) is particularly delicious. Appetizers range from $6 for the house fries to $15 for half a dozen oysters; main courses range from $16 for the burger to $29 for the seared halibut. The food was pricier than we had expected, so it wouldn’t be a go-to restaurant for us if we lived there, but we’d definitely go back for a drink, and it would be a terrific spot for a special occasion dinner.

An interesting side note: Yes, the restaurant is named after co-owner Matt Thurston, but the hand-crafted wooden sign outside came from a boat building company that co-owner Kate Wentworth’s grandfather, Paul Wentworth, owned in Orland. As a result, the name holds meaning to both members of the couple, who wed only a few weeks after their grand opening. Any couple who opens a restaurant while simultaneously planning a wedding – and emerges still speaking to each other – is clearly on to something special.

Angie Bryan is a former diplomat who is enjoying getting acquainted with her new home in Portland, one cocktail at a time.


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