23 December 2009

Restaurant Review: Grace

 Andrew and I went to Portland, Maine almost two months ago, and we stayed with our friends Greg and Emilia.  We had a great time hanging out with them, exploring the city, and of course, eating at some fantastic places.  The first night we were in town, I made Seafood Linguine for dinner.

On our second night, we ate dinner at one restaurant, then started to head home.  At the last minute, we decided to go to Grace for drinks and dessert.  We were all so happy that we went - Greg and Emilia had eaten dinner there before, and had raved about the atmosphere, so Andrew and I were looking forward to seeing it.  Previously the Chestnut Street Church, the building that houses Grace is on the National Register of Historic Places.

I loved all the little touches that tied in the building's history - the pulpit has been repurposed as the hostess station, an upstairs bar takes the place of the organ, and the altar has been removed to make way for an open-air kitchen.  This combination of church and state feels a little sacrilege, but in a most delicious way.

Emilia and I opted for drinks from the highly amusing bar menu.  I chose "Redemption" - a nutmeggy white sangria with seasonal fruits, and Emilia decided on the "Holier Than Thou", a champagne and orange juice concoction.  We convinced the guys to split desserts with us.  I chose the Brown Sugar Cake, which was served with poached pears, pear chutney, cardamom ice cream, and candied walnuts.  Emilia opted for the Peanut Butter Cup - a combination of chocolate mousse, chocolate macaroon, peanut brittle, and peanut ice cream.  Both were beautifully plated and tasted delicious, but everyone agreed that Emilia's choice beat mine!

The cocktails we had were superb, the service was friendly, and the desserts were divine.  The next time we're in Portland, Andrew and I would love to return to Grace to try more of their menu.

**The first image on this post is from Grace's Facebook site, the rest are personal photos.

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