Portland Blue Spoon- Great!
Last weekend DH and I were looking for a casual, cozy restaurant in Portland that we could have a nice meal at for under $75, and we decided to try the Blue Spoon on Munjoy Hill- with great results.
We started with spiced beets, which were served room temp topped with fresh mild feta and spiced with cumin and something else- very tasty and surprising! And the tomato fennel soup on special, which was great- smooth and mild, and a large portion.
We ordered two salads- one house, with green apples, goat cheese, mesclun, which I loved but DH was ambivalent about. Our second salad came out wrong, but the server was very gracious and apologetic, and we decided we really didn't need it anyway.
We got two half entrees (I love having that option)- one with an eggplant croquette (surprisingly large, very good, and not slimy or bitter, which eggplant can be sometimes), served on kale and black-eyed peas, topped with pickled red onions. The second was baked pasta with kale, sage, parm, and acorn squash with a breadcrumb topping. We split everything, and had plenty of food, even without the second salad.
The overall effect was as comforting as the diner you grew up with, but much more sophisticated and unexpected- everything, including the service, was great, and definitely worth a second visit. We had one beer and one glass of wine, and the total bill was $50- shockingly affordable!
Another vote for Blue Spoon! Here's an excerpt from a round-up of our recent Portland trip:
Dinner in Portland at Blue Spoon. Our original choice was the Front Room, but it was too noisy for conversation and the wait just a bit too long so we moved on to check Bar Lola's menu (everything sounded tasty to me, but one of us isn't into tapas). We settled on Blue Spoon. What a happy accident! Lovely, small, intimate room. Lovely service to match. Nothing ground-shaking here, but preparations were perfect. Had a crisp viognier for me and a cab-shiraz for DC. Bread basket had wonderfully crusty bread served with a high quality dish of olive oil. We started with the Maine shrimp cakes - wow! No filler, all shrimp served with aioli. I will be on look-out for Maine shrimp on Boston menus/in Whole Foods. I had the salmon, skin on (crispy and the flesh was cooked to perfection), served on top of haricot vert and a white wine sauce. My companions both had the mussels and chorizo stew. While my salmon was delicious, they out-ordered me. Filled with mussels and more of that Maine shrimp. The server knew to bring out more bread to sop up the broth. We were stuffed and content. I had a glass of their delightful French rose. The bill came to a very reasonable $100.