There are restaurants nestled in Franschoek wine country that take your breath away. Places in the farthest reaches of Peru that are Valhalla amidst the ordinary. Restaurants along the Amalfi only accessible by boat that are pure heaven. And then there is Grace in Portland, Maine and it is every bit as transcendent.
Located in an old church, soaring ceilings, radiant stained glass, huge pipe organ and an amazingly beautiful open kitchen, this space is truly jaw dropping. But a restaurant must not stand on looks alone, and luckily Grace proves itself in the kitchen as well.
The service, from hostess to bartender to waitress is all gracious. Everyone takes the time to say hello, to make your acquaintance, to ensure you are enjoying yourself.
Could this be because The Monster is in from out of town? Perhaps. But given the number of wedding parties on this night, the number of special occasions as happy birthday rings out carrying as it will through the room that once held an altogether different type of hymn, it seems the locals love Grace equally.
There are duck quesadillas that are so delicious two orders are placed. Mussels, lobster, Brussels sprouts. All pretty well divine.
A few glasses of terrific wine. A couple sweet desserts. A glass of Sauternes to wash it all down.
It is a spirited atmosphere with food that does not disappoint. For this you may have high tariffs, you may have to wait for a table, but it is all worth it.
Why go? You’ve come to pray at the altar of food.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
15 Chestnut Street
Portland, ME 04101