Monday, November 25, 2013

Maine Monday: On the Hunt

It doesn't get any hotter on the cocktail scene in Portland right now than at the Portland Hunt + Alpine Club. It's been on our list since they opened in September and with their craft cocktails and Scandinavian nibbles, it really is the perfect C&G spot.

Somehow the stars haven't aligned for us (weekends away, babysitters busy, the usual) and we haven't been able to visit and start working our way through their leather-bound cocktail menu. Until last week, when we stopped in with our dear friend and talented graphic designer (as seen on C&G), the newly married Atlantan, Don.

Little C&G was tagging along with us for dinner, and we were in town with quite a bit of time before our dinner reservation. Fate delivered us a parking spot right in front of the Hunt + Alpine club, and Mr. C&G took that as a sign that we could no longer wait to give it a try. I sent the two grown-ups in to investigate the kid-friendly possibilities, and they came back with the waitress' blessing and Little C&G was heartily welcomed inside.

The interior looks like we brought it back from our trip through the Swiss Alps, the pale white room is warmed up with red accents and dark wood. All that's missing are some cows with giant bells around their necks. Pickles, brown breads, and cheese and charcuterie are the highlights of the small menu, and perfect accompaniments for the uniquely crafted cocktails.

The lights were dim and the music loud, and while Little C&G was the only kiddo in there we didn't feel uncomfortable having him with us. We grabbed seats at the long table in the center, and there are industrial chic metals stools along the windows that would make a fun perch for early afternoon cocktails. I'm sure it's much more of a scene after 6:00, and certainly on weekend nights, but at happy hour (4:00 to 6:00) on a random Wednesday it was nice and low key.

If you find yourself in town running errands this holiday season with kids in tow, or you're visiting our lovely city and you're in need of a refreshing cocktail break, don't be intimidated by the chic ski lodge vibe of Portland Hunt + Alpine Club. You'll get extra bonus points if your kiddos are wearing flannel, plaid, or a baseball cap. We found that true to Scandinavian form, børn (Danish for children) are welcome at the table.

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