Sunday, April 13, 2014

Maine Monday: Mocktails With A View

Top of the East was a Maine Monday feature back in February, but I've got a few new things about this hot spot to share with you which is why it's making a second appearance here on C&G. In the bleak mid-winter you can sip your cocktails while watching the sun set over the snow covered rooftops. But now the view at 5:00 is very different and you'll need to keep your sunglasses handy. And maybe even some sunscreen.

The most important piece of information you need to know about the Top of the East at the Westin Harborview Hotel is they are now open at 4:00. Which might seem a bit early for cocktails (obviously, I'm fine with it) but if you can get there before 5:00 you're almost guaranteed your choice of seats.

We were the first ones in last Saturday and I think the word hasn't gotten out yet (or nobody is as anxious for cocktail hour as we are) because the crowds didn't show up until 5:00. As we head into high tourist season (and high hotel occupancy rates) this is a good thing to know. Waiting and kids don't go together well, and even less so if it involves waiting for your beverages.

Also new on this visit to Top of the East was a special kid friendly (or designated driver friendly) cocktail list. Even though the little C&Gs usually don't branch out from their Shirley Temple or lemonade orders it was nice to have some new fizzy and festive options. I'm thinking next time I draw the short straw I'm going to order a blueberry mojito. Fresh blueberries, mint, lime, and some bubbles sound like a lovely combination, and I probably wouldn't even miss the alcohol.

After you've picked your prime viewing seats (the tall tables next to the window are always first to go) a bowl of snacks will be delivered to your table along with some carafes of water. Warn your little ones the popcorn is mixed in with wasabi peas and will not be the sweet treat they were expecting. Also unexpected is the cucumber water, it's delicious and refreshing but might take your thirsty kiddos by surprise.

Cocktails at the Top of the East are a must and it's nice to know you don't have to leave the kids at home. Be sure to follow it up with dinner either downstairs (we haven't tried it yet) or somewhere in the neighborhood (read my past review of nearby Grace). There's not much for young palates on the lounge menu, unless your young foodies like lobster rolls and smoked swordfish bellies. The little C&Gs are adventurous but I think that's where they'd draw the line.

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