On Tuesday evening, Meredith and I had the chance to do something we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time – visit Portland Hunt & Alpine Club. Tuesday night was just the soft opening leading up to Thursday’s grand opening, but after months of getting excited from Hush Hush preview events and watching construction and planning updates on their facebook and Instagram feeds, we could barely contain our excitement for what is hands-down one of Portland’s absolute best bars and sure to be a regular hang-out spot for the two of us.
Owners Andrew and Briana Volk have done an outstanding job designing their new space on Market Street. A clean, modern interior with dark wood accents, Eames and Tolix furnishings, floor to ceiling windows, and of course, a large metal-topped bar make for the kind of place that I could easily imagine spending an afternoon, evening, or multi-night stint. Details like the stamped leather drink menus, the map-printed house menus and coasters, and the lighted, mounted antlers in The Lodge are just added eye candy, and we haven’t even discussed the mouth-watering cocktails yet.
Oh, those cocktails. I’ve already spent a fair amount of time on this blog writing about how Andrew can absolutely kill it when it comes to creative, beautiful, and delicious libations, but when I say that he’s outdone himself with the menu at Hunt & Alpine, I mean it. With pretty much something for anyone, I won’t try to dictate what you order, but from the soft opening, I can personally vouch for the Old Fashioned-esque Toronto, and my favorite from the evening, the Chilton County, with bourbon, lemon, peach butter, and egg white. Meredith was a huge fan of her White Noise, made with St. Germain, Cocchi Americano, and grapefruit zest, and has barely stopped talking about it. As we watched our friends at the opening sample their own drinks, the response was pretty much a unanimous “wow” from everyone in the room. If you’re having a hard time deciding, I wholly recommend taking it to the maestro himself with a few parameters and letting Andrew make an excellent recommendation.
I’m getting a little long-winded and could probably rave about the cocktails, chef Ricky Penatzer’s small plates (like the open-faced sandwiches, “The Hunter” charcuterie plate, “The Skier” cheese selection, or the savory popcorn), the atmosphere, or how we’ve already made plans with half a dozen friends to meet here over the next couple of weeks, for another few paragraphs, but I won’t. Simply try Portland Hunt & Alpine for yourself, you definitely won’t regret the choice.
Portland, Maine 04101