Last night my husband and I joined out MeetUp group for dinner at Grace, a new restaurant in Portland. This restaurant is located in the former Methodist Church on Chestnut Street.

There has been some press on the renovations of this restaurant, which has created a lot of buzz about it. Soon after it opened it was time to give it a try.

I had read a review by a local blogger about their experience before going. It wasn’t too terribly favorable, but wasn’t a horrible review either. They had also gone early in the opening so I was hopeful for a good experience.

We went early to grab a drink at the bar, which is the focal point of the restaurant. I ordered, what else, an apple martini. It certainly wasn’t the best I had had but I know that every bartender has their own style of making drinks such as these so I didn’t hold it against them.

I had checked out the menu online before going so I’d know what I was in for in terms of selections. I was really hoping for a couple specials that might be announced at the table but there were none. Unfortunately the when I had asked for a rice type substitution for the potato on some of the dishes I was told the chef does not like to make substitutions. Hmmm, that wasn’t a good sign for me. So I ordered the hanger steak anyway, with the potato, and passed the potato to my husband.

I won’t say we had a horrible experience. It was quite pleasant and all the dishes that came out looked very appetizing.

I’m sure we will go back again. My preference would be to go and have a drink at the bar with friends. If they change up the menu a bit I’d be inclined to go back for dinner again. However, with so many really outstanding restaurants in the Greater Portland area, this isn’t my favorite, save for the wonderful atmosphere.

The main bar as seen from upstairs:


The upstairs bar:


The kitchen from my upstairs view:


Some of our dinner crew:



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