Portland welcomed a new French patisserie this June, filling a void of authentic French pastries, crepes and savories in the city. Owners Steve and Michelle Corry – also of 555 and Petite Jacqueline – have created Portland Patisserie and Grand Café, an elegant and tasty shop that feels more like Paris than Maine. And in true French fashion, there’s wine and beer available all day.
The cafe is perched at the corner of Market and Milk streets, a few steps above street level. The regal café boasts elegant crystal chandeliers, gold chrome chairs, and plush velvet seating fit for a queen. There’s a retired fireplace, a small section of counter seats, and mostly two- and four-top tables. L-shaped, Portland Patisserie is almost all floor-to-ceiling windows, so the space is bright and open, and a great post for people watching.
For an after-work glass of wine and a bite, Patisserie offers a great happy hour seven days a week from 4 to 8 p.m. With the purchase of either a cheese or charcuterie plate (or a combo cheese and charcuterie), all bottles and glasses of wine are half off (three whites, one rose, one red). A cheese plate with two cheeses is $8, add a cured meat or two, and you’re looking at $10 to $13. However, the servings are generous and the boards include two large heaps of raspberry and apricot jams, cornichons and a spoonful of Dijon mustard (with charcuterie). There’s no special on beer (yet), but beers include Funky Bow IPA, Shipyard and Allagash.
Here’s the rub: Most people don’t know about the daily happy hour, or even that Patisserie serves alcohol (despite the bottles of wine prominently displayed in front of the register), so the 4 to 8 p.m. stretch is rather sleepy. Expect to find late-afternoon espresso drinkers, perhaps a few two-tops enjoying a glass of wine, and some folks working on laptops. But let’s hope the happy hour picks up this fall. In the sea of Old Port bars and pubs, Patisserie offers a sophisticated, European alternative and a great discount on wine to boot. And if you’re hungrier for more than a cheese board, sandwiches, crepes, salads and soups, are served all day.
General manager Liz Keith says that they’re working on creating ways to get more people in for happy hour by creating new specials and promoting the fact that the café is open late.
Check Patisserie’s Facebook for updates, information, and of course, beautiful photos of decadent French desserts.
46 Market St., Portland | 207-553-2555 | portlandpatisserie.com
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
AMENITIES: Excellent people-watching windows, great natural light, comfortable lounge seating available, full menu available all day (except for breakfast sandwiches)
BOTTOM LINE: Portland Patisserie is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine this winter with their 4 to 8 p.m. happy hour that features half off any bottle or glass of wine when you order a cheese or charcuterie plate. Expect a tranquil crowd, smaller groups or folks enjoying a glass of wine solo.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes