Last weekend DH and I were looking for a casual, cozy restaurant in Portland that we could have a nice meal at for under $75, and we decided to try the Blue Spoon on Munjoy Hill- with great results.
We started with spiced beets, which were served room temp topped with fresh mild feta and spiced with cumin and something else- very tasty and surprising! And the tomato fennel soup on special, which was great- smooth and mild, and a large portion.
We ordered two salads- one house, with green apples, goat cheese, mesclun, which I loved but DH was ambivalent about. Our second salad came out wrong, but the server was very gracious and apologetic, and we decided we really didn't need it anyway.
We got two half entrees (I love having that option)- one with an eggplant croquette (surprisingly large, very good, and not slimy or bitter, which eggplant can be sometimes), served on kale and black-eyed peas, topped with pickled red onions. The second was baked pasta with kale, sage, parm, and acorn squash with a breadcrumb topping. We split everything, and had plenty of food, even without the second salad.
The overall effect was as comforting as the diner you grew up with, but much more sophisticated and unexpected- everything, including the service, was great, and definitely worth a second visit. We had one beer and one glass of wine, and the total bill was $50- shockingly affordable!