38 Wharf Street, Portland, Maine
The Bar of Chocolate is a unique place located on Wharf Street in the Old Port area of Portland, Maine where it has been in operation for over 10 years. It’s a cozy spot that specializes in cocktails and desserts. Yes, you can get an amazing specialty cocktail and pair it with an equally amazing dessert made right on the premises. Perfection! But, sometimes specialty cocktails and desserts can hit us right in the wallet.
Luckily, Bar of Chocolate also has a happy hour. From 4-7pm Monday through Friday you can enjoy $7 martinis, $9 absinthe, $4 house wine, and $4 well cocktails. These are excellent deals on very tasty drinks and really provide something for all except those who only drink beer. Sorry beer drinkers, if you’re looking for a special you’d do best to head down the street. However we highly recommend getting outside your comfort zone and having one of the amazing martinis that bartender and owner Sarah whips up. They are glasses of cocktail heaven, you won’t be sorry.
We showed up at Bar of Chocolate around 4:30 on a Friday evening. It was very quiet but we were soon joined by more patrons as the evening wore on. We decided to sample some of the martini offerings. It’s not often that I can resist a good espresso martini and the one at Bar of Chocolate stands out among some of the best. It’s not overly creamy but smooth and delicious all the same. Each specialty drink at Bar of Chocolate gets shaken with it’s own glass so the chance of contamination of flavors from other drinks is very low. It’s a great attention to detail that we really enjoy.
We also decided to split a piece of chocolate cake with caramel sea salt frosting, and boy are we so glad we did! The desserts are all made by Sarah and are top notch. The chocolate paired perfectly with the coffee in my cocktail without being too heavy or overwhelming.
Prefer caffeine over alcohol or are the designated driver? Bar of Chocolate also has espresso made on their top of the line (and brand new when we were there) espresso machine.
The atmosphere at Bar of Chocolate is cozy and friendly. It’s a great place to meet a friend after work or to go on a date. It’s not a large place but features seating at the bar or smaller tables including some with very comfortable chairs. It’s adorned with a mix of artwork, lights, and a collection of absinthe spoons on the wall. In fact, you might just forget you’re on Wharf Street, which can be perceived as a bit of a rowdy street. Don’t let that deter you. Wharf Street still showcases some of the best of historic Portland with the cobbled streets and brick buildings filled with retail shops, fine eateries, down home establishments, and bars and Bar of Chocolate is truly a jewel among the cobblestones. The only hints of the current reputation of the street are the country music that wafts in when the doors open. This is because of the new country bar located down the street, Bonfire, playing music through outside speakers. Since our visit those speakers have been removed. (source: http://thebollard.com/2015/03/03/the-wild-end-of-wharf-street/) Later at night you might hear the strains of live music from nearby venues as well, but during happy hour Wharf street is fairly quiet.
Go check out Bar of Chocolate and let Sarah and staff show you just why they’ve lasted for a decade in a town where bars and restaurants are always coming and going. With friendly service, delicious drinks, and heavenly desserts we don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.