Rhum Food & Grog


4 Free Street, Portland, Maine

Summer seems like the best time for tiki. Cool tropical drinks and chilled oysters are just the thing to combat scorching temps and suffocating humidity. Rhum Food and Grog has got the menu to cool even the driest of parched throats. We would argue however, that as the temps cool down Rhum is going to prove invaluable to Portland’s restaurant scene.

Walking into Rhum is like being transported into a vibrant, tropical fantasy. The large bar has ample seating. There are bright colors and grass accents a plenty. There are tables for groups and cozy rounded booths for larger parties. Lighting is a bit dim, but that only adds to the island feel of entering a shady, cool place as a respite from the sun. They do have TV’s, but they are more tuned to Magnum P.I. than typical bar viewing.


Hours of Happiness,  as Rhum calls them, run Sunday – Thursday from 4-7pm. During those hours you can get $5 Sailor Jerry cocktails and $1 Rhum style oysters. Cocktails rotate, but on the day we were there they offered three different ones: the Cobra Lightning featuring white peach, chili and lime; the Anchor Wolf with blood orange, honey and basil; and the Hula Raptor with elderflower, pineapple and lime. They were frosty, potent, and amazingly delicious.


The drinks come served in an adorable Sailor Jerry can which keeps the drink nice and cold. The drinks are served with crushed ice and are sweet with a potent finish. They are what you wish all the frozen drinks at Funtown could be. They come garnished with appropriate fruit and a fun spangled straw. While a frozen drink may not be your first thought when the temps sink down, they will be a bright welcome antidote to the dreary grey days of January.


The day we visited also featured a few other snacks in addition to the $1 Rhum oysters. We availed ourselves of the mussels (which come chilled for the uninitiated) and the oysters. Both were delicious and countered the sweet drinks perfectly.


Our bill came in a Spam tin! A delight for fans of Python and potted meats alike. Little touches like this are great.


While Rhum has a great patio don’t relegate it to summer time only. The patio may close for the winter, but the party can be had year round. While it’s not the same as hopping a plane to the islands, spending happy hour at Rhum is much cheaper and certain to distract you from the chill winds outside. In any season, Rhum has something to offer.



59 Washington Avenue, Portland, Maine

When you think of an Italian-American restaurant a nautical theme doesn’t jump immediately to mind, however one trip to Roustabout will prove how they have captured the best of both worlds. They serve up well crafted Italian food while paying homage to it’s home in Portland and deep ties to the sea. It really makes for a fresh new take on a familiar format.


What drew us to Roustabout was their happy hour specials which they serve up from 4 to 6pm and 10 – midnight everyday! That’s a lot of happy hours! We love a place that serves up such happiness at such flexible hours. Drink specials are $5 all around and include wines, a rotating draft, seasonal cocktail, and a boilermaker (shot + beer). We ordered up a glass of Pinot Grigio and the specialty cocktail of the day. It was delicious but unfortunately we forgot to write down the name! We do know it had bourbon and a lemon peel garnish.

Roustabout also has you covered in the snacks department. You can order up things from marinated mushrooms to a panini. We decided to try the chips and dip ($4), which were house made paired with homemade clam dip, and the house ricotta with crostini and pepperonata ($5). These were great pairings to our drinks and very satisfying. They would make great appetizers to dinner or awesome after-work snacks.

The great thing about Roustabout is it’s bright open feel. The front is lined with large windows which are great, but can be a little glaring in the sunset in certain seasons. That passes quickly however and you are left to sip your cocktails in a place suffused with light. The bar area is large and comfortable so you never feel squashed in against your neighbors or right on top of the bartender. We loved the little touches, like the comment cards at the end of the night. Best of all, after 5pm they have parking in the lot at 75 Washington Ave!