A chilly yet beautiful Sunday morning run brought us to Union Restaurant located in the Press Hotel site. Last month we popped in to scout a future Breakfast Run destination. I was convinced to put Union on our list due to the welcoming invitation from the host. I don’t remember his name, but he is definitely a veteran of the hospitality industry and he makes a great first impression. Fortunately, the same host was working yesterday and he quickly delivered us to one of the few open tables with his same friendly manner.
I really like the decor and atmosphere. It has a a very modern feel to it. I felt more like we were dining in downtown Montreal rather than Portland. The hotel lobby outside the restaurant is really cool too with some cool features left over from when the building housed the Portland Press Herald.
I decided to skip coffee this time around (blamed it for not feeling my best on recent run homes from breakfast), but they use Coffee By Design. No big thing for me as any DD type roast works for my occasional coffee indulging, but I like that Union makes use of many local vendors and locally produced ingredients. Katie had a fresh squeezed mimosa and I went with a Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary was good, but I found the smoky spice a little too overpowering.
The menu is simple yet sophisticated. There were limited offerings, but I quickly found the “Simple Beginnings” which has been my perfect run breakfast. We’ll have to wait for Katie’s technical expertise for images, but our plates came out as works of art. Surrounding the hard-boiled farm raised egg was a medley of color that included cheddar cheese, salumi (not a typo; actually just a fancy word for ham), assorted berries, fig jam, and fennel mustard. A small (freshly baked, but not in the same league as Portland Patisserie or Standard Baking) croissant was included, but I felt the need for more bread. The thick piece of buttered toast was a nice treat. I loved the combination of flavors with the jam, ham and fennel mustard creating a unique flavor experience. The egg was tasty too with a healthy yolk definitely of the farm raised variety rather than some huge egg factory. Had we driven over and if I had limited my celebratory libations from last night (Let’s Go Mets!!) I would have definitely cleaned my plate looking for more.
Price was on the high side for breakfast, but well worth it. Service was a little slow, but I did feel like a valued customer the entire time. We will definitely make a return trek here for a special occasion!