Portland State University students finally have a viable cocktail bar in the form of Vietnamese restaurant Anchoi. The sleek, modern eatery features Vietnamese staples like pho and bánh mì, as well as an array of tropical-themed cocktails designed by Blair Reynolds of the venerable Hale Pele. It’ll soon get a menu revamp, though some drinks will stick around — thankfully, the Indonesian Arrack-spiked daiquiri, a standout on the menu, isn’t going anywhere.
What was once Vault Martini Bar is now Vault Cocktail Lounge after the space was taken over by the team from the Vintage Cocktail Lounge in Montavilla. Gone is the sprawling list of “martini” variations, replaced with a menu resembling the Vintage’s, full of classic cocktails and modern creations; still, the staff is more than happy to try and replicate anything missed from the old menu. The space itself is easily recognizable from before, though with some changes, like a gorgeous backbar set with elaborate metal tiles.
Ex-Renata chef Matt Sigler’s downtown Italian restaurant, Il Solito, pairs hearty Italian comfort food with what’s essentially a Portland-Italian cocktail menu. Bar manager Bryan Galligos has designed each drink with at least one ingredient straight from the Bel Paese. The renovated restaurant space is as eclectically sourced as the drink menu, with black-and-white murals on one wall, framed photos on another, tiles, and more, which somehow manages to make a cohesive space.
Formerly a colorful little cafe, Sweet Nothing kept the leafy wallpaper and leaned into it hard, landing on a Floridian theme with bright colors, live plants, Cuban food, and playful drinks. The cocktails are rooted in the unorthodox fashion of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but even using ingredients like Midori and Hpnotiq, cocktails are well-balanced and not overly sweet. The space is snug, with seats for only 14 or so, but its position just off of the main Mississippi strip means it’s usually not overcrowded.
Portland isn’t exactly known as a “clubbing” city, and the clubs we do have aren’t really cocktail destinations, either. Enter No Vacancy, which fills that vacancy by offering moderately priced, well-made drinks (including a stunning daiquiri made with three rums and allspice dram). It’s all served in an art deco/futurist space, with DJs on the weekends and live jazz and swing during the week.
Kachka has vacated the space on Grand for a larger, full service location, leaving little Kachinka in its stead. The space doesn’t look any different, with its narrow hallway seating, Eastern European wallpaper, and rustic wooden tables, but the more casual cocktail-and-snacks vibe fits it well. Grab a Moscow mule and a Russian dog, infused vodka and pelmeni, or any of the other amazing Russian fare here.
Keys Lounge feels a lot like your coolest friend’s basement bar in the 1970s. A spacious room lined with vintage records and vinyl booths, the retro bar boasts a nice patio perfect for warm-ish summer nights. The menu includes a fun tiki selection as well as a “boozy” section of high-proof cocktails, with prices hovering around the $9 mark; stop in for happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from 11 to close for $5 daiquiris and champagne cocktails.
Canard is the third venture from legendary Portland chef and restaurateur Gabriel Rucker and his wine director, Andy Fortgang, next door to their flagship restaurant restaurant Le Pigeon. Stepping into it is like walking into a cafe of the Belle Époque, with a small wrapped marble bartop and an array of high tables, but the food and drinks are anything but old-fashioned. Fortgang has brought in a killer wine list, helpfully detailed with anecdotes about the wines and their makers, while classic cocktails with a modern touch dominate the drink menu. Try the Foie Turn, a cocktail with foie gras washed bourbon, along with the transcendent foie gras dumplings for a truly indulgent experience.
959 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97214
Owned and operated by Portland bartending icon Ricky Gomez (Teardrop Lounge), Palomar serves a variety of daiquiris, some blended, others not, as well as drinks like an amazing piña colada and a stellar old-fashioned with rum and coconut; plus, each drink can get an absinthe upgrade for just 25 cents. Palomar also continues Portland’s current, welcome trend of vivid, colorful bars (see: Capitol) rather than dark, industrial spots.
Inspired by the Memphis Group, an Italian design style rooted in modernist aesthetics and strong geometric shapes, Enoteca Nostrana is a bold, stylish space, a two-story bar filled with a massive, double-decker, illuminated wine cabinet. The bar offers a more casual version of Nostrana’s menu, with some basic pasta options, salads, and the like, plus bar snacks that pair well with both wine and cocktails — try the seared albacore tuna tataki with a white or rosé wine for a delectable treat.
The most recent in the wave of high-end wine bar openings, OK Omens replaced Cafe Castagna with an upgraded space: Brighter, lighter, and less cavernous, a banquette now takes up the center of the room, offering a more comfortable and casual arena for wines by the glass and bites by James-Beard-nomJustin Woodward. The cocktails here fit the wine theme with vermouth and sherry based drinks, but the real star is the ridiculously affordable and geeky-yet-accessible wines by the glass and bottle.
Filling the space that was once home to Wild Abandon, Blackheart harkens back to the punk rock days of SE Portland, serving breakfast all evening in a laid-back space. A collection of vintage lamps give a soft light to the room full of leather booths, high-backed stools, and clunky mirrors, while tattooed bartenders sling cocktails and cheap drink specials like Jack Daniels and tallboy combos. Eventually it’ll add some karaoke, but for now come in for the affordable drinks, eclectic artwork, and ‘80s New Wave playing on the speakers.
15. The Cavern
4601 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215
Joining the historic upper Hawthorne district is Cavern, slipping in like it’s been there for a decade. A cross between an old-school Portland dive and a cocktail lounge, the bar is appropriately named, a dark and cozy watering hole with a focus on whiskey and other dark spirits. Bar stools and a few booths are the only seats available, so don’t bring a huge party.
Anthony Falco, the chef whose wood-fired pizzas helped put the Brooklyn restaurant Roberta’s — and its Bushwick neighborhood — on the map, was visiting Portland Wednesday, his second trip west in two weeks, this time to make pizza for the Feast Portland food and drink festival kick-off party at The Overlook House in North Portland.
Pulling out rounds of dough before a row of super-hot Easy Bake-sized Breville ovens, Falco explained that his pet theory was built in part behind visits to three of Portland’s best pizzerias: the classic East Coast-style Apizza Scholls, the seasonally-driven Lovely’s Fifty Fifty and the nerdy-fun slice shop Scottie’s. (For the record, those are, respectively, two of Portland’s very best restaurants and the city’s No. 2 slice shop.)
“It’s about the flour,” Falco said, “and the produce.” In Portland, pizzerias such as Scottie’s or Handsome make naturally leavened doughs using high-quality milled grains from the Pacific Northwest. (Contrast that with the bleached and bromated flours used at many Manhattan pie shops.) Others, most notably North Mississippi’s Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, are essential farm-to-table restaurants in their own right, places where the market-fresh produce, foraged mushrooms and pungent cheeses happen to be found on a pizza.
For the record, that International Pizza Consultant title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, though Falco does indeed travel the globe, sourdough starter stowed in his suitcase, helping restaurants set up their pizza programs. And his guanciale, wild mushroom and liquified triple cream cheese pizza was one of the best bites of the misty night, joining the caviar-topped Cool Ranch Doritos from Kachka and the salt-and-pepper fried everything from San Francisco’s Mister Jiu’s. Who better to make the call on Portland’s national pizza ranking?
Renowned ice cream shop Salt & Straw recently launched its 6th Annual Chocolatier Series. The team pairs with famous chocolate makes to bring new and exciting flavors to your bowl. Scoops, pints and flights will be available in scoop shops starting February 2, and gift packs of the flavors will be available for nationwide shipping through www.saltandstraw.com.
PoMo also teases the menu for Agnes, which leans heavily into “old-school French comfort food”, in Denton’s words. Items like cassoulet, steak-frites, tartare, and profiteroles scream French classicism, although it’s not all oh-là-là-tellement-français — there looks to be some hybrid items, such as a cheeseburger, albeit one with truffled Bordelaise sauce.
Bistro Agnes will start out as a dinner-only establishment, open seven nights, with lunch slated to be added after opening.
What: Returning for its 13th year, Acadia’s Creole “réveillon” replicates the 18thcentury late night/early morning feast. Four courses, black roux gumbo to smoked bourbon-braised pork cheeks, will be served until the stroke of midnight. When: 5 p.m.–midnight Saturday, December 31 How Much: $70, reservations suggested
What: Mini restaurant empire-builder Joshua McFadden will serve his regular menu at both restaurants “with a few surprise holiday additions.” Live musicians will shuttle back and forth between the two Southeast spots throughout the night. On New Year’s day, head over to Ava Gene’s for their first-ever brunch, with carbonara, shrimp and grits, and panettone French toast. When: 5–11 p.m. Saturday, December 31 at both restaurants How Much: A la carte, reservations suggested
What: You can get a taste of Katy Millard’s classic, seven-course holiday/New Year’s Eve menu (oysters, sparkling cocktails, Bûche de Noël, etc.) for two nights in a row. When: Friday–Saturday, December 30–31 How Much: $115 (plus $75 for wine pairings from master wine man, Ksandek Podbielski), reservations required
What: New Year’s Eve calls for a “Super Premium Zakuski Experience,” with past favorites like scallop stroganina, Burgundy truffle-shaved dumplings, and caviar. According to folklore, chef-owner Bonnie Morales’s father makes an annual guest appearance dressed as Father Frost and hands out gifts to diners. Vodka. Champagne. Repeat. When: 4–11 p.m. Saturday, December 31 How Much: A la carte. Reservations suggested, but bar and lounge open for walk-ins.
What: This is a seriously late night NYE bash (for Portland, at least). There will be a three-course Franco-Belgian feast, a vintage movie screening, and an after party with Möet Hennessy—until 2 a.m.! When: 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Saturday, December 31 How Much: $50
What: Both salami-centric spots tackle seven courses of New Year’s wonder. Steelhead belly crudo with smoked roe and preserved lime cream? Venison leg with pumpkin mash and sour cherry jus? We’re in. When: 5–10 p.m. Saturday, December 31 How Much: $75, $110 with wine pairing
What: The Argentine grill goes full-bore steakhouse for the holiday, with oysters, steak tartare, Dungeness crab louie, ribeye, spinach salad, and bittersweet chocolate cake. Should you still be working your way through that chocolate cake at midnight, expect free champagne. When: 5 p.m.–midnight Saturday, December 31 How Much: $90, $130 with wine pairings. Reservations for parties of all sizes.
What: Four words: Free. Midnight. Chocolate. Buffet. Yes, there are 400+ sparkling wines on Pix’s champagne and wine list. But when the ball drops, it’s all the chocolate mousse, cake, meringue, ice cream, truffles, and beer (also chocolate!) you can eat. When: 2 p.m.–midnight Saturday, December 31
What: The hallowed German foodie fun-park throws a farewell New Year’s celebration (it’s closing for good after 50 years). Help the Rheinlander crew go out in style (wearing lederhosen), watch live music, and take in as much fondue as is humanly possible. When: 4 p.m.–closing Saturday, December 31 How Much: $49 per person, reservations suggested
Associated tells Eater it will indeed open this Monday, October 10, and photographer Dina Avila reveals the transformation of the space, formerly home to hip-hop pizzeria P.R.E.A.M., in the photo gallery above. Gone are the vinyl-record wallpaper and framed black-and-white portrait of Tupac, and in their place are stacks of firewood for the pizza oven, an industrial “Associated” sign, and a wild black-and-white portrait of one fine looking werewolf (“his hair was perfect”). For anyone who’d like to compare the new outfit to P.R.E.A.M., just click the link to the Eater Inside.
Associated comes from former P.R.E.A.M. pizza chef Nick Ford and members of the Portland bar group, Lightning Bar Collective (Century, Jackknife, Bye and Bye), and it will serve classic and signature cocktails and a menu of appetizers, pizzas, and tacos, which come in both vegan and meat options. Check out the full menus below.
Associated is located at 2133 SE 11th Ave. The hours will be 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.
“Yesterday, Ken "Zig" Naffziger and Kristen Siefkin (both of Tabor Tavern) flung open the doors to Kenton's Swift and Union. It's a family-friendly restaurant and the name references the neighborhood's Swift Meat Packing Company and Union Stock Yards. To pull off the industrial vibe with cattle motif that you see above, Naffziger and Siefkin contacted Boy's Fort's Richard Rolfe and Jake France, who accented the well-lit space with rustic cattle hook-lights, photos of cows and faux taxidermy.
Meanwhile, executive chef Aaron Hepp-Buchanan's kitchen churns out pub staples like burgers and fish and chips, as well as dinner standards like steak frites and mussels bathed in a micheleda broth. At present, the restaurant's a dinner-only affair, but Siefkin says lunch and brunch will roll out in the coming weeks.” -EaterPDX
Apparently, when the cat's away, the mice will cook. This week, Kevin Gibson, chef/owner of Davenport, is on vacation. But his East Burnside restaurant won't be closed. Instead, each day a different team of chefs from around the city will bring a pop-up dinner to the space.
Kurt Heilemann, Davenport's wine guru and manager, masterminded this week of pop-ups and gave Karen Brooks at Portland Monthly the details. The lineup includes chefs from Screen Door, Le Pigeon, and Biwa. Some dinners require reservations, and some are for walk-ins only, but they're all unique. Check it out:
Wednesday, Jan 28: Le Pigeon chef de cuisineAndrew Mace and pastry chef Nora Antene are bringing their Limited Co. pop-up experience to Davenport, offering a seven-course, modern American tasting menu. Heileman tells Brooks that the duo is aiming to use ingredients to share their personal story: fish will be caught by a friend and bread will be made with wheat from Mace's family's farm in Montana, Cost is $80, not including wine pairings and gratuity. For reservations contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-236-8747.
Thursday, Jan 29: Paul Bachand, chef/owner of Recipe in Newberg is partnering with Jason Logan, former chef and current server at St. Jack, to offer a four-course menu for $55 per person. Seatings are tentatively scheduled at 6 p.m. and 8:15. Contact Davenport for details: 503-236-8747; email@example.com
Friday: Jan, 30: Heilemann is a pop-up chef himself with monthly dinners at Oui Presse. But on Friday at the restaurant he's orchestrating a dinner of small plates prepared by Davenport sous chef Jacob Harth, paired with wine. Expect deviled eggs, fried oyster "potato salad," grilled octopus, and housemade pasta.
Sat. Jan 31: The team behind upcoming Noraneko ramen shop, which includes Biwa ownersGabe Rosen and Kina Voelz, want to treat you to some of their favorite izakaya snacks. For one night only, they're turning Davenport into MommaPappa Izakaya. The a la carte menu is available from 4 to 10 p.m. for walk-ins only. Expect sashimi, grilled oysters and sand dabs, cauliflower "steak," hokkaido cream stew, and nikujaba (meat and potatoes).
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