PNW Must See: Silver Falls

The largest state park in Oregon amounts to a natural microcosm of what’s great about this corner of the continent, with a moody rainforest, stunning waterfalls, and hiking trails that take you deep into the 9,200-acre preserve. At Silver Falls State Park, near Salem, calypso orchids hide among the firs and maples, while cataracts up to 177 feet high punctuate a misty canyon. The 8.5 mile Trail of Ten Falls draws hundreds of thousands of hikers each year to its spectacular cascades, not just for the sights but also for the sounds.

Posted on May 5, 2019 at 6:47 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Design Week Portland Starts Saturday

Design Week Portland is “A spirited week of programming presented each year.

Hundreds of independent events and open houses, conceived and hosted by Portland’s vital creative community.”

For more information on the events click here >>> https://designportland.org/

Posted on April 3, 2019 at 6:44 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Giorgio’s in the Pearl

I recently hosted an event at Giorgio’s in the Pearl. Not only was the space warm and inviting but the food and service were perfection.

For more information on Giorgio’s click here>>>http://www.giorgiospdx.com/

Posted on February 26, 2019 at 12:38 am
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Room for Guests | Elizabeth #712

Although the Elizabeth #712 is a lofted open space, the city of Portland allows for plenty of guests. Hotels are continuing to open throughout the city, particularly in the Pearl District. Most recently the Woodlark Hotel on SW Alder offers hip, trendy and comfortable suites that will provide your guests with an ideal overnight place to stay. For additional lodging options conveniently located close to the Elizabeth Condominiums on NW 9th click here.

Posted on December 27, 2018 at 7:45 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Home for the Holidays | 4192 SW Greenleaf

Spend the holidays in a classic colonial on Greenleaf Drive. Enjoy spacious formal rooms with a fireplace, sip hot cocoa in the eat-in kitchen and cozy family room, rest in the quiet master suite with a spa-like bathroom. Keep guests happy in the additional bedroom suite with garden views. For more information on how you can come home to this fabulous property click here.

Posted on December 10, 2018 at 11:37 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Local Artist Spotlight: Mara Safransky

Looking to add color and spruce up your walls this winter? Look no further.

“Mara Safransky is a Portland, OR-based artist working in paint, pastel, and fiber-based sculpture who uses color, shape, and movement to engage viewers in a subjective, freely-associative experience.”

For more information on her colorful work click here >>
https://marasafransky.com/ 

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 11:30 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Hottest Bars in Portland, October 2018

Eater PDX compiled the Portland hotspots to try right now

1. Anchoi Vietnamese Kitchen + Bar

635 SW College St
Portland, OR 97201

(503) 227-0086

Visit Website

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.

 

2. Vault Cocktail Lounge

226 NW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 229-1935

Visit Website

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.

3. Il Solito

627 SW Washington St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 228-1515

Visit Website

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.

4. Sweet Nothing

4330 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 841-8345

Visit Website

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.

5. No Vacancy Lounge

235 SW 1st Ave
Portland, OR 97204

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.

6. Kachinka

720 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-0059

Visit Website

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.

7. Keys Lounge

533 NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 719-7409

Visit Website

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.

8. Canard

734 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 279-2356

Visit Website

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.

9. Palomar

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.

10. Deadshot

2133 SE 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 504-9448

Visit Website

Fans of bartender Adam Robinson’s pop-up cocktail bar Deadshot are likely thrilled that the formerly once-a-week bar is now open seven days a week, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. In this dark, black-and-gray-accented bar, you can find Robinson’s innovative drinks, like the Diplomatic Prince, a cabbage-infused aquavit drink, or the Who Is Jack Nance, a holdover from the former location with whiskey, sesame, mustard, and sherry that works shockingly well. À la carte bar snacks from Holdfast’s kitchen are there too, including the addictive pig ear nachos with pork confit, Brussels sprouts, and kimchi.

11. Enoteca Nostrana

1401 SE Morrison St ste 105
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 236-7006

Visit Website

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.

12. OK Omens

1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 231-9959

Visit Website

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-nom Justin 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.

OK Omens’ wine selection
 Dina Avila/EPDX

13. Blackheart

2411 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 954-1541

Visit Website

Filling the space that was once home to Wild AbandonBlackheart 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.

Teote Mezcaleria

14. Teote Mezcaleria

2700 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

Portland has gone mezcal crazy; we can’t get enough of the smoky, earthy agave spirit. Nowhere is that more evidenced than at Teote Areparia’s new sister bar Teote Mezcaleria, which it says has the largest selection of mezcal on the West Coast. Besides the bounty of mezcals available as shots and flights, the new Teote also offers cocktails, including a surprising amount not made with mezcal, but with rum, bourbon, gin, and everything else expected at a cocktail bar. Like its sister store, the mezcaleria offers a covered, heated patio for an evening cocktail al fresco.

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.

Posted on October 12, 2018 at 7:48 am
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

International Pizza Consultant: Portland is ‘America’s greatest pizza city’

By Michael Russell | The Oregonian | Posted September 17, 2018 at 09:39 AM

Posted on September 17, 2018 at 9:16 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SuperBite Replacement Bistor Agnes Now has an Opening Date

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñonez Denton
Dina Avila/EPDX

Bistro Agnes, the much-anticipated French restaurant from James Beard Award-winning duo Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñonez Denton, is set to throw open its West End doors tonight.

As reported by PoMo, the chef-owners (best known for Ox) have confirmed Thursday January 18 as the opening date for the Parisian bistro, which is set to take over the pair’s previous restaurantin the same space as the small plates oriented SuperBite, which they shuttered at the end of December.

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.

Posted on January 19, 2018 at 8:12 am
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Close-to-Portland Hikes for Reveling in Fall Color

Hoyt arboretum st6o4h

Ash trees at Hoyt Arboretum

Local hikers know this: while spring brings flowers and summer a warm reprieve from rain, the very best time to hike in Oregon is fall. During this all-too-fleeting shoulder season, the air is crisp, not sweltering, wildlife busily makes hay (or gathers nuts) while the sun still shines, and determined late blooms still appear here and there, alongside trees newly ablaze with color.

Brian Barkerauthor of Take a Walk Portland and frequent contributor to Portland Monthly’s Field Notes departmentsays he also loves fall hiking for the welcome decrease in trail traffic.

“It’s a refreshing change after the summer,“ he says. “The days that we have blue skies are a good time to soak it up before it gets too rainy.”

Here are five Barker-approved hikes.

Maple-Wildwood Loop Hike

Location: Forest Park
Distance from downtown Portland: 3 miles
Trail length:
 8.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Even in summer, when Forest Park is crowded with Portlanders trying to escape city life, the centrally located Maple-Wildwood Loop tends to be less thronged. In fall, look for bunches of bluish-purple Oregon grapes, our state flower. Look, but don’t taste; this native fruit is face-twistingly tart. (It’s much sweeter cooked, or perhaps jellied.)

Hoyt Arboretum

Location: Washington Park, near the Oregon Zoo
Distance from downtown Portland: 4 miles
Trail length: Varies
Difficulty: Varies
There is no one right way to explore Portland’s living tree museum. Whether you want to relax or challenge yourself, there is a trail for everyone. Looking for some guidance? On Saturday, October 21, you can take the Fall Color Tour. But, if you want to wander by yourself, we recommend the southern urban terminus of the Wildwood Trail, where you can see the dramatic hues of the small but mighty Franklinia altamaha, or Franklin tree, decked out in fragrant white flowers.

Ridgefieldboardwalk vuv1hp

The boardwalk at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Oaks to Wetlands Trail

Location: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Washington)
Distance from downtown Portland: 29 miles
Trail length: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
The refuge trail is a great place for viewing wildlife, particularly the many migratory birds that pass through this rich wetland ecosystem from September through December. (To quote the journals of one Captain William Clark, passing through here in 1805: “I slept but very little last night for the noise kept up during the whole of the night by the swans, geese…brant (and) ducks on a small sand island…they were immensely numerous and their noise horrid.”) There are more tranquil attractions here, toowitness the refuge’s numerous Oregon white oaks, whose fall leaves turn copper as their branches grow heavy full of acorns. If you’re lucky (and quiet), you might even spot a coyote or the adorable red fox.

Hamilton Mountain Loop

Location: Columbia River Gorge (Washington)
Distance from downtown Portland: 70 miles
Trail length: 9.4 miles
Difficulty: Hard
Desperate to get back to the Columbia River Gorge? There are a few trails that were left undamaged by the Eagle Creek Ffre, including this challenging loop, which not only boasts three gorgeous waterfalls but also, during fall, a fringe of yellow maples bordered by huge green Douglas Firs. If you go before the weather gets too cold, you can also see wild roses lining the trail.

Indian Heaven Trail #33

Location: Indian Heaven Wilderness (Washington)
Distance from downtown Portland: 105 miles
Trail length: 3.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Warning: this trail is steep; you’ll climb 1,000 feet in two miles. But there’s a benefit to the climb: spectacular views of Mt. Rainier once you reach 5,100 feet. On the trail, look for plentiful larches, which in summer resemble regular evergreens; come fall, however, their needles turn a golden yellow. Also look for bushes filled with huckleberriesthey can be picked until mid-November.

Posted on October 20, 2017 at 11:00 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,