I realize I read and talk about Portland’s food scene quite a bit and I thought I’d start sharing what I know. I’ve got plenty of reliable and talented sources, but I understand not everyone reads 6 food websites regularly to hear what’s opening, closing etc. So, I decided I’d start posting about new restaurants/chef changes/dishes I’ve tasted so you can read it all in one spot with a Kat twist. Any place you’re wondering about? Let me know in the comments.
Over the weekend:
Last Saturday Portland’s second Dick’s Kitchen opened in the NW 21st area. DK is a health-inspired (?) burger joint with dishes like grass-fed burgers and kale chop salads.
Last Saturday also brought in a drinking abode for fans of effervescence: Ambonnay had its grand opening in the same SE building that houses the first Olympic Provisions. The spot serves sparkling sips from around the world as well as vegetarian small plates (do I detect a little drinker stereotyping? Okay, they might be right….)
And lastly, the weekend also delivered BJ Smith (formerly chef at The Original)’s Smokehouse 21 in NW 21st (no site that I could find, but here’s Eater’s preview.) The menu will be available for takeout and bike delivery as well as eating in. And it looks like it has the usual suspects, nice and smoke-ified: pork, brisket, and sausage, with some unexpected, like smoked trout and bacon molasses cornbread. An added bonus— there’s an abundance of housemade sauces (and a mustard one with my name on it).
Tuesday, November 14th:
The much talked about, much sought-after beginning of the West Side Pizza Revolution has arrived (more on that in the coming weeks with Oven & Shaker, Sizzle Pie, etc.). Via Tribunali is a PDX version of a Seattle pizza hub (thanks to restaurateur bad-ass Bruce Carey) and I anticipate great things. Wood fire oven pies with calzones and cocktails open late for downtowners? I’m in, I’m in, I’m in.
And since this is my first restaurant post, I’ll direct you to the new spots I’ve liked recently:
Woodsman Tavern: Brought to us from the owners of Stumptown, this place has just as much Swank as Portland will allow. With a seafood-heavy menu (Someone! Finally!) and cocktail superstar Evan Zimmerman at the bar, this is definitely the place you’ll want to spend any extra money you might have.
Luce: Opened with not nearly enough fanfare, this is an intimate (and yes, small) Italian restaurant recently opened on East Burnside. The menu is shockingly well-priced and the dishes are what Italian food should be: simple and unfussy. I’d suggest the rich Bolognese to shake off any of that winter chill we’ve been having.
Well, that’s all for now, but don’t worry, there are plenty more openings in the Portland food forecast. Let me know if this was helpful or if you have any suggestions in the comments!