27 MAY 2016
BARTINI GETS A facelift
NORTHWEST Anyone who’s waited in line for Bartini’s legendary $4 martinis will appreciate the bar’s overnight makeover this week. Going on its thirteenth year, the Nob Hill bar has officially hit those dynamic teenage years, and recent renovations have certainly changed the way things used to fit.
Gone are the colorful couches tucked in the back corner; some of the signature speckled black tables have been replaced with knee-height white surfaces. A silvery-white banquette now stretches the length of the room with reupholstered chairs to match, nearly doubling the seating available to the once envious onlookers awaiting their own spot to enjoy the happiest of hours. Newly painted a deep purple, the west wall now hosts monochromatic martini close-ups with a white-framed mirror in the middle to keep the darker shade from seeming too heavy; clear light fixtures hang from the ceiling, further lightening up the space. The black accents have remained, framing the bar in new cushioned barstools and keeping the bar’s lounge-like feel, while the recently installed wall of mirrors and lighter elements of the remodel have helped to brighten the space. The tall windows offer generous natural light and a direct view of the prime patio tables along the ever-active NW Glisan.
It’s not just the guests that have noticed some changes. Behind the scenes, employees have already been noticing the effects of the new water heater with a new dishwashing machine to match. The website has also been entirely revamped by Creative Director Courtney DeKorte, focusing on a streamlined, modern look to complement the recently redone menus. New tasting events have kicked off the start of the past two months, and the staff is currently gearing up for June’s, so check Facebook for details about the newest Tastini Tuesday event.
Now that you might actually be able to snag a seat before the space fills up, come on by this weekend for early (or late night) happy hour and admire the recent upgrades to the bar that locals have been loving for the past decade. As if 100+ martinis weren’t enough of a reason to get you in the door.
19 APRIL 2016
Indio Spirits Distillery heads off
Swank & Swine’s monthly paired dinner series
PORTLAND, OR Tomorrow marks the first of Swank and Swine’s new monthly paired dinner series in which Executive Chefs Kevin Kennedy and Joe Maddocks collaborate with local whiskey and wine producers to deliver an impeccably complemented four-course meal. Dinners are scheduled for Thursdays at 6pm, the roster alternating between Oregon distilleries and winemakers with Beverage Director Johnny Rizzo and Wine Director Joseph Duquette at the helm. Next up is Sokol Blosser Winery on May 19th with Big Bottom Distilling to follow on June 9th; discussions are already in the works for the rest of the year’s lineup. Details for next month’s Sokol Blosser dinner will be released next week.
With tickets priced at only $65 per person, seats fill up quickly — so quickly, in fact, that Thursday night’s Indio Spirits whiskey dinner sold out weeks ago. The high demand prompted the opening of a second seating for Wednesday at 6pm. A James Oliver Rye Old Fashioned and a corned duck terrine start things off, while a whiskey-buttered butternut squash gnocchi and house James Oliver American Whiskey cocktail follow (Swank’s Portland Proper: Fernet, chai syrup, Angostura bitters, heated orange peel, served up). The feature of the evening is the smoked pork loin wrapped with pork cracklings and apples with braised collard greens to go along with the Snake River 1915 Anniversary, as sippably neat or on the rocks as you’d like it. Don’t rush in anticipation for dessert, although the chefs know just how good that Heath Bar chocolate brownie is next to the house chocolate-bacon ice cream infused with Indio’s own Stampede whiskey. Wash it all down with the Snake River Stampede Small Batch, but if you’re not quite ready to leave, hit up the Swine Bar just across the way for a look at the whiskey list to finish the night off.
Dinners are an intimate affair of 16 seats in the semi-private Chef’s Alley at Swank Restaurant. Sit back as the distillery or wine representative walks you through what’s in the glass while you watch the chefs in the open kitchen bend over the pristinely plated next course. Products from local purveyors take center stage, focusing on the freshest seasonalities to nestle into the local terroir already sweeping the palate. The next time you see the selected labels, you’ll be the one in the know about the latest local feature, telling the tales and recommending the pairs for your next meal.
30 MARCH 2016
Bartini launches monthly specials with food pairings
Cocktails by Johnny Rizzo; food by Kevin Kennedy
PORTLAND, OR Starting next week, Bartini will be launching its Tastini Tuesdays, a monthly tasting event highlighting three specialty concoctions. Stop by for a taste from 7 til 9pm during the first Tuesday kick-off party, or go all-in on the three-course paired martini dinner for $30 anytime during the month. Not hungry? The featured martinis will also be available individually, so bring some friends and mix n’ match these featured three with the 100+ fun martinis Bartini is already known for.
April’s featured martinis include the Herbal Remedy with Belvedere, yellow Chartreuse, green tea, star anise, lemon and Prosecco, the Rainy Day (I. W. Harper bourbon, Fernet, Campari, and Angostura bitters), and the Pepper Drop, a habanero-infused Captain Morgan white rum with Cocchi Americano, Harlequin, and simple syrup. Sip those as you bite into some fresh scallop ceviche, followed by a smoked beef tenderloin, and finish the meal with a riesling poached pear with lemon sorbet.
As any socialite knows, it can be easy to fall into ordering your same favorites each time. These featured cocktails are looking to keep things lively, bringing the regulars back for new experiences while staying true to what Bartini does so well, playing up the extensive list of colorful martinis alongside the usual classics. Spice up the usual drink outing with some of these new dishes, and the next month’s Tastini Tuesday will have you coming back for more.
NOB HILL / NW 21ST & GLISAN