Last week I visited a brand new restaurant called Bottle + Kitchen, located at 50 SW Morrison in Downtown Portland (below Hotel Rose). The restaurant opened in June 2014 with an emphasis on local fresh ingredients with a flair of panache in each unique dish it offers. The restaurant is managed by Cora Bernal.
When my husband and I walked in we were pleasantly greeted by the staff and the decor, which is described as “Alice in Wonderland meets steampunk” – a mixture of bright glass bottles, swooped ceiling and floor designs, and spots of unexpected color, but all meshing comfortably. We sat at our table – a perfect view of the river and park. Our waiter Justin came up and greeted us warmly, offered beer and wine, and gave the excellent recommendation of the marlin on a bed of greens (which I ultimately ordered).
We started with the Smoked Beef Meatballs. I thought the idea of blood orange with a barbecue tang would be interesting. I was impressed to have a surprise kick of heat at the end of a bite. Those are the meals I love – the ones that just keep giving you layers of flavor and texture. The meatballs were soft and flavorful, I noticed a slight alcohol flavor – maybe whiskey? Whatever it was really enhanced the flavors. We were also treated to the Juniper and Ash Cured Salmon. This appetizer is served on a rye cracker with celery root puree. Tastes as good as it looks!
For the entrees, my husband had the Steak & Eggs Braised Short Rib Omelette and I had the Marlin of a Bed of Greens. One thing we both noticed in our dishes – the greens were so soft and buttery, not like salads we have had in the past.
I learned later from sous chef Rich that the greens are grown in a soil with a different acidity than what most greens are, something that is a Portland-specific farming attribute. I came away with a little more education than I had before!
My marlin was exceptional – fresh, not fishy, and full of flavor. It was sublime. The arugula greens were a perfect compliment.
We ended our dinner with a pretty amazing Guinness Float – which consists of Chocolate vodka ice cream, drizzles of caramel, and an oatmeal cream whoopie pie with Guinness Draught poured over. I have to say if there was a highlight to this amazing dinner, the Guinness Float was it – even for a non-beer drinker like me. I never thought those things would go so well together but they really did. I would very highly recommend it!
Did I mention it was my husband’s birthday? So of course there was birthday cake. This lemon sponge cake was great – the lemon was a natural choice for an end flavor to a savory dinner experience. Call ahead if you are celebrating a birthday so that Bottle + Kitchen can prepare for it.
Speaking with sous chef Richard was also a great treat. He is eloquent but approachable, insanely knowledgable about edibles, and really shows a passion in what he does. With Richard as the representation of the chef and the crew it’s no wonder this restaurant will stand the test of time. If you head over be sure to check out the open kitchen and prepare to be amazed by the moxie of the staff. Cora Bernal is the perfect choice for manager – she shows a true love for what she does. And if the entire waitstaff is anything like Justin then this restaurant will definitely succeed.
Bottle + Kitchen is located at 50 SW Morrison in Portland Oregon. Visit them online at bottlekitchen.com, on Facebook, and Pineapple Hospitality on Twitter. Bottle + Kitchen accepts both walk-ins and reservations.
*While provided with the meal, I was under no obligation for a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.