Bugles and Caviar at Roquette
Longtime barman Erik Hakkinen didn’t need food to make his new Belltown cocktail spot a hit with cocktail geeks. Much less the high-low indulgence known as the Horns of Plenty: a bag of the 1970s’ favorite conical corn chip refashioned as a DIY vehicle for creme fraiche and an ounce of caviar. That crunching richness, that pop of brine, that double dose of salt—I will shamelessly rip off this snack spectacle for all my future in-home entertainment, but it’s even better within Roquette’s night-colored walls, alongside one of Hakkinen’s intelligent French-spirited drinks.
Bar Taglio’s Romanesque Pizza
Brendan McGill put mad R&D (hydration, proof time, crumb size) into Roman-style pizzas that balance airy centers with crisp, golden crusts. They come topped with prosciutto or bologna or Northwest mushrooms and taleggio. The best might be the salame, a pepperoni-esque combo kicked up to water-chugging levels with Calabrian chiles. Here at First and Marion, the Hitchcock chef also traffics in brooding cocktails and superb meatballs. Bar Taglio brightens the ambient lunch landscape, though that handsome bar screams “evening.”
Sashimi with Flair at Bamboo Sushi
One of Portland’s favorite sushi restaurants has landed at U Village, in a space as vast as Bamboo’s ambitions for sustainable seafood. Rigorous transparency and certification standards surround every piece of sashimi, but the menu’s big and has a sense of adventure—albacore dotted with shiitakes and smoked onions, even a riff on orange chicken that coats fried cauliflower in a sticky, spicy sauce. Bamboo doesn’t automatically put soy sauce on the table, but isn’t too precious to deploy apple, fried sage, and lime zest in a crab and salmon roll.