Sproule hopes to open in time for Din Din's annual Valentine's Day extravaganza, an event somewhere between Alice Waters and Mad Men ... with tattoos. Think elaborately sourced farm foods, pearl-adorned servers, and food-loving Portlanders settling in for night art-directed with heart, surprise, and an off-beat game or movie.
For the past three years, the unexpected has defined Din Din: the skateboarding waiters; the cognac and chocolates consumed to the sounds of your dinner companions playing pool in an outdoor rec room; the Easter brunches with hand-painted eggs. Even with regular digs, Sproule plans to recreate her space for each new themed menu. The new Din Din will hatch two a month, some running on weekends only, others stretching Thursday–Saturday. But the core idea remains: to choreograph an evening of food and fun for guests. "We take our time at the table," says Sproule, who likes to layer each dish with intrigue.
During the week, Sproule plans to unveil pastries and light, small-batch lunch treats (where else are going to find "chicken salad with pastis aoili, soft-boiled eggs and chicories" at noon?). Sunday's a la carte brunch should be a find for duck egg omelettes with glasses of Bordeaux and pain d'épices (French spice bread) with fresh goat cheese, rosemary ham, and honey.
With room for 50 seats, the space will also be available for private events. "We have our work cut out," says Sproule. For someone who once staged a 23-three-course meal in a makeshift kitchen: piece of cake.