PAIRING A MEAL with a quality wine can break a diner’s budget faster than a balloon payment these days. But since Metrovino opened in the Pearl District last year, the restaurant has offered a novel way of matching a superior wine to each course on its menu. Thanks to a high-tech temperature-controlled cabinet system that preserves opened bottles, Metrovino serves nearly 60 varieties in increments as small (and as affordable) as two-ounce pours.
Executive chef Gregory Denton’s French-inspired Pacific Northwest cuisine rises to the challenge of a top-shelf wine pairing. Depending on your mood, start the evening with a light tataki of buttery Hawaiian yellowtail spruced up with yuzu and sliced cucumbers. Or opt for a more robust starter, like the melted raclette, boiled potatoes, and sopressata. Move on to a list of entrées that showcase Denton’s affinity for inventive combinations. A slow-roasted pork shoulder with chanterelles, heirloom beans, and broccolini, for example, is brightened with a punch of garlicky chimichurri; a French onion–style soup filled with sweet cabbage and smoked pork cheeks is smothered in melted gruyère; and a trout fried whole and served with spinach and potato purée is socked with a glorious ginger-spiked lobster sauce.
True to the spirit of localism, Denton’s food celebrates Northwest ingredients, but his flair for the unexpected sets Metrovino apart from many of its peers in the Portland culinary scene.