Sat, Jan 13, Heathman’s Russian Tea Room, $125
If you’ve missed out on DaNet—what Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks called “the snuffed-out cuisine of old Russia, reclaimed in painstaking detail by one of Portland’s most accomplished chefs”—it’s not too late. Vitaly Paley brings back his astounding blini, rabbit-liver mortadella, and homey squares of sour-cream layer cake, now set inside the appropriately musty, gilded Russian Tea Room of the Heathman Hotel. Nostrovia!
Wed, Jan 17, Aviary, $35
For one night only, the neo-Asian eatery serves up three courses of goodness surrounding one, big ol’ clay hotpot. Inside? A whole pouissin (a small chicken), braised in delicious things like Szechuan peppercorn and fermented chile bean paste, and served with oyster mushrooms, steamed rice, soy-marinated egg, and scallion. Mango ice cream for dessert never hurts.
Vegan tasting menu: Jan 25–28, $83; omnivore tasting menu: Feb 1–11, $95
Joile Laide, Vince Nguyen’s modernist pop-up, is typically relegated to Monday nights only, at Southeast Portland’s Langbaan space. But with Langbaan owner Earl Ninsom and crew in Thailand for three weeks, Nguyen has run of the place Thursdays–Sundays. The game plan includes a fully vegan tasting menu from January 25–28, followed by a two-week omnivore feast, February 1–11. All menus include “bites,” eight plated courses, and optional wine pairings by Castagna sommelier Brent Braun.
Feb 2–9, across Portland
We’ve long been an oyster-loving city. But in February, Portland gets its first citywide fest devoted to the ubiquitous bivalve. Flying Fish’s Lyf Gildersleeve and five other chefs and seafood-industry folks lead the charge. Throughout the week, restaurants from St. Jack to Noble Rot will have special oyster dishes, while classes and events, like an “Oyster & Mezcal Academy," take place in event spaces all over town. Not only do proceeds go the Wetlands Conservancy and WEBS (Watershed, Estuary, Beach & Sea), but the leftover shells will be used in a grassroots effort to restore natural wild oyster reefs off of the Oregon Coast.
Thru Feb, across Portland
Twelve Portland eateries stock up on their supplies of Theo chocolate for a month of intense cocoa craft. One dollar from every dessert will benefit the Eastern Congo Initiative, a nonprofit working on grant-making and advocacy for the region. There are gems to look out for all over the city, from Chocolate and Tehina Marbled Cheesecake at Tusk to a Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Candied Kumquat, Olio Nuovo Ice Cream, and Pistachio Streusel at Oui Wine Bar.