Food Cart Carte Blanche Closes, Kitchen Shake-Ups, and Little Big Burger Expands to Seattle

... and more Portland food news.

By Alex Keith February 15, 2016

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Raven & Rose

Image: Allison Jones

Daniel Mondok Takes Over the Kitchen at Raven & Rose 

Raven & Rose looks to deepen its roots in the cuisine of the British Isles with newly named executive chef Daniel Mondok (Sel Gris, Paulee, Swank & Swine). The restaurant’s menu will soon showcase dishes sourced from the oldest collection of recipes in the English language—a 1390 tome from the cooks of the court of King Richard II titled “The Forme of Cury.” In addition to long-standing classics such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and full Irish breakfasts, Mondok will serve Irish-influenced dishes such as West Cork Rabbit Two Ways, Ballymaloe Chicken Liver Pate, and a medieval salad dubbed “Salmagundy.”

Carte Blanche Closes to Focus on a Brick-and-Mortar 

The vintage Airstream trailer slinging global street food on the corner of SE 32nd and Hawthorne has served up its last tofu-studded jasmine rice bowl—at least for now. After five years of rave reviews, from Portland Monthly to The Guardian, the lines of hungry customers seeking fresh, seasonal offerings have become too much for the small cart. In order to serve more patrons, chef-owner Jessie Aron has designs on a brick-and-mortar restaurant featuring plenty of seating, fridge space, and an expanded menu sure to include all the old favorites. Stay up to date via Carte Blanche’s Facebook page.

Kristen Napoleoni Joins Clyde Common’s Pastry Program 

Iconic hotel eatery Clyde Common gets a touch sweeter with the addition of pastry chef and CIA grad Kristen Napoleoni. Before moving to Portland, Napoleoni spent several years on the Chicago restaurant scene, working with Clyde Common executive chef Carlo Lamagna at Perennial Virant. The two team up once again with Napoleoni to create seasonal desserts and a bread bakery supplying Clyde Common for brunch, lunch, and dinner. 

Willow Announces Opening Date 

After two years of pop-ups, modernist fine dining restaurant Willow has announced an opening date of March 1 at 2005 SE 11th Avenue (formerly Fenrir). Reservations are already being accepted for the planned three-course prix fixe meals to take place throughout March, with six-course menus beginning on April 1. Chefs Doug Weiler (Glyph) and John Pickett (Biwa, Racion) will serve set menus of Cascadian cuisine during 10-person dinners showcasing the bounty of the Willamette Valley and Pacific Northwest. 

Little Big Burger to Open 10 Locations in Seattle

With the announcement of its first expansion outside Oregon, Portland-born mini-chain Little Big Burger isn’t so little anymore. Originally dreamed up by Katie Poppe and Micah Camden (Boxer Ramen, Blue Star Donuts) in 2010, the burger chain was purchased by Chanticleer Holdings Inc. in August of 2015 for $6.1 million. Chanticleer CEO Mike Pruitt now aims to take the chain north, with plans to open ten new locations in Seattle.

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