Natural Selection to Close, Former Bluehour Chef Launches Chinese Food Pop-Up, and More PDX Food News

... including Hamlet's new chef and happy hour and Lardo's owners getting sued, again.

By Michelle Porter May 31, 2016

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Natural Selection's Aaron Woo

Image: Allison Jones

Natural Selection to shutter; Basque Supper Club moving in

Portland’s defender of serious, multi-course vegan and vegetarian cooking will shut its doors for good on June 11 after five years on Northeast Alberta, EaterPDX reports. Read our 2013 Q&A with chef-owner Aaron Woo. Basque Supper Club, a modern-leaning pop-up run by Javier Canteras, will take Natural Selection's place. 

Hamlet gets a new chef and happy hour

Hamlet, one of our Best Restaurants 2015 and Best Bars 2016, has a new chef and happy hour. Devon Chase, formerly a sous chef at Smallwares, elevates the bar’s ham-centric “Hammy Hour” with treats like Gougeres Sliders with fresh smoked ham, arugula and pepper jelly, or Chorizo-Spiced Pepitas. Pig out at Hamlet’s Hammy Hour, 4–7 p.m. at NW 12th Ave. 

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House Spirits turns 10; collaborations ensue 

Aviation Gin celebrates a decade of juniper-infused booze with their new collaboration series, Project 10. Portland artisan food brands (and a few non-food craftsmen), from Salt & Straw to Pok Pok, are cranking out limited-edition items like Alma Chocolate’s gin-caramel sauce, the Bitter Housewife’s lime-coriander bitters, and Shwood’s Redmond Titanium Aviators. All items ($6–$189) are up for grabs at House Spirits Distillery in Southeast Portland, their tasting room kiosk at Portland International Airport, online, and at PROJECT 10 partner retail locations.

A new Chinese food pop-up prepares to launch 

Eater PDX is the first to report that Danwei Canting, a sizzling Beijing-style Portland pop-up from former Bluehour executive chef, Kyo Koo, is set to launch June 12. Expect "home-style" Beijing cuisine with dishes like a red chile-loaded Chongqing Chicken and Red Cooked Pork Belly. The first dinner at Smallwares is already sold-out, but check back on their website to snag a ticket to future meals. Koo is currently looking at an inner-Southeast location, just a cartwheel away from Nong's Khao Man Gai. 

Stakeholder files second, $9 million lawsuit against Lardo owners

Willamette Week reports that Ramzy Hattar has filed a lawsuit against business partners Kurt Huffman (ChefStable) and Rick Gencarelli (Lardo, Grassa) for allegedly diverting funds from one location to other enterprises. Hattar, who has 10 percent equity in the artisan sandwich chain’s first two locations, demands $9 million in damages for breach of contract and for conspiring to exclude him from all business-related decisions, as well as Lardo’s intellectual property. In December 2015, Hattar sued Huffman and Gencarelli for $1.6 million citing similar grievances.

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