In June 2016, Eat Beat reported that modernist pop-up Nomad.PDX, Portland Monthly's Rising Star 2015, was moving out of its temporary hideaway above Shift Drinks and into its own restaurant space at 575 NE 24th St. Now, chef-owners Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis are in the big leagues. They'll officially open their doors Thursday, February 9.
The new space, sandwiched between Tails & Trotters and Providore Fine Foods, is accessed via a long, narrow entryway. Once inside, there are three distinct spaces: the main, 25-seat, 10-course dining room; a 13-seat, 20-course chef's counter and kitchen; and a tucked-away horseshoe bar with 10 seats, offering a separate menu of a la carte snacks, including a burger (!) layered with Kewpie mayo, smoked shallots, and chicken liver pate. Reservations for both prix fixe menus are required via Nomad's website.
While Golden Rule Design's Adam Porterfield and Emily Katz designed the glass-walled space (down to the repurposed driftwood chandelier installations), Fox and Matteis had a major hand, constructing white oak tabletops and blow-torching their own wood panels, Japanese shou sugi ban-style.
The early menu promises two bread courses from bakery star Eve Küttemann, starting with a sourdough rye loaf injected with smoked beef fat (you read that right). Plates on both prix fixe menus will run local and modern, with flavors like surf clam with cabbage and miso; oyster with chicken jus; bacon and clam broth with cured steelhead; and Dungeness crab with Oregon wasabi, horseradish, and black radish. For dessert? Dehydrated sunchoke "candies" cooked in Cardamaro liqueur, and served with barley ice cream and warm meringue.
The tiny bar room will serve up 11 cocktails to start—classic-inspired, but steeped in modern technique, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The wine program will have help from Star Black, the vino mastermind at places like Olympia Provisions and Clyde Common. Meanwhile, the bar will have its own food menu, with the aforementioned burger, the Feast-famous Filet-O-Fish sandwich, a Jersey-style pork roll sandwich, and snack flights drawn from the big-ticket 20-course tasting menu.
Click through the slideshow above for more details.