Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker to open a third restaurant
Gabriel Rucker, the James Beard double-medaled lord of Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro, is opening a third restaurant, according to Willamette Week. Canard, slated to open this spring at 734 E Burnside, next door to Le Pigeon, will be more “casual” and “accessible to a broader array of diners” than Rucker's other restaurants. It’ll serve “French bar food” from 8 am to midnight, functioning as a café by day and wine restaurant with cocktails by night. Brunch is also in the works. Menu details are scant, although Rucker is teasing a “ducketta”: foie gras and duck rolled into a whole deboned duck. That sounds about right to us.
Rue shutters on SE Ankeny
Eater breaks that neighborhood bistro and cocktail spot Rue closed its doors earlier this January after a year and a half in business. Chef/owner Jason Roberts told Eater that the restaurant’s location on SE Ankeny was “off the beaten path” and alludes to “a project [Roberts] is more passionate about.” Per Rue’s Instagram post: “stay tuned for our next big venture.” We certainly will.
Portland pastry talent Michelle Vernier opens Italian bakery and market
We love Michelle Vernier. She worked at Wildwood, Paley’s Place, and Imperial before giving up her pastry chef’s whites for a farmers market passion project, Bella Mercato. Her addictive baked goods, amaretti to cannoli, have kept quiet at the Woodstock and Lents farmers markets until now. The Mercury reports that Vernier is opening up a 24-seat brick-and-mortar in Lents, at 5959 SE 92nd Ave. She’ll carry all of her sweets and run a specialty Italian market with cheeses and pastas, and serve up pizza, drinking snacks, beer, and Italian wines to boot. In the meantime, check out her mind-numbingly good Sticky Toffee Gingerbread recipe.
Pazzo Ristorante closes after more than two decades
Pazzo Ristorante, which operated for more than two decades in downtown Portland’s Kimpton Hotel and hosted many notable chefs, including David Machado and Kenny Giambalvo, closed on January 1. The restaurant will re-open this spring after renovations with a new name and a new, New York-style Italian menu. Giambolvo, the last chef to helm Pazzo, will take on the role of executive chef at Newberg’s The Allison Inn and Spa.
Blue Star Donuts shuffles down the street
If, at some point this year, you head in for your morning Blue Star doughnut only to find that it no longer exists, don’t panic! Blue Star’s flagship location at 1237 SW Washington St is relocating to a spot three blocks away at SW 12th and Morrison. The expansion will feature 5,000 square feet, a retail space, exclusive flavors, and a “chef’s counter” where customers can watch new flavors being experimented on. Launch date is set to a vague “early 2018,” but once it's open, you can bet there will be free doughnuts.
Occidental Brewing expands outside of Oregon
Occidental Brewing Co., Portland’s stellar German-style ale and lager purveyor has expanded to Sparks, Nevada. Founders Dan Engler and nephew Ben Engler will play to the Nevada market for the moment, distributing throughout the northern part of the state, with brews already available at Occidental Taphouse Grill at Baldini’s Casino. (Full disclosure: Portland Monthly's managing editor is married to Dan Engler.) A German-leaning pub menu and the full lineup of Occidental beers are also on the way, should you find yourself near Reno anytime soon.