It’s openings and launches galore this week, from a revamped Thai restaurant to new tasting menu dinners left and right—but we have one sad closure to report, and that’s Miami Nice, one of our favorite new vegan spots in PoMo’s Best Restaurants 2021.
Miami Nice Is Closing for Now
Vegan Cuban pop-up Miami Nice announced via Instagram on March 30 that it would be ending its service at Bit House Collective (727 SE Grand Ave) that evening, with no reopening date in sight. “I will be searching high and low for a permanent home but until then please know it’s been an absolute honor to bring you a piece of my home town!” wrote owner Valerie Espinoza.
Thai Restaurant Yui Reopens April 1
Thai restaurant Yui (5519 NE 30th Ave), which Chalunthorn “Yui” Schaeffer opened in August 2020, reopens this Friday after a temporary closure. Now, Schaeffer's mother, a.k.a. Mama Ta, is helming the kitchen with a new pared-down menu that pairs specific proteins with each dish—for instance, larb with pork, yellow curry with tofu, green curry with chicken, and kra prao with Wagyu beef. Many of the restaurant’s hit dishes are coming back, along with their endorsements listed on the menu: sakoo, or peanut radish dumplings as recommended by Eater PDX, shu mai loved by Jesse Martinez of Gumba, and khao tod naam klook, or crispy rice salad, a favorite of Ehow Chen of food Instagram page @ehow.eats. We’re particularly pumped to try the squid ink pasta with the choice of pad kee mao or green curry seafood on top. An accompanying cocktail menu will launch at opening, with ingredients ranging from yuzu vodka to lemongrass bitters to butterfly pea syrup.
The Sports Bra Opens Friday, April 1
One of the most hotly anticipated bars on the planet, Jenny Nguyen’s Sports Bra will open its doors Friday at 11 a.m., with a promise of “prizes and surprises.” In the former home of Joq’s Tavern (the jock-strap parallels!) at 2512 NE Broadway, the Sports Bra’s TV screens are dedicated to women’s sports, which account for 4 percent of media coverage despite women being, you know, half the population. Opening day just happens to coincide with the women’s Final Four March Madness games, and the weekend brings six NWSL games, including the Thorns vs. rivals OL Reign Saturday at 7 p.m. A preview of the tap list includes woman-brewed options from neighboring Steeplejack to wash down Mom’s Baby Back Ribs, Aunt Tina’s Vietna-Wings, and the requisite smash burger. Kids’ menu, too.
Maurice Launches 7-Course Prix Fixe Lunch and Dinner
Downtown breakfast and lunch gem Maurice (921 SW Oak St), which we’ve long admired for its black pepper cheesecakes and seasonal open-faced smørbrød, is switching gears from à la carte breakfast and lunch to a prix fixe model. Seven-course lunches will be offered Thursday through Sunday at 12:30 p.m., while seven-course dinners will be available Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., all featuring local farms and other women-owned small businesses. Past menus have included dishes like lefse with apple and radish, or lion’s head schnitzel with horseradish and persimmon. Dinner is $85 per person (excluding gratuity), plus $22 for a tea pairing or $45 for a wine pairing. Reservations must be made online in advance.
Chef Alex Diestra, Former Head Chef of Andina, Has Taken Over at King Tide Fish & Shell
Waterfront seafood restaurant King Tide Fish & Shell (1510 S Harbor Way) has a new head chef, the restaurant announced in a March 29 Instagram post. Alex Diestra, who was most recently the chef at Peruvian restaurant Andina and its more casual sister spot, Chicha, has overhauled the restaurant’s menu, with raw dishes like kanpachi crudo with avocado, capers, blood orange, and chile vinaigrette and mains like seafood risotto with fennel, pecorino, and carrots.
Della Mio Pops Up with a 3-Course Dinner at Malka April 4
Be one of the first to dine on Malka’s garden patio (4546 SE Division St) since the pandemic began with this Italian pop-up from @dellamiopdx and @dapperdeerandfriends serving a three-course dinner menu on April 4. Menu choices include spring tartine with ricotta, English peas, favas, and candied kumquats on Little T bread; pistachio pasta with artichoke and herbs; and rhubarb crostata. Make reservations by emailing [email protected]
4-Course Dinner Comes to Dimo’s Apizza April 6
Next Wednesday, chef Doug Miriello is flexing his tasting menu chops at standout pizza spot Dimo’s Apizza (701 E Burnside St) with seatings at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The menu includes oyster and scallop crudo, whipped baccala with griddled semolina bread, pizza with spring alliums, dandelions, nettles, “stinky cheese,” and pollen-rubbed porkchop with creamed greens. Each course will be paired with a different wine from Tendril Wines in Carlton, introduced by owner and winemaker Tony Rynders. Make reservations via Tock.
Meet The Joy of Cooking Editors and Recipe Testers at Vivienne April 16
Cook with Portlanders John Becker and Megan Scott, the editors of the most recent edition of legendary reference cookbook The Joy of Cooking, plus two of their recipe testers. The event takes place April 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Vivienne Kitchen & Pantry (4128 NE Sandy Blvd), which, may we remind you, is now a culinary bookstore, kitchenware store, afternoon pastry shop, and natural-wine seller. The Joy of Cooking folks will be participating in a panel/Q&A and making snacks; glasses of natural wine will be available for purchase. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online (does not include a copy of the cookbook).