PoMo Day Date: Tour Three New SE Eateries This Weekend
New restaurants, cafes, and bars are popping up across town this spring like flowers after months of Portland rain. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we have a tour of three standouts opening this month in Southeast.
Your game plan: Roll out of bed and head over to Heyday for chewy, lightly sweet rice flour doughnuts in flavors like ube and black sesame, paired with an iced pandan latte. In the afternoon, head to raw seafood bar Câche Câche for appetizers and a bottle of wine, and then hit Grand Amari for fine Italian dining and a nightcap at Little Bitter Bar next door.
Tour Stop #1: Morning Delectables at Heyday
Tagline: Bridging community and culture One doughnut at a time
What to Order: Chewy rice flour doughnuts in Asian-inflected flavors like yuzu coconut and ube, with coffee from Portland Cà Phê, including a vibrant green pandan latte.
Backstory: Lisa Nguyen founded Heyday three years ago as a pop-up, and now her first brick-and-mortar location at the CORE pod is finally opening.
Opening date: Grand opening party on Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Menu intrigues: Yuzu–sweet corn doughnuts and lychee sparklers are ideal summertime treats.
3612 SE 82nd Ave, Tentative hours Wed–Sat, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Tour Stop #2: Appetizers at Câche Câche
Tagline: A “hide and seek” crudo bar
What to order: Let Chef John Denison of St. Jack shuck oysters on the half shell for you, or enjoy sardine toast and lobster rolls. Wine selections come from the folks at wine and snack bar Heavenly Creatures.
Backstory: Câche Câche lives within the Fracture Brewing taproom right next door to the buzzing, frequently sold-out Lil’ America food cart pod. At the end of each night, the raw bar will be rolled away and hidden to make room for deliveries for the upcoming Dos Hermanos bakery in the shared space.
Opening date: May 16
Menu intrigues: The sardine toast with fresh dill is already racking up the views on Instagram reels. The raw scallop with chamomile oil and celery dish is the kind of light yet buttery fare that would go great with sparkling wine.
1015 SE Stark St, open WED–Sat 5–10 p.m.
Tour Stop #3: Dinner at Grand Amari and a Nightcap at Little Bitter Bar
Tagline: unapologetically traditional approach to Italian cuisine
What to order: Grand Amari is your go-to for boisterous “handmade Italian fine dining." Or, if you're in the mood for lighter fare, head to Little Bitter Bar, the hotel bar next door, for antipasti, margherita pizza, cocktails, Italian wines, and a serious amari collection.
Backstory: Olympia Provisions cofounders Nate Tilden and Elias Cairo reimagined the Hotel Grand Stark as a swanky, dark-hued ode to classic dining in two spaces. A third option, Café Amari, is also in the mix, spotlighting coffee service, Italian pastries, and snacks.
Opening date: Grand Amari and Café Amari, opened May 17. Little Bitter Bar opens May 24.
Menu intrigues: Bistecca Fiorentina—surely Portland’s meat champions can nail the ultimate Tuscan steak? Cacio e pepe candele: hoping for a true Roman pepper attack, which eludes most restaurants in America. Sfogliatelle, bomboloni, and egg custard tarts, all for breakfast? Bring it on. —Karen Brooks
509 SE Grand Ave. Grand Amari hours: 5–10 p.m. Wed–Sun. Café Amari hours: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. daily. Little Bitter Bar, 4–10 p.m. Sun–Thu, 4–11 p.m. Fri–Sat