Every month, Vitaly Paley’s humble Portland Penny Diner morphs into a meeting ground for Russia’s forgotten kitchens and Oregon’s farm-to-table ethos. Whispers, kisses, and conversation play out over candlelit tables, every inch covered with soul food, as Russian pop blares from a turntable. It’s all our James Beard Award–winning host’s chance to reconnect with the food of his Belarus youth: silky smoked salmon, Russian wild plum jam, and an embarrassment of pickled riches like green tomatoes, half-sours, chanterelles, and blackberries. The evening swings through rabbit soup for the soul, Georgian dumplings, and majestic piroshki perfuming the air with the sweet musk of rabbit liver. We thought we knew this revered lord of Paley’s Place and Imperial. But DaNet is something else, a pop-up portal to a lost way of life, reborn in our backyard.