3 Hot, New Portland Bars
I'm revealing recommendations for hot, new bars in Portland, Oregon. From beautiful places to grab a drink, to cocktails that will blow your mind…this list will make you want to wish it was 5 o’clock all the time.
1. Ash Bar (575 NE 24th Ave., 503-206-4085) is tucked away behind Nomad a restaurant that runs about $100 a head. Pay no mind to the bustling restaurant and slip into a small back room that feels like a mix between a cave and an intimate church altar. The space itself is stunning- with curved two toned walls, light fixtures that dangle off driftwood from the ceiling and one big U-shaped bar. You feel as if you're in a secret place, in the best way possible.
When I visited Ash Bar, I ended up getting schooled in cocktail lessons from their lead bartender. Their cocktails have unique infusions from local ingredients- but their bartenders creativity is what makes this place shine.
For example: take a look at the blue drink above, it's a violet liquor based cocktail- but lift it up and there is house made cotton candy underneath to eat it with. Ask for the Aviation if you want to try. Other cocktails that I'd recommend include the War of Roses, white rose, Campari, gin and house made amaro. The Oh Snap! which has aria gin, snap pea, mezcal rinse, and mint is also a great option.
From left to right: War of Roses, Oh Snap!, The Aviation
It's like stepping into Cuba with a daquiri in hand.
2) Palomar (959 SE Division St. 971-266-8276) Happy Hour M-F 3-6pm
The aesthetic alone is what will draw you in to Palomar. The place has character and charm with big yellow bar chairs that line a bright marble bar top with bronze accents. The tables have hot pink stools with glittering table tops and I have to mention the tropical wallpaper. The menu is hard bound and feels like a vintage treasure with illustrations of the tropics are interwoven with the drink menu. All in all it's an instagram lover's paradise.
The drinks are solid and have flair and spunk. My favorites were
COBBLER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12 dark rum, sherry, guava, lemon, orange, bitters
SILVER FIZZ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12 gin, orgeat, violette, lemon, egg white
DAIQUIRI NO. 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $9 rum, lime, sugar
Bar Casa Vale (215 SE 9th Ave. 503-477-9081)
WEEKDAY HAPPY HOUR Open - 6pm ; 10pm - Close
HAPPY HOUR 3pm - 6pm ; SATURDAY 10pm - close
I'm going to open with I'm a big fan of Bar Casa Vale. I think what they are doing with their cocktail program and innovative dishes is something that deserves it's own article. Everything is down to the details at BCV- and it shows because I left that place after this shoot and immediately brought a friend back to it a few hours later.
The standout drinks are as follows:
Freeland Gin, OR. Floral - hibiscus, grapefruit twist, and botanicals........ 13
Cáliz - Volstead vodka, hibiscus, lemon, oleo saccharum............................. 10
Bourbon Reign - bourbon, lemon, fig syrup, vino tinto................................... 10
Bar Casa Vale feels intentional in everything that it does. The ingredients are purposefully chosen, the flavors are spot on and the staff is excellent. I love the bright aqua bar that contrasts with the deep dark wood and iron details...I haven't been to Spain, but I'd imagine this is what it would feel like. BCV makes me want to wear lipstick and share a nice cocktail and some amazing tapas with a friend. This is a place I'll definitely be back to.
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