A godfather of the modern cocktail scene, Jeffrey Morgenthaler is an award-winning bartender, author, and the person largely responsible for the resurgence of Amaretto Sours. You might not expect someone at that level to be behind the bar regularly, but this guy is — all the time. Look for him at Pepe Le Moko or Clyde Common, his two esteemed bars in Downtown Portland, Ore.
In this installment of Bartography, we explore Portland on Morgenthaler’s own itinerary, ordering his personal favorite drinks and dishes along the way.
“I mean, you have to start at Clyde Common. It’s almost tradition at this point. You get in, throw your bags down, and head to Clyde. It’s not just Portland’s living room; it’s Portland’s foyer in a way. Come on in and have a Bourbon Renewal (bourbon, lemon, crème de cassis, bitters) or an Old Fashioned and some popcorn or a Clyde burger while you figure out your game plan for the rest of your time in the city.” Location.
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“There are two new bars nearby that I want to shout out to, as they’re run by some super-talented friends of mine. The first is Pink Rabbit, Tyler Stevens’ psychedelia-tinged cocktail bar, influenced by the music of The National. Stuff you’ve likely never experienced before, like CBD and vodka cocktails. You have to go.” Location.
“The next is Abigail Hall, which is run by Daniel Osborne. Daniel and Tyler both used to work together at Teardrop Lounge, which you should also visit. Abigail Hall is beautiful, with cozy couches and hand-painted wallpaper, and irreverent cocktails.” A Marcy, for example, is freezer tequila, a tiny mug of Miller Lite, and a dirty joke. Location.
“Then you need to head across the river to Hey Love, the brainchild of my brilliant and talented friend Emily Mistell. I gotta say that I think she’s got one of the best bar programs in the country. Super well thought out, inventive, fun, and delicious.” Location.
“My absolute favorite is the old school RingSide Steakhouse. Servers in tuxedos, dry-aged beef, the whole nine yards. You start with a Martini or a Manhattan and some of their famous onion rings and you go from there.” Location.
“My favorite neighborhood restaurant is Radar. Unpretentious, perfectly executed and fun. Sort of French and Spanish with a lot of Northwest thrown in there. It’s owned by a husband-and-wife team and it just feels like family when they welcome you inside.” Location.
“If you’re having lunch, please have it at Maurice. There’s no other restaurant in the world like Maurice, and it deserves to be as celebrated as it is. We all hold on to the restaurant dearly; it’s really the most special place in town. The savory stuff is every bit as good as the sweet stuff. You can’t go wrong with a thing.” Location.
“Take a hike over to Mississippi Ave. for an afternoon and explore the MANY bars and restaurants. There’s maybe more than you can do in one day and that’s totally fine. Even I get kinda lost in the neighborhood when I’m over there.” Location.
“It’s kind of old-school but I think Sellwood is worth checking out. It’s sort of ‘old’ Portland, with cool coffee shops and antique stores, and it’s pretty out of the way. It’s southeast of Portland and so it’s kind of untouched by a lot of the development happening in the main part of the city.” Location.
West End (Downtown)
“Not that the downtown core is to be missed, either. The West End of downtown, where our bars are, is full of super-cool bars and restaurants, shops, hotels, etc. There’s a good mix of old and new, from Mary’s Club and Jake’s, to Bistro Agnes and Lardo.” Location.