Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Dave's Hot Chicken Is Here, Nodoguro Closes, and Ecliptic Brewing Is Opening a New Location

April 30, 2021 Edition
April 29, 2021
The much-hyped, California-based chain Dave's Hot Chicken has opened its first Oregon location. (Dave's Hot Chicken)

Indoor dining may be verboten once again, but there's still plenty to be excited about in the Portland food world: The Instagram-famous hot-chicken chain Dave's Hot Chicken has arrived in Oregon, Le Pigeon and Canard are back with updated pandemic-friendly formats, and the locally sourced cart Wild North has spawned a brick-and-mortar restaurant. In other news, the beloved sushi restaurant Nodoguro is moving out of its current space, Ecliptic Brewing is opening a new location, and a Spanish restaurant from a Michelin-starred San Francisco chef is in the works. Read on to learn about all that and more. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Dave's Hot Chicken
The wait for the first Oregon location of California-based hot chicken sensation Dave's Hot Chicken is over. According to Eater Portland, the outpost was expected to launch today, but appears to have already opened.
Tualatin
Pickup

Grassa and Lardo
Portland restaurateur Rick Gencarelli has opened new locations of his popular pasta chain Grassa and sandwich shop Lardo in Lake Oswego. Both are currently open for takeout and delivery only, but will open for dine-in later this year.
Lake Oswego
Pickup or delivery

Le Pigeon and Canard
James Beard Award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker's renowned restaurants Le Pigeon and Canard are making some permanent adjustments in light of the pandemic's impact. First, Le Pigeon will reopen on May 4 with a tasting menu-only format, with two seatings Tuesday through Saturday. (Yes, that does unfortunately mean that the restaurant's iconic burger is getting the axe, at least for the time being.) Neighboring restaurant Canard reopened on April 28 and is currently serving dinner only, with some creative dishes that showcase Rucker's signature high-low style, such as steak tartare with pimento cheese, duck confit with green garlic baklava, and a pine nut Buster parfait (inspired by DQ's classic peanut version). As of today, per the indoor dining shutdown, Le Pigeon is currently open for outdoor dining, while Canard is open for pickup, delivery, and outdoor dining.
Southeast
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

Saap Fusion Kitchen
In mid-April, entrepreneurs Ryan Hurley and Bobby Rasphangthong opened this new collaboration, which serves a fusion of Latin and Asian cuisines. The restaurant is named for the Asian word "saap," which, according to the website, is "used to describe something delicious and is at the heart of every dish on our menu." The menu includes tempura-battered prawns, noodle salad, lemongrass rice bowls, street tacos, fried chicken, and smoked pork tenderloin.
Vancouver
Pickup or outdoor seating

Wild North
Another entry in the "food cart to brick-and-mortar restaurant" pipeline: The food truck Wild North, which sourced all of its ingredients from a 100-mile radius and which was forced to close early last year due to the pandemic, has moved into a permanent space in a converted house on Broadway. This week's "chef's special" dinner features freshly baked bread, smoky lamb stew or spring chicory coffee carrot soup, smoked chicken liver pate tartlets, spring whiskey barbecue chicken, and smoked chocolate ice cream sandwiches with almond butter cookies. Pro tip: You can even get your bread cut into a bread bowl for your soup, à la Panera (but probably way better). The restaurant is currently open for pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating on its new patio.
Northeast
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

FUTURE OPENINGS

Brasa Haya
On June 9, chef Ian Muntzert (who's racked up restaurant industry cred working as the chef de cuisine at the Michelin-starred restaurant Commonwealth in San Francisco) and his wife Erin will open a new Spanish restaurant called Brasa Haya, in the historic home that formerly housed the beloved Beech Street Parlor. The restaurant will feature Spanish cuisine cooked by live fire with mesquite wood.
Northeast

Ecliptic Brewing
This summer, well-known beer industry veteran John Harris's celestial-inspired brewpub Ecliptic Brewing will expand with a new location in the former space of Base Camp Brewing, which went on the market earlier this year. The space will allow Ecliptic to expand its production and selection. 
Southeast

Killer Burger
The local burger chain will open its 12th location (its fifth within Portland) this summer, in the space that formerly housed Lompoc Tavern.
Northwest

CLOSURES

Nodoguro
The celebrated omakase sushi restaurant Nodoguro, which Andrea Damewood once referred to as the "best sushi in Portland," is moving out of its current space due to not being able to extend its lease. Its future remains uncertain. In an Instagram post this week, owners Ryan and Elena Roadhouse wrote, "With much lasting uncertainty, we will be unable to remain in our current home for another 5. We are moving Nodo out of its home and into the unknown. As this chapter ends, We want to thank you again for all of your love and support, and I do hope that we will soon be sharing news of a home for Nodoguro 3.0."
Southeast

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Haleakala:PDX Pop-Up Market
Local kitchen collective Haleakala:PDX will host a pop-up market with food and drink from vendors like Mestizo, Chelsea Cakes, and the Skinny Chef, as well as music, art, clothing, crafts, and more. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Meals on Us PDX, which works to feed houseless and veteran communities and anyone else affected by food insecurity.
Haleakala:PDX, Saturday, 10 am-7 pm

Spumoni Wine Release
The trendy new local low-intervention winery Spumoni will fête its inaugural vintage with pours and bottles for sale, plus shrimp cocktail and ice cream.
Someday, Sunday, 3-6 pm

WTF Is Orange Wine?
Thanks to the natural wine movement, orange wine is currently de rigueur. Learn all about the style at this online class with Mallory Smith of 1856 Beer Wine Cider and wine writer Martin Skegg.
Online, Sunday, 4-5:30 pm

NEW SPECIALS

Plant Based Papi
Looking for a plant-based take on the birria taco craze sweeping Portland? The vegan comfort food restaurant Plant Based Papi has recreated the popular Mexican dish in meatless form with its new crispy jackfruit birria tacos. The plate also comes with cashew cheese crumbles, chili seasoning, consommé sauce for dipping, and chips with beans, rice, and spicy avocado sauce.
Pickup
Southeast

Tropicale
The tropical bar is currently offering a refreshing zero-proof mango habanero soda. Mango habanero margaritas with booze are also available.
Northeast
Pickup or outdoor seating