I had the opportunity to visit Bluehour, a pretty, upscale Portland restaurant with a great happy hour, yesterday with a bunch of lovely bloggers and try out their new menu from the new chef, Kyo Koo. The last time I'd visited Bluehour was right around when Ben and I had first moved to Portland and were strolling the Pearl district looking for a great happy hour. Cue Moscow mules and the Bluehour happy hour burger which was inexpensive and one of the best burgers we'd had yet in PDX.
I sadly hadn't been back to Bluehour for an actual dinner (chalk it up to time and money constraints and a never-ending list of restaurants to try), so I was thrilled to go out last night and try some of their new menu items. I was also lucky enough to learn how to make the Templeton Abbey with bartender Gigi. The dinner was absolutely delicious, unique, and something I'd highly recommend Bluehour to anyone looking for a beautiful restaurant ambience, great menu, and Portland-inspired, unique menu. Their happy hour is also a crazy good meal.
We started off the evening handcrafting a Templeton Abbey with bartender Gigi. To make a Templeton Abbey a la Bluehour, you'll need to: muddle two slices of cucumber with a sprig of rosemary in a shaker. Add 2 oz. of rye, 1 oz. of lime juice, 3/4 oz. of ginger liqueur. Fill shaker with ice. Shake well until chilled. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a piece of rosemary that has been either slapped or crushed to bring out the essential oils. Enjoy!
This cocktail wow-ed me in how easy it was to make and how fantastic it tasted (no overwhelming lime, ginger, rye, or rosemary - just amazing combined flavors).
On to the amuse bouche - grilled brioche with salmon and beets. A perfect way to start the evening post-cocktail.
An heirloom beet salad - epically good and very simple.
King crab with wild mushrooms. This appetizer was absolutely decadent and delicious. The crab was perfectly buttery.
Amazing Haiga rice risotto with squash and wild mushrooms. Chef Koo explained that Haiga is a varietal of rice that's a cross between brown and white and has a great texture for making risotto (it held some texture instead of just getting goopy).
Hand cut wheat noodles with pork belly, prawns, zucchini, and a black bean bolognese sauce (very unique dish with a faux bolognese from fermented soy beans).
Kumamoto oysters on the half shelf.
Smoked duck breast and ginger sausage - this duck was delicious and some of the best duck I've ever had. Perfectly cooked!
Coho salmon, radish, pine mushroom, and rainbow chard.
Patisserie plate of chocolates and petit fours.
Cinnamon apple brioche with gelato - my favorite dessert of the bunch - perfectly sweet, yet crunchy, and seasonally delicious.
Dark chocolate porter cake with chocolate porter sorbet and a malted vanilla bean milkshake. I was obsessed with this sorbet and cake together. They were very complimentary and yet not too rich! All in all a wonderful dessert menu!
I hope you get to stop by Bluehour sometime soon if you're in PDX or visiting. The ambience and food are perfect for a romantic night out or a dinner with family!