It's time for Plywood, where we look at construction sites so you don't have to. Seen or heard something we've missed? The tipline is always open.
After co-owning Zefiro, one of Portland's most seminal restaurants ever, going to the big bad east coast city to work as an art director at Vanity Fair for six years, and coming back to cook at local mogul Bruce Carey's eponymously addressed 23Hoyt and downtown Saucebox, Chris Israel is on his way, spaetzlehobel in tow, towards opening Gruner (that means "green" to anyone who didn't grow up in Konstanz), a Central and Eastern European-focused restaurant in Skylab's Jeff Kovel-designed building on 12th and Alder. Smack in food cart world--one-dish wonder Nong's Khao Man Gai is just two blocks away--but in relative restaurant no-man's land, Gruner is going to offer "cozy alpine cuisine" like goulash, schnitzel, and dumplings. Preview dinners--going for $100 a person--are gonna be happening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which leads our inner Sherlock Holmes to speculate on a 2010 full opening.