Image of Hotel Lucia courtesy Kalpita via Flickr
Chef Vitaly Paley has finally revealed his long-stewing plans for a downtown expansion. The Oregonian reported over the weekend that the Paley's Place owner — along with wife and partner Kim Paley — will open two restaurant concepts inside downtown's Hotel Lucia, in the spaces vacated by Typhoon! and Bo Restobar last year.
The Paleys will open Imperial, a 110-seat fine dining restaurant, this fall, with a Native American flatbread concept, Portland Penny Diner, following suit. In an email, Paley describes both concepts as exploring the idea of "Pacific NW heritage cookery... What ties these two food concepts together is one basic principle of looking to our region's culinary past, interpreting it and adopting it for the present palate while looking at what the future of our region's cookery might be."
As previously reported, Beaker & Flask chef (and longtime Paley protege) Ben Bettinger has been tapped to oversee daily operations at Imperial, which promises a menu influenced heavily by the kitchen's wood-fired oven and rotisserie. (In addition to grilled quail and rabbit entrees, Paley describes menu options like a braised elk shoulder with chestnut grits and huckleberry; chilled geoduck served with preserved citrus and Kutinov steelhead caviar; and a King Salmon "pastrami" on grilled rye.)
The Portland Penny Diner, meanwhile, will combine "melting pot" influences with traditional Native American frybread, in what Paley describes as a "collision of the immigrant food cultures we brought to the Pacific NW, with the Native Americans' puritan approach to food." Expect mash-ups like a bulgogi "sloppy Joe" with cucumber kimchi, and a Wagu pastrami with braised red cabbage and Russian dressing.
Imperial is aiming for a fall 2012 opening, with the Portland Penny Diner following suit a few months later. As always, more information as it becomes available.
· Paley's Place [Official site]
· All Previous Vitaly Paley Coverage [Eater PDX]