Imperial is ready to stake its claim on the downtown dining scene. The hotly anticipated second restaurant by Beard-winning chef Vitaly Paley swings its doors open this Wednesday on the ground floor of the Hotel Lucia, and as promised, the design highlights the building's historical elements, combining it with the vibe of "primitive, burning campfires." Rustic French oak floors play off of exposed-brick and tiled walls; modern elements include bike-chain chandeliers and tattoo-inspired wallpaper.
As previously reported, the wood-fired grill and rotisserie sits front-and-center, both aesthetically and conceptually. Longtime Paley protege Ben Bettinger (formerly of Beaker & Flask) serves as executive chef, working with Paley on a menu inspired by the historic cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. Stuffed sea bass, quail, and strip loin hits the grill, while entrees include fried rabbit (served with semolina corn cake, watermelon pickles, and Beaumont honey) and tuna a la plancha (plated with Oregon Dungeness crab creamed corn). A sprawling starters section features everything from baked bone marrow to broiled trotters to duck meatballs.
As a hotel restaurant, the spot will serve three meals a day, featuring Paley's first foray into breakfast: In addition to the expected eggs and French toast, expect matzo served with Israeli feta and crispy beef bacon; semolina corn cakes with poached eggs; and warm ricotta with grilled figs. Lunch highlights fish and chips, an albacore tuna club; and yes, a Paley burger.
Imperial opens to the public on Wednesday. Hours moving forward: Breakfast, Monday-Friday, 6:30a.m. to 11a.m.; Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11a.m. to 2p.m.; Dinner, Sunday-Thursday, 5:30p.m. to 10p.m., Friday & Saturday, 5:30p.m. to 11p.m.; Brunch, Saturday & Sunday, 8a.m. to 2p.m.
· Imperial [Official site]
· All Previous Imperial Coverage [Eater PDX]