Chef James Drinkward — who ran downtown's popular food cart Eat This! from 2010 to 2012 — has officially opened the doors of his first brick-and-mortar restaurant, the Huckleberry Pub. The restaurant is the latest project to call the Craftsman-style house off of NW 23rd Avenue home: Previously, the space enjoyed incarnations in the form of the NW Public House, Laurelwood Public House, and most famously, Laslow's, which shuttered in 2004.
The Huckleberry Pub separates the upstairs and downstairs into two distinct dining spaces — "upstairs feels like a pub, downstairs more like a restaurant," Drinkward says — with 40 seats in the family-friendly dining room and 35 more in the pub, which is 21+. (The upstairs bar highlights an eight-item cocktail menu, six beers on tap, and seven TVs for sports-watchers.) Drinkward's food menu, divided into two "small" and "large"-plate sections, applies a seasonal, Northwest slant to comfort food in dishes like shrimp and grits (which features scallops and a fried polenta cake), roasted chicken with Northern California garlic, and lamb shank braised in Port and served with sour cherries — "lots of big, bold flavors," Drinkward says. A daily lunch menu features six sandwich options (including a burger made with house-ground chuck and house-smoked bacon) and salads; happy hour sees discounts on shareable small plates like oxtail polenta.
Huckleberry Pub is open now, with brunch service scheduled to start in three to four weeks. Hours of operation: 11a.m. to midnight, daily.
· Huckleberry Pub [Official site]