After months of anticipation, one of spring 2014 (and fall 2013's) most eagerly awaited openings is finally here: Chef Bonnie Morales's Kachka, a vodka-fueled interpretation of her Eastern European childhood, opened earlier this week in on SE Grand Avenue. As promised, its 50-seat interior borrows design details from Belarussian country homes: A colorful wood-paneled wall mimics the exterior of a wooden Russian house; family photographs and flags line the walls; and a back-room private dining space houses a plush patterned couch straight from a grandmother's living room.
Morales's dinner menu highlights zakuski — the parade of appetizers that ostensibly comes before a meal — with both hot (blintzes, fried lamb pies) and cold selections (salted mackerel and new potatoes; cured fish boards), including a caviar service featuring a half-dozen roe options ranging in price from accessible to "high-roller." The "Ruskie Zakuski experience," similar in style to an omakase menu, fills the table with appetizers for $22 per person; those looking for plated entrees can choose from five options, like sweet and sour cabbage rolls (which can be made vegan), brined and grilled whole trout, and short rib borscht.
On the drink menu, expect lots of vodka: Dozens of brands are available in three sizes (by the gram), with a half-dozen flights available for tastings (one flight highlights house infusions, in flavors like chamomile, coriander, and bay leaf).
Kachka is open now. Hours of operation: 4p.m. to midnight, daily (with happy hour available from 4-6p.m. and 10p.m.-midnight).
· Kachka [Official site]
· All Previous Kachka Coverage [Eater PDX]