Photo courtesy BTU Brasserie
Chinese restaurants are rarely known and loved for their beer lists, but a new project coming soon to Rose City Park hopes to change that completely: Burnside Brewery alums Chris Bogart and Nate Yovu will serve as chef and head brewer, respectively, of BTU Brasserie, a hybrid Chinese restaurant/brewery that Bogart describes as a "restaurant that happens to make its own beer." Build-out is currently underway in the NE Sandy space once home to dim sum restaurant Haidu Seafood, with Bogart and Yovu planning to separate the 4,100-square-foot space into a 40-seat dining room (complete with U-shaped bar) and a 600-square-foot brewery, where Yovu will experiment with "all styles of beer" on its seven-barrel system.
But while beer and Chinese food may seem like an unlikely match-up, the cuisine is in Bogart's blood: His father Steven, prior to retirement, owned two acclaimed Chinese restaurants in Vermont, both called A Single Pebble. "I grew up in his kitchens, working," Bogart says, "and have been cooking Chinese food forever." Bogart will be joined in the kitchen by chef de cuisine Dusty Berard, an eight-year alum of the elder Bogart's kitchen and more recently, an alum of celebrity chef Ming Tsai's Boston empire (he's cooked at Tsai's signature concept Blue Ginger and the tapas-style Blue Dragon).
For BTU, the team will install a custom-made barbecue smokehouse to roast meat and Peking duck; Bogart also promises dishes like braised meats, steamed buns, and small plates (noodle dishes, buns) designed for sharing over beer (particularly, the brewery's light lagers). "We're definitely leaning toward the Schezuan and Hunan cooking style; it is very classic but also somewhat developed by my father back in Vermont," Bogart says. For example: "Instead of using oil to poach our vegetables, we use a good rich stock to poach them, so everything is a lot less greasy." And the spot may add another dim sum option closer-in than SE 82nd: Bogart says the early plan is to eventually launch dim sim on Saturdays, after the restaurant has settled in: "We already have our whole brunch menu planned."
BTU plans a late July opening; more information as it becomes available.
· BTU Brasserie [Official site]