Chef John Gorham (of Toro Bravo and Tasty N Alder fame) has revealed a few more details about his anticipated Pearl District restaurant Mediterranean Exploration Company, scheduled to softly open on July 16 (the "soft" opening stage will last through the end of July). According to a press release, the Toro/Tasty team will line the former Riffle NW space with white tile and expand the bar space, with 18 bar seats, 18 seats at the open kitchen, and room for 60 additional guests throughout.
And unsurprisingly, Gorham's menu — borrowing influences from Turkey, North Africa, and Israel — is designed for family-style dining, separated into five sections: Mezza, Oven, Grill, Piato, and Plancha. According to a press release, Gorham and executive chef Kasey Mills will serve housemade breads and pita alongside homemade lebneh, hummus, fried smelt, and anchovies; larger plates include grilled lamb chops, gyros, "Eastern-style" fried chicken (a recent test version was made with Aleppo pepper and honey), and sweet-and-sour brisket. Meanwhile, former Tasty N Alder bartender Jamal Hassan will spearhead the cocktail program, promising Mediterranean ingredients "like figs, dates, rose water, and honey." More on MEC as its July 16 opening nears.
· Mediterranean Exploration Company [Official site]
· All Previous MEC Coverage [Eater PDX]