Holy pop-ups, Batman: Since Eater's last look at Portland's then-burgeoning pop-up scene, the pop-up dinner (aka the transient, non-permanent dinner thrown by moonlighting chefs and culinary instructors) has entered the spotlight in full force. Pop-ups, as a collective thing, were named the Restaurant of the Year in the Oregonian, "unrestaurants" took over Portland Monthly's July issue, and a half-dozen more semi-recurring events have entered the fold.
Here now, an updated look at the pop-up events on Portland's culinary calendar (if you're looking for coverage of permanent events like Holdfast Dining and Langbaan, head to their respective links). And check in often: This list will be continually updated as new events emerge and as existing concepts finalize their dates.
Pop-ups with upcoming dates:
Soup Dumpling at Aviary
What: Is a pop-up still a pop-up if it occurs in your own restaurant? Aviary chef/co-owner Jasper Shen flips the menu at the NE Alberta restaurant one day a month to focus on his passion for Chinese soup dumplings. The prix-fixe family-style menu features different kinds xiao long bao, noodle soup, wontons in chili oil, and other Chinese dishes that represent menu possibilities for Shen's planned Chinese restaurant.
Where: NE Alberta's Aviary.
When: Wednesday, July 23, rolling from 5-10p.m.
Cost: $35, not including beverages or gratuity. Reservations recommended but not required.
After Hours Supper Club
What: Xico pastry chef Mindy Keith, partner Richard Batley, and Little T Baker's Dillon DeBauche will soon debut their collaborative After Hours Supper Club, offering a six-course "communal dining" experience that'll kick off in Little T's SE Division bakery on July 24. An early menu suggests possible courses like Dungeness crab with corn brodo and popcorn puree; braised goat leg with lentil naan; and an olive oil and honey fry bread, topped with eggplant and mozzarella.
Where: Little T's SE Division location.
When: Thursday, July 24, at 7p.m.
Cost: $90, including wine pairings; reservations here.
Thali Supper Club
What: Longtime culinary instructor Leena Ezekiel (who's offered classes at In Good Taste and Sur La Table) serves the cuisine of her native India in a monthly pop-up series that launched last fall. Each dinner has served thali plates featuring the cuisine of different regions of India (May's Goa dinner offered vindalho de porco and prawns with curry leaf and poppy; April's Assam event highlighted mangshor jhol, a curry with goat and turmeric). July's dinner will feature the cuisine of "Kerala's backwaters."
Where: NE's din din Supper Club.
When: July 26; the following dinner (with a theme TBD) is set for August 29.
Cost: $65-70, and dinners are BYOB.
Able Farms's Dinner Series
What: Chef Megan Denton will launch her Able Farms dinner series later this month in some serious style — by taking over a boat at Green Anchors Enterprises, a business park by the St. Johns Bridge. The four-course dinner (in collaboration with chef Jane Hashimawari of the Ippai pop-up series) will feature sustainably-sourced seafood, all paired with wine and Japanese drinking vinegars. Future dinners highlight "Farm to Able" themes.
Where: Green Anchors Enterprises in St. Johns.
When: Sunday, July 27; with more (non-boat) dinners on the calendar for August.
Cost: $50 to the inaugural boat dinner, including wine pairings; reservations here.
Morgan Street Theater
What: Ice-cream enthusiast Jared Goodman launched his dessert-focused pop-up Morgan Street Theater earlier this year, starting out as an invite-only event in his dining room. Recently, he's branched out into an official pop-up concept, offering three-course sundae tasting menus. The next event is a collaborative effort with Xico pastry chef Mindy Keith, and promises ice cream dishes like brown butter and sage ice cream with roasted peach, ginger and elderflower compote, and Moscato drizzle.
When: Thursday, July 31. Follow Morgan's calendar for upcoming August sundae celebrations.
Cost: $25, including ice cream, coffee or tea.
Factotum Supper Club
What: Chefs Patrick Mannion and Jon Tancinco have hosted a handful of their communally-seated, multi-course pop-ups influenced in part by Mannion's time in acclaimed kitchens like Eleven Madison Park and Alinea. Previous dinners have featured seven courses of dishes like sweet corn ravioli with smoked bacon, Dungeness crab, and corn silk; cherry tomatoes with tomato water mousse and olive oil "popcorn"; and Thai basil lemon parfait. The August dinner will offer two eight-course seatings at the West End's Racion, more information by emailing here.
Where: Varies, with the next event at Racion.
When: Monday, August 4, with seatings at 5:30p.m. and 8p.m.
Cost: $75, plus an optional $25 wine pairing.
What: Former Masu chef Ryan Roadhouse offers his take on sosaku ryori, featuring nine courses of "creative and immersive Japanese food." July's series of dinners (which just wrapped up) featured a Tanabata (Japanese firefly festival) theme, with courses like uni-topped tofu with caviar; and a cucumber shiso soup with fermented Japanese apricot and sardine senbei. Reservations are now available to August's line-up, theme to-be-announced.
Where: Roadhouse recently moved his show to the counter at SE Hawthorne's Evoe.
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.
Cost: $85, including tea service (but not alcoholic beverages or gratuity); reservations here.
What: Chef Vitaly Paley (of Paley's Place and Imperial) returns to his Russian roots with a recurring monthly pop-up that takes over the Portland Penny Diner the second Thursday of every month. Past five-course dinners have featured dishes like soup and piroshki, housemade caviar with cured salmon, and blini pancakes.
Where: Downtown's Portland Penny Diner.
When: August 14, 6:30p.m.
Cost: $65, not including gratuity.
Photo courtesy Factotum Supper Club
Past pop-ups / future dinner dates TBD:
What: Eater Young Gun 2014 Nora Antene and chef Andrew Mace (who both cook at Le Pigeon during the day) moonlight during their collaborative pop-up Limited Company. Past multi-course dinners have featured dishes like sweetbreads with scallop and onion; charred fennel cheesecake; and pineapple shabu shabu.
What: Chef Jane Hashimawari's Ippai can usually be found serving Japanese curry and pickles at the Hollywood and Lents farmer's markets, but on occasion, she swaps the rice bowls for a multi-course kaiseki dinner series. In traditional style, Ippai's multi-course kaiseki series places as much attention on the aesthetic presentation of each dish.
Where/When: August event TBD.
Cost: $100, not including gratuity; reservations here.
What: A pair of progressively minded chefs — former Castagna sous chef Ryan Fox and Atera alum Ali Matteis — launched a monthly pop-up "focused on showcasing the beauty of Portland's bounty on a thoughtful and well-executed canvas" (according to a preview video, the former is lovely foraged, while ceramic artist Mikayla Bateman provides the custom plates that provide the canvas). Dates for the upcoming August event will be revealed later this week, per social media.
When: August TBD
Pisqu Tapas Bar
What: Chef Josue Rivas (formerly of NW's Limo Peruvian) launched his Pisco-inspired pop-ups earlier this summer, thus far throwing two events: The first paired the Peruvian liquor with tapas, the second with ceviche. Keep an eye out for upcoming events; as Rivas plans a summer's worth of pop-up bars.
What: Chef Jake Martin, most recently of Genoa, co-founded his Daphne pop-up in April. The first event featured 11 courses, including a veal with a mushroom "cracker" and miso, and lamb with carrot and za'taar.
Flight Dessert Bar
What: Chef Nate Hamilton offers an all-dessert tasting menu at this pop-up dessert "bar," which got its start at NW's Bluebird Bakery and has now moved to the West End. The menu changes monthly, but past installments have featured themes like "Midwestern" (with courses like a deconstructed apple pie, fried chicken and maple gelato, and pineapple upside-down cake) and "Herb" (featuring goat cheese and phyllo with lavender and rosemary, and a warm milk chocolate mousse with mint and milk sorbet). The concept is "temporarily on hiatus."
What: So far this year, Boke Bowl alum Kristin Arychuk has hosted two Pondicherry pop-ups, which focuses on "historically appropriate" French-Indian food. Keep up-to-date with future events here.
· All Previous Pop-Up Coverage [Eater PDX]