NORTHEAST—Nicolle Dirks and Jose "Pepe" Arancibia's Peruvian restaurant, Epif Restaurant & Pisco Lounge, opened at 404 NE 28th Avenue on November 4. Early diners will no doubt note the decor—church pew seating, countertops made from old skateboards, and an impressive hand-carved front door are nearly eclipsed by the fact that the brightly painted space is built around an old tree. The fare here is vegetarian—Dirks and Arancibia once ran a restaurant in Chile dedicated to Pacific NW vegetarian cuisine—with drinks designed by Bull in China.
NORTHEAST—After nearly a yearlong wait, Bunk's Tommy Habetz's Pizza Jerk (née Moon Pizza) finally opened at 5028 NE 42nd Avenue on November 27. His new somewhat-East-Coast-inspired pizza joint—yes, there will be white clam pies—features wooden booths, gingham tablecloths, and stained-glass hanging lamps, and opens nightly at 4:30 p.m. Habetz has had a good month. In addition to Pizza Jerk's grand opening, he opened his first Bunk outside of Portland (in Brooklyn, NY) and was named by his mentor, Mario Batali, as one of this nation's top three "chef[s] on the rise."
SOUTHEAST—With the help of her friend and culinary accomplice Brittney Galloway, Prasad's Karen Pride quietly opened a second Prasad on the mezzanine of the Portland Rock Gym at 21 NE 12th Ave. on November 6. The small space gives climbers and the neighborhood's healthy eaters a new option for what Pride calls "simple, healthy, all-organic" and mostly vegan food, as well as a few draft beer and wine-by-the-glass pours for all of you post-workout unwinders.
SOUTHEAST—Richard Satnick, the brains behind Portland's two Dick's Kitchen locations, opened a third spot to add to his Dick's corral, but this latest venture offers a twist. Dick's Primal Burger, which opened at 4905 SE Woodstock Boulevard during the second week of November, will still feature paleo-worthy burgers and bowls, but the previously baked french fries are getting upgraded via rice bran oil-filled deep fryers. Technically not paleo, but more consistent and a lot tastier.
SOUTHEAST—House Spirits, the makers of Aviation Gin, just opened a brand new 14,000-square-foot distillery and tasting room on November 16 at 65 SE Washington Street. When it comes to distilling, it'll be business as usual at the $6 million facility. However, because the new facility's so much larger than the old one, expect to see some experimental spirits coming to a bar menu near you sometime soon.
NORTHWEST—With the November 19 opening of its 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop at 2290 NW Thurman St., the folks at McMenamins have staked yet another claim in the northwest's Alphabet District. (The bottle shop joins the Blue Moon, the Rams Head, and the Tavern & Pool.) The space, located directly across from Slabtown's public library branch, spotlights 800 bottles of craft beer and cider, McMenamins spirits, and taps for as many as 16 draft beers. There isn't a kitchen, but the shop is located right next door to the Tavern & Pool, meaning you can get burgers and snacks delivered right to your table.
HAPPY VALLEY—It took nearly three years of planning (including assistance with helping Happy Valley officials craft their first-ever food cart pod ordinances), but developer Valerie Hunter finally saw the opening of her new pod, Happy Valley Station, at 13551 SE 145th St. on November 20. Hunter says her goal was to bring more diversity to a dining scene dominated by big corporate chains. With 4,000 square feet of shared dining space, a bar that pours 40-plus craft beers, and 26 independent food cart vendors, it's safe to say that she has.
MCMINNVILLE—During the first week of November, Ransom Spirits quietly opened the doors to a new tasting room in Peirano & Daughters Deli at 525 NE 3rd Street in McMinnville. If you're in the area and want to sample some vermouths, gins, and whiskeys, drop in between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on any day but Monday.