Last week, chef Nicholas Ford and bartender Brandon Gomez, the duo behind the insanely popular P.R.E.A.M. pizza popups that have found a permanent home in the old Tennessee Red's space, announced a series of preview dinners April 15-18. They're already sold out, but if you didn't score one don't worry. The restaurant's opening date is right around the corner. According to Eat Beat, P.R.E.A.M., the next generation, goes live April 24.
Ford and Gomez have been working hard getting the space ready, doing most of the work themselves and posting the progress on Instagram. Expect a long bar and a green-tiled open kitchen featuring a hulking Gianni Acunto wood-fired oven from Naples.
And lots of graffiti and vinyl records on the walls.
If the preview menus are any indication, Ford's food will reach farther and wider than the pop-ups, with apps like arancini with pork sugo, salads like grilled romaine with smoked mayo and chicken skin, and a series of grilled polenta dishes topped with seasonal accompaniments. And of course, there's pizza — more than half a dozen varieties including Italian sausage with smoked bechamel and chiles.
As for the drinks, Gomez tells Eat Beat he's working on soda fountain cocktails that he'll serve in vintage soda bottles, including a Root Beer Flip with bourbon, egg, and cream, and a bourbon-spiked cola.
You can also expect a heavy dose of hip hop. Gomez tells Eat Beat: "When we play music, we blast it. It's like how Tarantino says music is 80% of his movies. I'm the same way — the music, the vibe, the way you experience it — that's 80% of the restaurant."
P.R.E.A.M. (opening April 24): 2133 SE 11th Ave., Portland