At last, the Southwest Waterfront has a new dining destination. Muselet, the upscale, wine-focused restaurant in the Ardea building, has quietly opened its doors.
Owner Ron Acierto, a front-of-the-house veteran who worked as general manager and wine steward at several upscale restaurants including Bluehour, Lucier, Departure, and Jory at Newberg's The Allison Inn, brings a serious wine focus to Muselet, with help from wine curator Jeff Vejr. The rather wine-geeky by-the-glass list is heavy on European whites, sparklers and French Champagnes, with about a dozen whites and reds from Oregon. There is also a small but well-thought-out beer selection, and half a dozen craft cocktails.
The opening chef was going to be William Harper, but earlier this spring, the Japanese-influenced chef moved on to Langbaan and was replaced by Greg Zanotti, who has been serving as Justin Woodward's right-hand-man at Castagna for the past 18 months. His menu focuses on French-inspired seasonal dishes made with local ingredients, things like rilletes with wild violet mustard; spot prawns with hen of the woods mushrooms and douglas fir; and wagyu culotte steaks with mustard greens, pine cream, cauliflower and hazelnuts.
For now, Muselet (named for the wire cage that covers the cork on a Champagne bottle), is open for dinner only Tuesdays through Saturdays. But soon the team plans to open for morning coffee and pastries, lunch, Sunday Champagne brunch, and "Soiree" (otherwise known as happy hour), which will be available both at the bar and on the patio.
Muselet, 3730 SW Bond Ave., Portland. Opening hours: Tuesday through Saturday 4 p.m. until close.