El GAUCHO -- A longtime chef for El Gaucho Hospitality, Steve Cain is now executive chef at the El Gaucho Portland steakhouse. Cain has cooked at several El Gaucho restaurants since 2002, and most recently, he served as executive chef of Seattle's Aqua by El Gaucho. He also brings 13 years' experience with Schwartz Brothers Restaurants, during which he opened Daniel’s Broiler and Chandler’s Crab House in Seattle. Cain hails from Tacoma, WA.
TEARDROP LOUNGE -- Teardrop, that cocktail lounge in the Pearl whose drink menu includes a glossary, released a new way to taste tequilas: Sangrita. Available September only, the $17 flight includes three Siete Leguas tequilas and three house-made sangrita drink recipes. The point is to pair straight tequilas with intense flavors; for instance, a blanco tequila is served alongside a sangrita of pineapple juice, lime, sherry blend, spicy mango chutney, poblano chili, and spices (coriander, cumin, smoked salt, turmeric, and garam masala). According to Teardrop, the tradition goes back to the Jalisco region of Mexico, and most sangritas are either tomato or citrus based.
PAZZO RISTORANTE -- This week, the Italian aperitivo lands at Pazzo, the restaurant inside Kimpton's Hotel Vintage Downtown. In Italy, aperitivo is a seriously bountiful happy hour, during which, for the price of one drink, you get access to a huge buffet of Italian food. It's just one of those absurd and wonderful things Italians do. At Pazzo, you'll find $5 wines and prosecco and $5 small plates, including cauliflower with breadcrumbs, capers, raisins, and pine nuts, and mushroom carpaccio, a plate of raw, thinly sliced mushrooms with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, and Reggiano parmesan. Find it daily, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.