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One Year In: Muselet Shares Roller Coaster Ride in South Waterfront Neighborhood

Hear the tales behind Muselet's first complicated year of business

Muselet Restaurant & Wine Bar
Muselet Restaurant & Wine Bar
Dina Avila/EPDX

Muselet is a refined but playful restaurant in South Waterfront, and with a wealth of wine experience, owner Ron Acierto says he wants his restaurant to serve as a concierge to Champagne and Oregon wine country. "I want to show everyone Champagne isn't just for special occasions," says Acierto, "and I love sharing the little mom and pop wineries in Willamette Valley."

I'm independent, I'm small, and there's still a struggle to get Portland to come to South Waterfront.

But the first year has had its ups and downs. "I'm independent, I'm small, and there's still that struggle to get all of Portland to come to South Waterfront," says Acierto.

Complications started when Muselet spent a year and a half trying to get a lease. "It's an upcoming neighborhood," says Acierto, "but many of the big real estate businesses that own the buildings work mostly with restaurant chains—not something like Muselet."

Acierto says the past six months have been better, with more people moving into the area who are hungry to try out its modern dishes. On the food front, Muselet serves oysters, charcuterie, elaborate cheese boards, salads with horseradish and chevre dressing, and dishes of pork, wagyu, and halibut. The kitchen is rooted in seasonal cooking and often recreates classic dishes with modern techniques.

We serve you this really tangy, bright, acidic, fermented potato that takes three weeks to make.

"Right now we serve these little Swedish peanut potatoes," says chef Alex Sullivan-Parker, "but instead of just cooking and smashing them, we first sous vide them in chicken fat; then ferment them for two weeks in buttermilk whey; and then smash them. Then we fry them in clarified butter, and we serve you this really tangy, bright, acidic, fermented potato that takes three weeks to make."

Chef Sullivan-Parker will take over as executive chef at the end of May, upon exit of the current executive chef, Greg Zanotti. Sullivan-Parker and Zanotti have cooked together for two years—one of which was at Castagna—and Sullivan-Parker says he helped Zanotti with the Muselet menu since day one, so don't expect a drastic change in cooking style.

To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Muselet is offering tons of wine specials throughout May (see them below), and they won't stop: To celebrate the Rose Festival, June will bring a month of rosé, too.

Muselet's One Year Anniversary Wine Specials:

  • Champagne Tuesdays - $10 glasses of Champagne all night
  • Wine Wednesdays - Discounts on the full wine list of over 350 bottles
  • Throwback Thursdays - Weekly classic cocktails at $7
  • Fizzy Fridays- $4 local craft beers and $10 local sparkling wine
  • Wine Tasting Saturdays - Weekly complimentary wine tasting series, from 5-6:30 p.m., every Saturday, featuring a different winemaker each week

Muselet Restaurant & Wine Bar

3730 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239 (503) 265-8133

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