Thanks to its old-money refinement and astounding whiskey collection, Multnomah Whiskey Library is a pillar in the local drinking scene after only two years in operation, and now it's upping its food offerings. What started as a small menu of snacks now includes more mains—many featuring spirits (see full menu below). For that you can thank Ben Grossmann, who took over the Library's kitchen in June.
"We have such an amazing selection of spirits," Grossmann tells Eater, "and I want the food to complement the list and be just as excellent and unique." To do so, he's developed an "almost all new" menu at Multnomah Whiskey Library. The signature burger comes with rye-soaked caramelized onions; Oregon albacore tuna features gelee cubes of Rutte Gin; and Salt and Pepper Fries have a side of whiskey-sour aioli.
Grossmann hails from Olympia, Washington, and says he grew up cooking with his mom and grandmother. "I learned from them how important food is in creating community," he says.
He then studied at Lewis and Clark College, where he managed the only student-run cafe on campus. As word of his cooking skills spread, he started catering. Then he went to culinary school in Coos Bay.
In Portland, he worked his way up to sous chef at Nostrana, where he says he stayed for four years. Most recently, Grossmann has been overhauling the food menu at Dig-a-Pony.
Grossmann isn't the only new face in the Multnomah Whiskey Library kitchen: Isabel Kitchen—yes, her last name is actually Kitchen—recently came in as pastry chef, with experience at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and Andina here in Portland. "My style is classic American desserts with an edge," says Kitchen, and like Grossmann, she'll be incorporating spirits into her desserts.
Multnomah Whiskey Library is open to the public Monday through Saturday. Here's a recent menu to see what's new: