Opened in 2008, Mezza Restaurant served Middle Eastern-inspired dishes like lamb wraps, chicken shawarma, feta-laden salads, and kafta kebobs for years, but in recent months, the menu took a dramatic shift toward lighter French fare. That’s because new owners Joris and Gisella Barbaray took over Mezza in October 2015, and this week, the transformation is complete. Mezza is now Bergerac Restaurant, serving a one-hundred-percent French menu for lunch/brunch and dinner, at 5520 SE Woodstock Blvd (see menus below).
Speaking with Eater, Gisella says, "We have been slowly changing the concept to create an authentic French menu. Joris is French, and I am British, and our cooking reflects the region of France, La Dordogne.” Joris hails from the town of Bergerac in La Dordogne, where he says his father was a butcher, and he and Gisella previously operated a delicatessen together in London. They moved to Portland three years ago, and Joris spent two years as the kitchen manager at Northwest’s lauded French restaurant, St. Jack, before fully dedicating himself to Bergerac.
“It isn’t the type of French restaurant you’ll find on the East Coast,” says Joris. The dishes are meant to be light — omelettes, sandwiches, and quiches for brunch and lunch, and escargot Persillé, caramelized onion tart, blini Provençal ratatouille, and confit de canard for dinner — dishes you can eat everyday (but don’t worry, there are also Benedicts, blue cheese croquettes, and duck foie gras for the gluttons). Mezza’s lamb wrap is definitively gone.
“Our aim is become one of the leading French restaurants in Portland for homemade and affordable cooking with friendly service — a classic French neighborhood bistro,” says Gisella. Bergerac is now open Tuesday through Sunday, serving a combined lunch and brunch menu during the day, as well as dinner at night. It offers a thoughtful wine list, craft beers, and a full bar of aperitifs, classic cocktails, and sparkling cocktails.
- Bergerac [Official Site]