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The incredible view of the Willamette River from the Amadeus Manor dining room
Ryan W. Jones/Amadeus Manor

One of Portland’s Most Beautiful Restaurants Tries to Dodge the Chopping Block

Amadeus Manor is a stone palace in Portland no one knows about

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Named "Portland's most romantic destination" by Bravo Magazine in 2011, Amadeus Manor is a 175-seat restaurant inside of a sprawling 10,000-square-foot, turn-of-the-century estate looming over the Willamette River, and it could soon close to make way for townhouses. In an effort to save the exceptional venue, featuring stone construction, Persian rugs, and a large fireplace, new owner Sidney Lynne is taking steps to improve business, including hiring help in the kitchen and inaugurating Sunday brunch this weekend.

Located at 2122 SE Sparrow St. (near Elk Rock) in the Milwaukie suburb of Portland, Amadeus Manor originated as Chalet L'Abbe and was more recently known as Fernwood Inn. Lynne says it is still a popular wedding and private events venue, but last year, it was almost sold to developers. Lynne grew up in Portland — she met her husband 31 years ago at Portland State — and operates Nostalgic Home Realty, and she quietly took over the Amadeus Manor lease from former owner Kristina Poppemeier in August 2016.

"I love to beat out builders who are going to tear down Portland homes, after having my own personal home torn down,” says Lynne. “I feel like an archeologist."

Amadeus Manor

Lynne says she isn’t sure if she’ll be able to keep the restaurant open to the public, and she’s caught between retaining its identity and trying to improve its offerings. She admits that the menu hasn’t changed for nearly three decades, but describing the estate as a “living restaurant museum,” she says that’s what people love about it.

“I'm used to people coming in every day and saying how much they love these dishes," she says.

So what exactly is going on in the kitchen? Originally from Austria, Chef Ferdinand has ruled the burners for the past 27 years, serving things like Austrian gulasch, cordon bleu, and steak au poivre Madagascar. Lynne wants to preserve that old-school menu, but she’s brought in a new chef, Larry Fortenberry, in order to expand hours, as well as other aspects of the restaurant, like offering delivery. Fortenberry grew up in Milwaukie and most recently worked as sous chef at Alaska’s Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.

Weekly Sunday brunch kicks off on July 23, and it reveals a mix of new and old dishes, including “Chef Ferdinand's classic eggs Benedict” and “Chef Larry's breakfast potatoes.” The menu includes french toast, baron of beef au jus, spinach and mushroom quiche, house-cured lox, and bottomless mimosas made with either house pineapple sorbet or orange juice for $12. Brunch runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the restaurant accepts walk-ins, as well as reservations through the website or by calling 503.659.1735.

Amadeus Manor is also open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. (note that it sometimes closes for special events). On nice nights, the best tables are those on the outside stone deck with views of the city skyline in the distance.

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