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Beaumont’s SouthFork Ditches its Name and Emerges as Perlot

Patrick McKee’s restaurant is now officially “globally inspired” as it hits its first birthday

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Some dishes from Perlot’s anniversary prix fixe
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

SouthFork is heading in a new direction. The restaurant, with a kitchen run by Paley’s Place alum Patrick McKee, is celebrating its first birthday with a new name and a renovation: The Beaumont-Wilshire restaurant has been renamed Perlot, the family name of owner Eric Schindele and the last name of relative Jean-Nicolas Perlot, a leader in the Portland produce market known as “The French Gardener.”

“Perlot was a risk-taker. He was a Portland pioneer, and we want our restaurant to reflect that,” Schindele says, sitting on a leather couch in his restaurant. His partner Casey O’Brien is sitting next to him as a hectic renovation continues in the front room. While Perlot’s adventurous spirit is key to the name change, it also helps on a practical level: SouthFork isn’t really a southern restaurant, a surprise to those who saw the name and expected gumbo and grits. “We wanted to start anew,” O’Brien says. “We’re not a southern restaurant; Patrick (McKee) is globally inspired.”

It makes sense that McKee’s inspiration would be internationally influenced: The Iron Chef America winner staged at Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain, before moving to work under legendary chef Vitaly Paley. McKee says that the last year has been a major learning opportunity for him, running his own kitchen after his Pine Street Market restaurant Common Law closed in 2016. “The more time I’ve had on my own, the more I’ve developed my own voice,” he says. He pulls from experiences in Spain, as well as lessons he learns from his wife and her family, who are Mexican. For instance, his mother-in-law still makes mole for his rabbit dish, which he buys from her. He also pulls inspiration from Southeast Asia, from the green curry aioli on his burger to pork belly banh mi. “(When we started), I was definitely playing it a little more safe, trying to see what was accepted, and I noticed my most daring dishes were celebrated,” the chef says. “It reminded me of something Vitaly would say: ‘We have no rules.’”

You can understand his hesitancy to go bold: In 2016, Smallwares, one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants at the time, closed in Perlot’s very space (that restaurant will reopen farther down Fremont). Chef and writers alike have attributed her difficulty to stay open to the neighborhood, which has historically favored more casual ventures. O’Brien and Schindele feel like Perlot fits well on Fremont, offering some of Beaumont-Wilshire’s only live music on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a jazz brunch. In the spirit of affordability, Perlot also offers an all-day happy hour on Tuesdays, and a three-course dinner for $35 to celebrate the restaurant’s first anniversary. The dinner starts with a summer vegetable plate (perfect for Perlot’s agricultural background and McKee’s dedication to sourcing from local farmers), followed by stuffed rabbit or raviolo, finished with a strawberry shortcake. Take a look at the menu below:

Perlot [Official]
All SouthFork coverage [EPDX]
Chef Patrick McKee Is Back and Taking Over the Old Smallwares Space [EPDX]
Common Law Shuttered at Pine Street Market [EPDX]
Vitaly Paley Defeats Iron Chef Jose Garces in Battle Radish [EPDX]


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