Surprise: Super buzzy cocktail bar Scotch Lodge is opening a day early, with mozzarella-stick-style fried brie, sea-bean-infused martinis, and plenty of absurdly rare bottles of scotch.
Last month, the team at Scotch Lodge announced that the bar, a big-deal whiskey den from Multnomah Whiskey Library alum Tommy Klus, would finally open May 2, revealing the brown-and-green tinged space and its A-Team of bar and kitchen staff — everyone from Aaron Zieske (Canard) to Tim Artale (Proud Mary). Today, the restaurant announced that — psych! — the bar is actually opening early, with service tonight starting at 4 p.m.
The restaurant’s opening food menu falls somewhere between super elegant and ultra playful: The restaurant’s swirl of pasta packs some surprisingly briny flavors thanks to black trumpet mushrooms and “umami fresno spice,” while the fried brie, coated in crumbled pumpernickel and a touch of verjus syrup, arrives like a pile of gussied-up mozzarella sticks. Things can also get more delicate, between a scallop crudo with preserved lemon juice and beef tartare with smoked celeriac and horseradish.
Beyond the mysterious, let-me-just-pull-this-off-the-bar-for-you bottles of 60-year-old whiskey, Scotch Lodge’s cocktail menu uses its namesake spirit in surprising ways, from sliding it into a gin martini with sea-bean-infused vermouth, to making it square off against mezcal in a coriander-laden, leather-chair-in-a-glass. Beyond scotch, the bar also gives whiskies a tropical touch, including a bonded rye drink using blackstrap rum and the tiki classic falernum. To go even more tiki, Nobody’s Poet combines pineapple rum with 10-year bourbon, plus a touch of coconut oolong demerara and cinnamon. Explore the food and drink menus for yourself below, and know that they will only get more involved with time:
• Scotch Lodge [Official]
• Scotch Lodge, a Swanky Cocktail Cave from Tommy Klus, Opens May 2 [Portland Monthly]
• All previous Scotch Lodge coverage [EPDX]