After months keeping things under wraps, the team at the incoming downtown Portland Ritz-Carlton has revealed its plans for the hotel’s lobby bar, opening later this fall. Meadowrue — named for the buttercup-esque Western Meadowrue — uses folk tales and enchanted forests as inspiration, serving chinook salmon rillettes and Old Fashioneds under a vertical ceiling garden and twinkling lights.
Meadowrue, decked out in dark greens and sapphire blues among “dark timber accents,” will be open for morning coffee and breakfast before transitioning into cocktail bar service in the evenings. Coava has developed an exclusive blend for the Ritz-Carlton, which will serve as the foundation for several coffee drinks; in terms of breakfast items, Meadowrue will similarly rely on Oregon-based products. For example, the bar and restaurant’s quiche will pair spring onions and toasted pine nuts with Rogue Creamery cheese, while an oat milk yogurt parfait will use both Oregon blueberries and toasted hazelnuts.
In the evenings, the kitchen will continue to lean on Oregonian ingredients, though the menu will be simpler: think house salmon rillette using smoked Chinook from Josephson’s Smokehouse in Astoria, or Olympia Provisions charcuterie. The cocktail menu is where Meadowrue appears to be flexing: For instance, the bar’s take on a margarita uses a private Meadowrue barrel of Codigo 1530 Rosa Tequila, as well as Grand Marnier, clarified orange juice, and lime treacle. The house Aviation riff incorporates a brioche-infused Amontillado sherry. The Old Fashioned is a particular stunner, with the bar touching each ingredient in some way — Meadowrue barrel-aged Buffalo Trace bourbon arrives with house-made bitters and coffee syrup made with Coava’s Urban Forest Blend roast. The same level of attention goes to nonalcoholic drinks, like the You Made Me Blush, with Lyre’s Pink London Spirit, cloudy apple juice, pomegranate syrup, and apple cider vinegar. The Ritz-Carlton team has yet to reveal Meadowrue’s food and beverage director or the bar manager.
The Portland Ritz-Carlton will open within the Block 216 building, a skyscraper landing in the lot once home to the Alder Street Food Carts. The Ritz-Carlton’s main restaurant, Bellpine, will sit on the building’s 20th story, overseen by Portuguese chef Pedro Almeida; Almeida ran the Michelin-starred Midori in Sintra. Lauro Romero, a Portland chef known for tenure at Republica and his pop-up, Clandestino, will also help Almeida at Bellpine. On the ground floor, Block 216 will operate Flock, a food hall packed with Portland chefs — an homage to the food carts that once stood where the building now stands. The building’s restaurants are expected to open in the late fall.
Stay tuned for more updates.