Monday, January 28, 2013

Relish Gastropub - a sneak peek at our wine program

Neighborhoods are the sum total of the emotions, experiences, occasions, and coincidences of the folks who live in them. Sometimes the occasion for going out is a solitary moment to enjoy a quick snack, a brew and your favorite book. Other times, it might be a simple dinner with friends or maybe family visiting from out of town. And then there are the special occasions, the celebrations, and milestone moments when the simple must be transcended.

We’re curating our wine list to fit the needs of the community for all occasions. For the daily rhythm of Portland neighborhood life, Relish Gastropub will present a 150+ label list, highlighting affordability with 60+ labels under $39, and 27 by the glass selections. In addition, we will offer a selection of rarities such as 1998 Gaja [Barbaresco], 1975 Château Palmer [Margaux], and 1999 Dominus Estate [Napa Valley]. These wines are for special nights when you are treating yourself or toasting with loved ones.  We’re not planning to hang the proverbial hat on a prestigious list by any means.  It’s not an everyday occurrence when wines such as these sell, but one of the gems found in our modern public house is a wine cellar at the ready. Our rare wines will be nestled in it, poised to meet any occasion which calls for their uncorking.

We’re opening soon and looking forward to toasting our own milestone moment with you!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Relish Gastropub “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting”

Hello Portland! We’ve pushed back our opening date to early February.  The delay is necessary for Relish Gastropub to have an excellent opening launch in Sellwood-Moreland [PDX]. We are very excited to open our doors, but at the same time, everything has to be perfect or as close to perfect as can be.

Andy Warhol once said, “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” Maybe that’s true, but we promise we’re not trying to heighten the suspense!  We’ll see you in February.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Relish Gastropub: Casual-Upscale vs. Upscale-Casual

Our owners and chef have been working toward opening Relish Gastropub all of their lives. This endeavor is the culmination of their lives’ work and experience. As rich and complex as their careers have been up to this point, their pursuits are still quite simple: for Chef Valoff, to cook really good food; for Marla and Akhil, to take really good care of people. To say the team is eager to open the doors is an understatement.

In Portland, as a brand new opening restaurant, the top questions we’re asked are: what’s it going to be like and of course, what type of food will we serve? We all have backgrounds in fine dining, working at places that have great food, attention to detail and guest focus, and the prices of some of our previous employers might be considered upmarket. Keep in mind, places that execute food, drinks, atmosphere and service at a very high level, even with a high ticket price, still provide excellent value. As it is said, when quality comes first, value follows. This is the philosophy with luxury goods: the handbag is pricey, but the quality superior; and so, a great value. This is in contrast to the idea of affordability.  Affordable things fit into the very day to day of our lives. They provide comfort such as an ice cold IPA or a perfectly seasoned burger.

So while our working backgrounds are upmarket-fine dining, the place we are creating in Sellwood-Moreland [PDX] is a neighborhood restaurant. We think of Relish Gastropub as casual-upscale. The prices will be affordable [casual], the food will be exceptional [upscale].  We couldn’t consider ourselves a neighborhood spot and be pricey at the same time. They don’t go hand in hand. Then you become an upscale-casual place that happens to be located in a Portland neighborhood. This is not our intention. Instead, our raison d'être is to create a casual and warm gastronomic experience within the walls of a true neighborhood restaurant, even if the gastronomic experience is an ice cold IPA and a perfectly seasoned burger! :-)

We’ll see you soon!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Relish Gastropub – what to expect

At a certain quality level of restaurant in Portland, Oregon, it’s a given that ingredients will be: local, seasonal, responsibly-raised, organic, sustainably-farmed, and the like. This is our status quo. With Oregon’s climate and dedication to ingredients, it isn’t even difficult to execute as say other restaurant markets to the East. We are a chef’s paradise. This happy state is celebrated, written about, and envied worldwide. This is why culinary minded folks live and visit here.  It doesn’t really give a new PDX restaurant anything to shout about, since we all embrace this status quo of “gastropolis” like the very air we breathe.

So, where does Relish Gastropub fall in the Portlandia culinary scheme of things?  In the kitchen, Chef Josef Valoff believes in assertive flavors and executing techniques required to get the most out of the ingredients he hand selects. Many of the processes he uses take days [weeks even] to reach the desired effect. While there is simplistic beauty in the farm to plate minimalist mantra of taking a beautifully raised piece of meat, seasoning it perfectly and throwing it on a grill, Chef is a proponent of seasoned through preparations such as brining, smoking, rubbing and curing to take that same responsibly raised livestock to deeper layers of flavor.

In the dining room, our commitment to Sellwood-Moreland and the folks that make the trip to our little neighborhood public house in a word is graciousness. We feel somewhere in the development of the farm-to-plate-artisanal-craft proliferation, the notion of Service got lost in the shuffle.  While much is written about our mixologists, micro-roasters, craft distillers, brewers and cuisine, nary a word is jotted regarding Service. Service somehow moved from a lost art to a forgotten art. First and foremost, our owners Marla and Akhil enjoy taking care of people, which is their reason for opening Relish Gastropub. They are committed to bringing their version of graciousness to Portland’s restaurant landscape. Aside from creating a comfortable spot, free from pretentiousness, Relish Gastropub will feature one of the city’s most affordable wine lists [150+ labels] with 60+ labels under $39. Additionally, 27 wines will be offered by the glass, 20 taps will rotate craft beers and the bar program will focus on making crave-able cocktails.

We’re a few days out from opening, and we’re beyond excited to serve you.

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