Austin Bridges left Portland’s D.O.C. to collaborate on a wine list with Sicily’s star winemaker Arianna Occhipinti for the opening of Enoteca Nostrana. Next door to chef Cathy Whims’s revered Italian restaurant Nostrana, the space evokes Milan more than Portland, with bold geometric flair, mod barstools shaped like Champagne corks, and a luminous two-story glass-and-steel wine cellar. Bridges and Occhipinti filled it with an opening selection of 130 wines favoring producers with a natural bent, like Elisabetta Foradori from Italy’s Trentino, Sardinia’s Giovanni Montisci and Spain’s Envínate. You can try sagrantino from Umbria’s Paolo Bea, or godello made from La Perida’s 40-year-old vineyards in Galicia’s misty Valdeorras region. Local wines are equally compelling, especially library releases, like a 1994 Pinot Gris from Eyrie Vineyards. Whims’s menu is simple yet satisfying, strong on regional Italian classics with a local twist—an antipasti di mare that includes bay shrimp on avocado toast and octopus soppressata, and burrata and focaccia with ramp caponata. For the purist, there’s also a perfectly al dente pasta al pomodoro.
photo by Natalia Toral