Forget what you think you know about Portland—the city where fleece rules, bike shops serve pour-over coffee, and dive bars reign. (Well, bike shop coffee is true). The downtown bar scene is anything but divey, thanks to the example set by the Multnomah Whiskey Library when it opened in 2013. Two alums from this temple of spirits, Alise Moffatt and Anthony Garcia, recently revamped a former bank building into Shift Drinks, the latest hot spot for inventive cocktails and interesting wine. Garcia’s 100-bottle list skews toward France and Italy, yet he also makes room for everything from Greek assyrtiko to benchmark Rioja and aged Oregon pinot noir (he currently has a selection of 1999 Chehalem pinots that you won’t find anywhere else in town). Bonus: The cocktail bar has an off-premise liquor license, which means you can take bottles of these hard-to-find wines to go. In the kitchen, Garcia’s wife, Anne, turns out plates that encourage grazing, like bruschetta topped with earthy combinations such as nettle pesto, Castelvetrano olives and prosciutto. For one of the most coveted reservations in the city, head to the upstairs mezzanine—known as the Makeshift Room. The 24-seat space was built specifically to host pop-up dinners. Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis of Nomad. PDX, the first to cook in the space, just nabbed James Beard nominations for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
This review appears in the print edition of the June 2016 issue. Like what you just read? Subscribe now.
This story appears in the print issue of June 2016.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.