For years, suds lovers in Portland have kept Chimay close to their hearts. This Trappist beer originally brewed by monks in Belgium has a loyal following, both internationally and right here in Beervana. Chimay's use of artesian well water, a special yeast strain isolated in 1948, and a chemical-free and unpasteurized brewing process make this bright, clean, golden-hued beer much admired. But for some time Portlanders had to enjoy their Chimay from the bottle, which is itself a singular experience. Because the monks, who still oversee the process, are a small outfit and insist on the highest quality of presentation, Stumptown was without access to free-flowing Chimay in draft form--until last week. The holy brew, which must be served in special Chimay glassware, is now on tap at select places around town such as Higgins, the Horse Brass, McCormick & Schmick's Harborside, Dublin Pub and Shanghai Tunnel. Also look for Chimay cheese--monk-made and imported locally by Peterson Cheese.
The West End. This hotly debated slice of downtown that stretches from Southwest 9th Avenue to I-405 south of Burnside Street is salivated over by developers aplenty. And we're already seeing changes: A new Buffalo Exchange is coming; the Brewery Blocks are standing guard. And now, in a very quiet section near Lincoln High School, comes a new restaurant called Zeba that's set its grand opening date at Aug. 15. Owned by Ali Zamani, Zeba (1222 SW Salmon St., 227-1655) will feature swank, Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. Chef Patrick Lackman, who jumped ship from Jake's Grill, where he was a sous chef, told Miss Dish that the freshly installed wood oven will crank out roasted meats. Expect shish kabobs and a bunch of different pastas. "We're going to use a lot of Northwest ingredients and focus on what's fresh," Lackman says.
Julia Child is the poster woman for the health benefits of eating a flagrantly rich and abundant diet; the first lady of cooking is turning 90 on Aug. 1, and to celebrate her hale and hearty way, select restaurants across the country are hosting birthday celebrations that are also fundraisers for the Julia Child Endowment Fund. If you wish to contribute to this fund, which provides cash for chefs to do culinary research, and break bread with none other than the Galloping Gourmet himself, Graham Kerr, get thee to downtown Portland's Red Star Tavern and Roast House. Guest chefs such as Claire Archibald of Cafe Azul and others cook up delights while Kerr and Mary Sue Milliken of L.A.'s famed Border Grill--both friends of the flame-haired kitchen pro--share stories about Julia (this is the part of the blurb where you fondly recall the classic Saturday Night Live skit where John Belushi plays a tipsy Julia trying to cut up a chicken). Call 222-0005 to reserve your spot ($150; $100 is tax-deductible).