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January 8th, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON | Bar Reviews
 

Wilder: Test the Waters

wilder_jerekhollender_4010WILDER - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender
The intersection of Northeast Killingsworth Street and 30th Avenue hardly needs another culinary contender: That corner is already home to Cocotte, Beast, Expatriate, DOC and Yakuza. But now comes Wilder (5501 NE 30th Ave., 704-8332, wilderpdx.tumblr.com), a homey little bar more interested in maple buttermilk pie, kale Caesar salad and a local-leaning tap list (on a recent visit, only one of the eight offerings wasn’t from Oregon) than in ethically iffy foie gras or distantly sourced seafood. The space feels vaguely nautical, with glass fishing floats arranged on the bar, walls either slatted with unfinished wood or painted cerulean blue, and a tangle of driftwood dangling above the front door like maritime mistletoe. Might the aquatic theme have something to do with owner Raquel Bournhonesque’s position with Upstream Public Health, the lobbying group that campaigned to fluoridate Portland’s water? The jury is still out, but I saw no mention of that cavity-preventing mineral on the cocktail menu, which instead favors twists on classic drinks—there are four variations on the Old Fashioned, including a “Scotchy-Scotch” version in homage to Ron Burgundy—and ingredients like organic grenadine. Try the Macho Pisco ($9): It’s a bit like a pisco sour, with pineapple gum syrup adding brightness and body. If anyone asks, I’ll take mine with fluoride.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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