The new Deschutes Brewery Pub
in the Pearl District opens for regular business tomorrow, after splashy invite-only parties over the weekend broke in the sprawling, open space.
Chef Jeff Usinowicz, former corporate chef for the now-defunct NW Hayden Enterprises, is heading up the 40-person strong kitchen and bakery, turning out food that he says is, "upscale beer cuisine." He plans to create comfort food using his background in European cuisine, and the menu he says is heavy on slow, full-flavored techniques like braising and in-house pickling. You'll find the standard pub grub— pizza, burgers (look for the elk burger), and fish and chips—along with upscale items showcasing Usinowcz's hot haute background, like goat cheese ravioli with sautéed lobster tail and a smoked maple porter pork loin.
The space, a former auto shop, is open and full of...well, wood. Four massive carved wood lintels sprouting Oregon fauna by artist J.Chester Armstrong frame the dining area, and maroon-red walls are covered with paintings, memorabilia and in behind the bar, giant gilded window frames peek though to the massive shiny copper brewhouses in the brewery proper. Fortunately the dining area has been carpeted (it can get awfully loud in such a large space of hard surfaces), but the grass-green plaid underfoot felt a little out of place amidst such fancy-schmanciness.
A grand opening party for the public will be held tomorrow, Friday, May 2, and along with the release of the first beer brewed on site, an Armory XPA, guests can expect food specials and Descutes schwag freebies like pint glasses, coasters and key chains. Score!
Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub, 210 NW 11th Avenue, 296-4906, deschutesbrewery.com.