Piri piri wings ($9) and a thick tendril of octopus ($12) both come spice-rubbed and charred on the outside with juicy, tender meatiness within and a light whiff of smoke.
There are sit-down tables, sure—little third-date tables by the wall-to-wall windows. But the spirit of the place is at the two long bars. One is an elbow wrap of hardwood with a slab of jamón ibérico de bellota perched atop one end, the other a Spanish-style standing bar that Portlanders may or may not figure out how to use.
The wine and sherry list is deep, but so's the cocktail list, which includes a $10 Bourbon Reign deepened with both fig and red wine, and a light sherry "cobbler" ($9) mixing medium-dry amontillado with a bit of lemon and sugar. The taps kick out Basque Sarasola Sagardoa sidra and Spanish and Belgian beers alongside a rotating Pfriem of the month (just the wrong side of pricey at $6).
Really, Casa Vale is the kind of dim, drunky, comfortably hip tapas and cocktail bar the town's been missing since the day Collosso sank to the bottom of Northeast Broadway.