215 SE 9th Ave., 503-477-9081, barcasavale.com. 5 pm-midnight Tuesday-Saturday. Happy hour 5-6 pm and 10-close: $5 piri piri wings, $6 all-booze cocktails, $7 burger.
Established: Oct. 1, 2016 (at 5 pm)
Clyde Common's Nate Tilden partied at Bar Casa Vale a long time before you did. In the backside of the Biwa building, Tilden and a whole mess of partners have made an intimate, upscale tapas spot tinted with firelight, where chef Louis Martinez (Imperial, Clyde Common) is already making some of the finest wood-fired-grill meats in town. Piri piri wings and a thick tendril of octopus 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 also has barstools. 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 sidra and Spanish and Belgian beers alongside a Pfriem. 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.
Bar story: Bar Casa Vale is our 2017 Bar of the Year.