2225 E Burnside St., 971-271-7166, pixpatisserie.com. 4 pm-midnight Monday-Friday, 2 pm-midnight Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour: 2-4 pm and 10-close daily: free tapas and 10 percent off wine bottles.
Established: August 2012
It is the best of times and the worst of times every night at East Burnside Street's Pix Pâtisserie, which I can only describe as Portland's most exciting, inspiring, frustrating, unfathomably maddening apex of a drinking establishment. Known to most as a macaron-and-flourless-chocolate-cake palace, it also boasts one of the most sophisticated sherry and Champagne lists on this continent—an aficionado's treasure trove of rare and highly-sought-after bottlings from top independent Champagne vignerons (all of it listed by disgorgement date!) and very fine rare sherry makers. José Michel 2002, or Marie Courtin 2007? If you say so. Two dozen distinct bottlings from cult Champagne maker Cédric Bouchard? Fuck me twice. There's more Egly-Ouriet on the list here than you can find sold retail anywhere on the West Coast. Their 375-milliliter half-bottle selection of Champagne—52 bottles strong, with deeply rare offerings—nearly moved me to tears. At the same time, the throbbing red Christmas bulbs in the bar are dorm-room chic. The tables wobble. The servers are befuddled, and it's no wonder: That wonderful menu stretches 65 sticky-stained pages, some laminated, some not, all threatening to breach the battered binder that struggles to contain it. Pix is a world-class Champagne and sherry bar, and a continental-caliber frustration—a treasure you must nonetheless dig for.
Bar story: Why does a pastry, sherry and Champagne bar have a giant cutout of a bull atop it, if not to mate with the bull over at Ole Ole taco shop one block away? Apparently all of Spain is awash in these bulls, once billboards for Osborne sherry but now painted over in black.