Chef Bonnie Morales, however, is finding new ways to make her Russian dishes more accessible.
Kachka Alfresca's cabanas saw their last dinner service earlier this month, but you can now purchase the restaurant's famous dumplings at 18 Portland-area New Seasons Markets. The frozen dough knobs, which are stuffed with meats, cheeses and cherries, first became available as a grab-and-go item last year after the launch of attached shop and deli Kachka Lavka. Then, when the pandemic forced it to close this spring, Kachka began shipping dumplings directly to customers and wholesaling them to Green Zebra Grocery.
Morales is also preparing to reopen Lavka to in-person shopping rather than curbside pickup and online ordering only. Additional safety precautions are still being put in place, but in coming weeks expect new offerings, like mushroom stroganoff meal kits and Ruskie Zakuski Experience trays, that re-create the prix fixe procession of small plates available in the restaurant. Starting in November, Morales will unveil a series of every-changing weekly chef's dinners and special holiday boxes.
One of the first multicourse meals arrives Sunday, Oct. 18, as part of the James Beard Foundation Taste America event. Kachka is one of many restaurants across the country participating in the virtual communal dinner and includes an appetizer of mushrooms prepared four ways: cured, pickled, smoked and roasted; a poached Skuna Bay salmon fillet or stuffed whole-roasted gogosari pepper as the entree; and a bourbon-dark chocolate smothered brownie to finish.
The kit includes wine along with access to cooking demos and the foundation's national broadcast featuring a lineup of chefs and other special guests.