727 SE Morrison St., 503-893-2614, cloudforest.shop. 10 am-7 pm Thursday-Monday (outdoor seating only).
A visit to the Cloudforest shop reveals an abundance of fine chocolate, ranging from the vanilla-infused Orchid bar to the Holy Wood: flavored with woodsy-herbaceous and reputedly medicinal palo santo. The namesake Cloudforest bar is refined solely from Nacional-type cacao beans grown in Ecuador’s Camino Verde orchard. Owner Sebastian Cisneros has also begun to extend his reach beyond bar chocolate. Summer brought ice cream made from cacao pulp, tasting of fruit with the barest whisper of chocolate flavor, and a hazelnut-chocolate spread suited to spoon right on top.
414 SE 81st Ave, 317-366-6938, instagram.com/zuckercreme. 10 am-6 pm Wednesday-Saturday, weekly pop-ups 10 am-4 pm Sunday.
Following a summer of successful themed pop-ups (Strawberry Museum, among them), Brittany Sigal decided to keep monthly themes moving through her Montavilla cafe, Zuckercreme. December is “cozy AF” month and every Sunday she hosts local makers at the coffee shop’s tables—making it an impromptu little market. During the week, there’s a much chiller vibe of “damn fine” Mutt’s coffee, baked goods and a corner of consigned local wares. “I’m from the Midwest,” Sigal says, “and I think I accidentally made a Cracker Barrel.”
1483 NE Alberta St., wildthingpdx.com. 10 am-3 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Pearl District restaurant and wine bar Arden recently debuted its little sister cafe, Wild Thing. The entirely plant-based menu centers on build-your-own bowls with a base of brown grains or mixed greens rampaged by fruits, vegetables and nuts from all shades of the color wheel. Wild Thing has been a three-year project in the making from Arden owner Kelsey Glasser. The cafe also serves its very own label of canned wines and cold-brew coffee made in collaboration with Never Lab.
2032 SE Clinton St., 503-200-5787, quaintrelle.co. 5-10 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Mississippi fine dining spot Quaintrelle reopened in late August on Southeast Clinton with a noticeable upgrade. Chef Riley Eckersley and bar manager Camille Cavan stayed on and built out the former Burrasca location into the kitchen and bar of their combined dreams. There are now splurge-worthy five-, seven- and nine-course tasting menus with available add-ons and drink pairings, along with an à la carte menu. Eckersley continues his uncanny knack for drawing from wherever his culinary interests take him—a fish sauce here, freshly foraged mushrooms there, and a touch of Spanish flair. Plates always look like art, and also taste like it.
412 NE Beech St., 503-288-3499, brasahayapdx.com. 5:30-10 pm, Wednesday-Sunday. Indoor seating not ADA accessible, vaccination required to dine indoors.
A new Spanish restaurant in a converted home that was formerly Beech Street Parlor, Brasa Haya is a fine(r) dining restaurant with textbook salt cod croquettes. The portion was too small to split effectively, but this is a problem inherent to tapas, not Brasa Haya.