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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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Greg Higgins
Higgins Restaurant, Portland OR

Though GOURMET magazine barely gave a nod to beer in its review of Portland, thankfully Higgins Restaurant received the recognition it deserves.Baretnder Charlie Vance at Higgins Bistro

From the sparkling selection of artisanal distilled spirits, to a phenomenal assortment of craft beer (both domestic and imported), Higgins is a destination for drink.

It's a sign of a fine establishment when servers stay there, year after year. Above, bartender Charlie Vance pours a pint of the Red Thistle Ale from the Golden Valley Brewing Co., of McMinnville.

Mostly, the beer menu is the inspiration of Warren Steenson (photo below, with an assortment of favorite beer glasses). Warren Steenson, brew guru at Higgins, Portland, ORSteenson guides the beer selection to showcase seasonal brews from across Oregon, as well as unusual Belgian specialties.

When I visited Higgins, the 8-line draft roster included the Hair of the Dog Fred, Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale, Bridgeport IPA, Rogue Amber Ale, Guinness, Pilsner Urquell, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Lindemans Framboise, Delirium Tremens, and at least one other regional PNW brew. There's even Miller Genuine Draft.

At other times, draft picks included a cask-conditioned version of Mt. Hood Oatmeal Stout, La Trappe Quadrupel, Mannekin Pis Blanche de Bruxelles, and Abbot Ale from England.

By the bottle, beer-lovers have even more brands to choose from, starting with about 40 to 50 different Belgian ales. Tucked into every chilly cranny of the draft refrigerators, on top of and between kegs, are myriad bottles from Abbey Affligam to Vondel. Breweries from Scotland, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland round out the imports. Strong winter ales and barleywines dominate the domestic bottled selection, such as Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, and Old Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout.

And food lovers have plenty to celebrate as well. Greg Higgins is a pioneer in the chef movement for sustainability and organic farming methods. He supports so many nonprofits that Higgins seems to participate in an endless calendar of causes, Greg Higgins, chef/owner, Higgins Restaurantfrom regional wine-maker dinners to harvest feasts featuring wild mushrooms or game, to special fetes, such as a recent Flemish meal designed for the distributors of Chimay bieres

Higgins also loves simple bistro fare, and makes his own deli meats such as pastrami, and pickles, cures and brines, such as pepper-cured Chinook salmon, for towering sandwiches and deli platters of sheer delectation.

Sure, it may be pricey to shell out $9 for a pastrami sandwich, but when it's this good, you'll want to get another one to go. Just as a snack, for later.

There's also a white-tablecloth dining room, for elegant fare in a more restrained atmosphere - which is probably why I never, ever eat there as long as I can find a seat at the Higgins bar.Oregon eau de vie line the back bar at Higgins


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