Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MetroVino Bistro, Bar & Bottle Shop


Portland has been hit hard by the economic recession, as a walk through our former neighborhood, The Pearl, solidified. Stores once selling $40 candles are now abandoned, and the cover of a newspaper in a street bin reads, “Unemployment at 12.6 percent.” It seems everyone we know has a horror story to back up this figure, having either lost their own job or faced survivor guilt after watching colleagues lose theirs. “Have you been back up to NW 21st/23rd?” asked the host at Wine and Unwind. We shook our heads. “Don’t,” she cautioned. “Every other store is empty…it will break your heart.”

Yet for every business venture gone south there seems to be an inspirational story of a person who is seizing the opportunity to exercise their entrepreneurial muscle. One such silver lining is MetroVino. Housed at the ground level of the Bridegport Condominiums, in the curved corner space that was at one time occupied by DF, this new wine bar caught our attention with their Happy Hour, offered from 4-6--even on Saturdays. Small plates like roasted beet salad and salmon bruschetta can be enjoyed at a recession-friendly half-price, and a variety of cocktails and wines come in at just $5.

3 Oysters: Cucumber Mignonette, Ponzu Wasabi and Horseradish Cocktail - $5

Salmon Graviax Bruschetta: Grapefruit, Basil, Edamame Purée - $4

Tataki of Hawaiin Yellowtail: Radish, Meyer Lemon and White Soy - $9

Labeled as a restaurant, bar and retail shop all in one, MetroVino is the brain child of owner and GM Todd Steele. In a rather romantic nod to his love of wine, Steele purchased seven Enomatic wine preservation machines to preserve his “by the taste or glass” offerings before landing the actual space to make his restaurant a reality. While the Happy Hour menu is appropriately light, the dinner menu is rather hearty, with quail, pork shoulder and braised beef short ribs all making an appearance. This is definitely one stop to make a part of your own personal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

- K


1139 NW 11th Avenue (NW 11th & Northrup)
Portland, OR 97209

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