Bluehour’s New Brunch
New developments are crowding out the skyline at the north end of the Pearl District and downtown Portland Oregon hottest neighborhood thrives with activity. As one of the vital nerve centers linking the city’s real estate, cultural and culinary ambitions, the Pearl District plays host to any number of fine restaurants and businesses.
Not one to pass up on an opportunity while buidling his restaurant empire, Bruce Carey opened Bluehour in 2000. Sixteen years later Bluehour is refreshing their model with all new hours and a gloriously open interior. The interesting trees snaking across the ceiling have been removed, opening up the ceiling area and providing an airiness to the room.
Bluehour had offered lunch during the weekdays, but that will now be discontinued. In its place will be a Sunday dinner option, which means dinner at Bluehour can now be had seven days a week, and a classy brunch on Saturday. Happy hour during the week is also a new addition.
While dinner on Sunday is nice, it’s the new Saturday brunch that steals the show. Their main draw is the 23Hoyt Mimosa, aptly named after Bruce Carey’s Nob Hill establishment. A $2 price tag for what ends up being a killer drink is sure to catch anyone’s interest.
Though the mimosa will bring you in, the revamped weekend brunch menu offers up a panoply of cocktails and eats from within a wide range of tastes and technique. Take the Nick Faldo, as an example.
This tongue-in-cheek cocktail playfully gets its name from the Arnold Palmer, composed of half lemonade and half tea. If you know anything about golf, you’ll know that Nick Faldo is one of the greats – like Arnold Palmer – but he also likes his drink.
Enter Bluehour’s appropriately named drink, the Nick Faldo, with its house-infused earl grey vodka and lemon topped with a splash of soda. It’s refreshing without being overly sweet or tart – with a hint of earl grey left on the palate.
The Nick Faldo fulfills the promise of cocktail fun, but you would be remiss to enjoy a classy Saturday brunch without partaking in a Bluehour Bloody Mary. The house-made mix is spicy, which is good, but it also has a bit of a sweet finish. Pickled vegetables crowd out the rim of the glass and provide a wonderful crunch as the bloody mary goes down.
As is the case when you go out with the old, the new arrives in true style. Though Bluehour’s new weekend brunch menu varies in degree of sophistication, execution is never in doubt. With Chris Carriker at the helm, would you expect any less?
Best Dish At Bluehour
The best part about brunch is the breakfast. Or is it the lunch? Either way, start out with the morning on your mind with a Bluehour breakfast strudel. The fluffy strudel sits aside seasonal berries and a whipped crème fraiche draped in strawberry lemon thyme jam.
The clever juxtaposition of sophistication and simplicity meet in the mac n cheese. Because why not indulge in some delicious comfort food at one of the Pearl’s finest restaurants?
Cavatappi pasta layered in cheese makes the base for bits of braised bacon and parmesan and potato chip crust. It’s creamy, delicious and everything you could ask for in a hot plate of mac n cheese on a Saturday afternoon.
The final, and perhaps ultimate combination, comes in the form of the braised duck eggs benedict. Two toasted English muffins, greens and a perfectly braised duck confit lay slathered in maltaise hollandaise sauce. Home brown potatoes, which surely must have been soaked in garlic all day, round out a hearty brunch meal.
With all the new menu and cocktails items, plus the refreshed, open interior, Bluehour aims to notch its final arrow with the new hours. Although the times may have changed, the same great food remains.
Bluehour has also put a greater emphasis on group events, such as weddings. The private dining room at Bluehour features a wall of 2,500 backlit wine bottles. For more space, the main dining room’s long windows, high curtains and open spaces make a great place for guests to socialize.
It’s time to elevate your brunch experience with a trip to the Pearl. Check out Bluehour for their new hours and new menu items. For more information, including their all new brunch and dinner hours, you can visit their website by clicking here.
William Bessette – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
William Bessette is a published author, poet and longtime journalist who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over twelve years. He currently works from his home in the Pacific Northwest profiling restaurants, reviewing local plays and reporting on regional, national and international travel.