SE Belmont: Chef Jake Martin has returned to Portland as Chef de Cuisine of Genoa. After shipping off for Seattle earlier this year to lend a hand at Ethan Stowell's How to Cook A Wolf, Martin (who made waves at PDX's Carlyle and Fenouil) will collaborate with executive chef David Anderson on the Italian institution's modern-meets-rustic menu. 2832 SE Belmont St
SE Division: Duane Sorenson (of Stumptown Coffee Roasters and the Woodsman Tavern) has opened the doors of his new Italian restaurant Ava Gene's, specializing in rustic pastas, wood-fired meats, and serious Italian drinking. Get the full low-down from Portland Monthly's Karen Brooks here. 3377 SE Division St.
SE Hawthorne: Castagna's Justin Woodward was featured on CNN's Eatocracy blog along with his picks for the season's five best winter squash options to beat the winter greys (read the full article here). In another piece of Castagna news, the lauded eatery's neighboring Cafe Castagna (helmed by Chef Jeff Emerson) has rolled out a new $25, three-course prix fixe menu, focusing on regional Italian cuisines like Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia. Two-glass wine pairings are available for an additional $15. 1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd
NE Alberta: Husband-and-wife duo Kevin Reynolds and Tonya Mayhew will debut Via Chicago, a brick-and-mortar deep dish pizza eatery on Alberta and 20th, after a few years slinging pies at the PSU farmers market. In addition to their signature deep dish pizzas, the 40-seat neighborhood spot will feature flatbread paninis, traditional Italian beef sandwiches, salads and pastries, and is set to debut in February. 2013 NE Alberta St.
NE 30th: Beast's Naomi Pomeroy will be representing PDX at February's 12th Annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Pomeroy will be joining chefs April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig), Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s), and Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat) for an event called Delta Diamond Dishes: A League of Their Own (a benefit for the Mayor’s Fund for NYC Hurricane Relief and Food Bank for New York City). Interested in a late winter escape? More details on the beachy, star-studded weekend available here.
SW Washington: The second brick-and-mortar outpost of Rick Gencarelli's pig-centric sandwich shop Lardo is now open in the former Corazón space. Slideshow and opening details can be found on Eat Beat here. 1205 SW Washington
SW Washington: Also debuting in the West End this weekend, Micah Camden's Blue Star Donuts is offering small-batch, artisan brioche dough donuts (in flavors like Passion Fruit Poppyseed and Horchata) from pastry chef Stephanie Donlan. More info available on Eat Beat here. 1237 SW Washington
SW Broadway: Vitaly Paley's Portland Penny Diner is now open at the Hotel Lucia, across the lobby from Paley's other new venture, Imperial Restaurant. Check out photos and menu details of the new casual eatery on Eat Beat here. 410 SW Broadway
NW 27th: Rae's Lakeview Lounge is now open in the shadow of Northwest Portland's Montgomery Park building, owned by Todd Morey (the culinary mind behind Portland's Radio Room and Doug Fir Lounge). The menu focuses on comfort food (think "elevated truck stop Americana with some lowbrow European mixed in," says Morey. The new eatery is open seven days a week, serving breakfast from 7 am to 2 pm, as well as a full evening menu from 6 pm to midnight. 1900 NW 27th
Wine Country: Three Oregon wines made the cut onto Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines of 2012. Scott Paul's 2009 Dix Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills) cracked the top ten at #9, Evening Land's 2010 Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Chardonnay (Eola-Amity Hills) nabbed #92, and Archery Summit's 2010 Ab Ovo Pinot Gris (Dundee Hills) came in at #97. On the budget-friendly side, Foris's 2009 Dry Gewürztraminer (Rogue Valley), The Eyrie Vineyards 2010 Estate Pinot Gris (Dundee Hills), Willamette Valley Vineyards' 2010 Riesling, and Eola Hills 2010 Chardonnay made the mag's list of the year's Top 100 Best Buys. Check out the full lists here.
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