You've seen all the lists of the best restaurant debuts of 2012, so it's time to turn our attention to the next batch of PDX newcomers. These soon-to-open eateries will be on our radar in the coming months, so get hungry.
1. Levant: According to chef Scott Snyder, this 40-seat East Burnside eatery will feature traditional flavors from North Africa and the Middle East, using techniques from Snyder's classic French culinary background. Think Kosher charcuterie, plenty of preserved lemons, and refined plates using the spices, herbs, and sauces from the region. Expected opening: late January. 2448 E Burnside Street
2. Roosevelt: Wine country chef Eric Bechard returns to Portland with an intimate, 20-seat Portland restaurant with a daily-shifting menu of nose-to-tail wild game, foraged produce, and in-house preservation in the form of pickles and cured meats. Expected opening: January. 2035 SE Cesar E Chavez.
3. Ración: Former Tabla chef Anthony Cafiero's modernist Spanish restaurant (sharing the former Corazón space with Lardo West) is still in build-out mode, and plans are in the works to lift the veil on the process of opening a restaurant via a series of photos and updates on the restaurant's website. Expected opening: Mid February. 1205 SW Washington.
4. Tasty n Alder: The westside location of John Gorham's Tasty brand will bring the lauded chef's small plates and international flavors to Southwest Alder and 12th. Also debuting this year? Gorham's Toro Bravo Cookbook: The Making, Breaking and Riding of a Bull, out this fall. Expected opening: February. SW 12th Ave and Alder St.
5. Bent Brick: With the departure of opening chef Will Preisch, Scott Dolich will return to day-to-day operations at the Northwest Portland restaurant. The new menu will be steakhouse-style, with the emphasis on a la carte large meat cuts, sausages, and shellfish, along with sides, salads, and soups. Expected menu relaunch: February. 1639 NW Marshall.
6. Din Din Supper Club: Chef Courtney Sproule's supper club will debut a permanent 50-seat space on the ground floor of the Bison Building, with plans to offer weekend dinners, weekday morning pastries, small-batch lunches, and Sunday brunch. Expected opening: Valentine's Day. 920 NE Glisan.
7. Pok Pok Lat Khao: Andy Ricker's 50-seat "curry-on-rice" house is painted and pretty, but the doors to the former Kappaya Japanese space remain closed. When they officially open, expect a new wave of flavorful Thai dishes from the James Beard Award winning chef. Expected opening: Spring. 3384 SE Division.
8. Belmont Station: Carl Singmaster's 1,300-bottle neighborhood bottle shop and tavern is currently being outfitted with an outdoor beer garden, complete with weatherproof roll-up glass windows and a full menu from a permanently parked food cart. More information here. Expected opening: March. 4500 SE Stark.
9. Fifty Licks: Chad Draizin’s retro-chic ice cream truck will grow into a Southeast Clinton scoop shop this year. Draizin is currently testing new flavors as the space is under construction. Expected opening: April. 2021 SE Clinton Street.
10. Pepe Le Moko: This long-rumored speakeasy-style bar underneath Clyde Common was slated for a September debut, but we'll forgive any delay once the late-night bocadillo sandwich shop "front" and 1000 square-foot, 30-seat bar from Jeffrey Morgenthaler actually arrives. Expected opening: Sometime this year... hopefully.
Which upcoming spots are you looking forward to? Tell us in the comments!