A visit to our hotspot of the week Delores turned my expectations upside-down instantaneously. The décor, rife with giant pink flamingos and fronds, has a sort of Miami in the 80s vibe, but in chic way, which wasn’t quite what I was anticipating from Portland’s newest Polish restaurant. The soaring ceilings and scope of the murals make the space feel more modernist than cozy, which created a pleasant contrast with the menu and speed of service, both warm and inviting.
I chose to set the stage for the upcoming Polish feast appropriately with the Valentina, a smooth and icy vodka martini adorned with a foie gras stuffed olive and my companion enjoyed the Hotel Cortez, a rich bourbon cocktail with a deliciously smoked cherry adding a whiff of campfire.
We started with the happily seasonal asparagus dish, in part because I haven’t had the chance to enjoy nearly enough of my favorite fruit of the forage this year, morel mushrooms, and in part because my dining companion will order anything that involves a poached duck egg. We were both quite pleased by the balance of the bright and the earthy, and the plate was quickly emptied.
The leek pierogi and beef tartare were our next conquests, the tartare one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of eating, and the pierogi, outstanding in their own right, were further elevated with little dollops of caviar decorating the tops. We continued with the dish of braised rabbit with carrot spaetzle, so warm and cozy that I could have been in my grandmother’s kitchen rather than a lovely restaurant in the heart of the city.
It seemed to me that the unifying idea behind Delores was that everything had some touch that felt like an extra special treat, be it the caviar atop the pierogi, the foie stuffed olive, or the smoked cherry in the Hotel Cortez cocktail. I can’t wait to return and I hope that they continue producing these delightful and nuanced dishes for many years to come.
Have you dined here yet? Let us know in the comments!