Friday, May 11, 2007

Your new favorite restaurant

I interrupt your regularly scheduled diet of crafts and quotes to provide a public service announcement to my Portland-area readers, and really for anyone who might want to visit our fair city.

My pal Ellen's brother Nate has just opened a fantastic restaurant downtown: Clyde Common. While it officially opens on Tuesday, last night Chris and I joined Ellen's family at a preview dinner. We were joined by various local luminaries (including a member of a seminal punk band). Our local free weekly was there too, and apparently had a good time too.

The menu is eclectic (spicy popcorn is available, along with more classic fare) and tasty. (Poached tuna, hangar steak, a vegetarian gnocchi looking thing were all delicious) The kitchen is open, so you can get a good look at the staff at work. Despite it being so early in their lives as Clyde staff, they were looked on top of their collective game. The main floor of the restaurant is set up with several large tables (hence the "common" in Clyde Common), allowing people to chat with their neighbors. We shared a table with the musician and his wife, as well as a pastry chef and his partner. For those who dislike talking to strangers, the mezzanine will soon open, providing more private dining spaces (as well as couches, for when that date is going really well. (Smooching will be tolerated. After all, this space was once a gay club of some local renown in the pre-safe sex days.)

I checked out the staff while waiting for our food. I enjoy an open kitchen, so this is great for me. It gives me a false sense that I know what's going on in the heart of the restaurant. The only down-side is that the staff were tatooed enough that when we take my parents, once my father notices, it will be the only thing he will be able to talk about. Dad's still not over the idea that a tatoo means you are either in a rock band or (what he would refer to as) low class. Or both. (Over the years, some of his patients have been musicians. Not all of them paid their bills.)

If all this - good food, friendly and helpful staff, an inviting space, and a lovely zinc topped bar - aren't enough of a draw, after dinner you can amble over to the lobby of the Ace Hotel (in which Clyde Common is located) and jump into the conveniently located photo booth. What could be more fun than pictures of four tipsy and sated adults crammed into a small box?


  1. I already want to move to Portland. This restaurant looks like it would be a fun place to eat some yummy food.

  2. We are sitting here.

    "Did they go out to dinner?"

    Interested and bemused.. and a bit bowed at the news. We remain the dorks up North.

    (oh yes and sounds good, too)

  3. !! it's in the old Scandals location! fa-reaky. yes. make-out couches are, indeed, highly appropriate. it sounds good. next year, which is likely the next time Caleb and I will get out for a date night, we'll totally hit that joint up for some eats.

    (and you put the link up to the shop! thanks, doll.)