Thursday, June 19, 2014

North Light

3746 N Mississippi Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 PM and 10 - midnight, daily
www.northlightpdx.com

First official happy hour outing of the summer and we have a keeper. An honest-to-goodness keeper. Put it on your list, people. This place has great food, delicious cocktails, and an amazing patio.

North Light opened on Mississippi Avenue just a couple of months ago. They open for dinner daily at four, offer brunch on the weekends, and have a long list of discounted items--both to eat and drink--during happy hour every day (yes, every day) between four and six and then again at ten. That's fairly promising. And so is the fact that this place is directly related to everyone's favorite Night Light on SE Clinton.


We showed up within minutes of opening, had our choice of seating, and started working our way through the menu. Well drinks are discounted by a dollar. Wine, too. And beer is down by fifty cents during happy hour. I opted for the daily happy hour cocktail (something my co-bloggers and I agree is a MUST at every establishment), priced at just five bucks. The deal of the day was made with house-infused vanilla vodka, a freshly made strawberry shrub (they are still in season), some fresh lemon juice, and--I'm guessing--just a splash of simple syrup. It was a perfect patio option. Super refreshing and nice and cool.


The cocktail menu--that's sadly not included in the discounts--had a number of tempting options as well. After narrowing down the choices, the Cannon Smoke made it to the top of the list. Made with black tea infused rum, fresh lime juice, and a dash of scotch, this cocktail didn't last long.


If there were more than just the two of us, we could have easily ordered every item on the food menu. Everything sounded so good. Having a limited amount of space (on the table and in our bellies), we went with the top three picks: the OTA tofu ($6), the chicken lollipops ($5), and the grilled cheese ($6).



The grilled cheese was made with their own pullman loaf--grilled to perfection--and had pockets of cheesy goodness throughout as the combination of cheese included fontina AND cheese curds. I've never had cheese curds on a sammy before. They worked perfectly. So much so that I'll probably be making an attempt to do the same at home. (And when it doesn't work out as well--because I'm not a professional and my bread is nowhere near as good--I'll know where to go.) The sandwich came with fries (or a salad for a dollar more). Although the weather wasn't really appropriate for it, what I really wanted--or rather, what the sandwich was calling for--was a bowl of tomato soup. Perhaps that will become one of the options come fall.



Of course I didn't try the Crispy Chicken Lollipops, but they were quite adorable--for chicken, that is--and seemed to be more than pleasing to the meat eater at the table. They come three to a plate and are topped with a Garlic Thyme Glaze. Like many of the appetizers (and even their macaroni and cheese), these were gluten free. (Sure, chicken is an obvious one...but mac and cheese. That was intentional. And something that many Portlanders are going to appreciate.)




I loved the combination of flavors that accompanied the OTA tofu. (We both did, in fact.) Two lightly fried triangles of locally made OTA tofu came perched above thick slices of roasted sweet potato and sautéed spinach flavored with a delicious soy mirin glaze. (The OTA tofu shows up on their regular dinner menu as well as the brunch menu. I'm definitely going to order the tofu and black bean breakfast chimichanga in the near future.)

Service was exceptional during our entire visit. We tend to ask a lot of questions--and sometimes make silly requests--and never did it seem like we were a bother. I'm anxious to get back there again--for both brunch and more time spent on that patio. It's perfect for Portland's summer and provides ample people watching opportunities (without requiring you to be right up against the hustle and bustle of Mississippi).

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Meets
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Exceeds
Value: Meets

-b

North Light on Urbanspoon

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