A happy hour at Clyde Common: I love the drinks here. The seasonally changing cocktails available thanks to Jeffrey Morganthaler (he manages the bar, both crafting those liquid treasures for patrons to enjoy and borning them from his imagination using a wide variety of liquid libations as an ingredients palette…) makes the hipsterness at this place and the communal nature of Clyde Common and the fact it is so loud in there a little more forgivable.
I started out my Clyde Common experiences with multiple visits for happy hour. My very first time I fell in love with the Clover Club drink, composed of Broker’s gin, lemon, raspberry gum syrup, egg whites. I love drinks with egg whites, it takes me away on a cloud of lightness that goes down way too easy.
So to make sure I don't drink a glass of these every 10 minutes… I needed something else. Yes, you, Heart of Darkness, composed of Ramazotti amaro, demerara rum, lime, egg whites. A smoky complex drink that contrasted with the bright citrus of the Clover that I can't help but sip so I can enjoy the swirl of those flavors.
I went back another instance and the Clover was gone- replaced with a new drink called East Of Eden with Broker’s Dry gin, lemon, egg whites, gewurtztraminer reduction, elderflower, so similar concept. Also delicious, though quite sweeter then the Clover.
Another time, it was the Strega Sour that called out to me, a concoction of Gin, Strega, lemon juice, egg whites, tea-infused honey syrup, a balance of tar t and sour that was cleansing- and it would be a good balance to the dinner meal which I'll describe shortly because the acid cut through the richer fat of the plates. I was also tempted by the house aged cocktails, and recently they have added bottled sparkling cocktails as well… well, more visits to come.
Also, none of these drinks are their happy hour cocktails. Most around me were going with the Daily Punch (genius on the bar manager part because it can all be prepped before) or the regular Heavy Petting crowd pleaser (Monopolowa vodka, grapefruit juice, Aperol, quinine syrup, lemon peel), although there a a couple other choices on the happy hour options as well. But I didn't care. If you are going to a movie at the Living Room Theaters, this is where you should go after. L to R pictured below are Clover, Heart of Darkness, East of Eden, Strega Sour.
If you can get a seat at the bar after work, do make a plan to enjoy the happy hour food. They have a daily $6 grilled cheese which I like to get with their perfectly executed crispy fries with harissa and crème fraîche ($3). The harissa is supposed to be spicy, but is tamed into mildness. The grilled cheese pictured is one with pesto- other times it has been a mushroom grilled cheese, or with roasted peppers- so it's a dish that is both dependable but a grab bag surprise.
Here are photos from dinner, which I was finally convinced to try rather than my usual happy hour visits thanks to Portland Dining Month. For the $25 3 course menu for June 2012, the offerings included a First Course of Late spring greens, pickled grapes, and smoked almonds; Second Course of porchetta, roasted garlic sausage with fingerling potatoes and pickle relish; and Third Course of Lemon-buttermilk pudding cake, walnut-thyme crust, rhubarb preserves, cream.
In addition, we also ordered from the dinner menu for that day the Board, which that day featured seared guanciale, grilled bread, balsamic, burrata and a shot of chardonnay, and the vegetarian garganelli pasta dish (half portion- nothing to write about so I won't), and an additional dessert of chocolate-peanut butter tart (very dense) with honey-roasted peanuts atop vanilla pudding. They change their menu daily, although some items persist at least for the season… and of that a couple stay all year long
The MVP of the dinner was the Board, as well as the pickle relish under the super fatty porchetta which balanced out the heaviness of that meat dish (and the light lemon pudding cake with the tart rhubarb also finished it out as a cleanser). That burrata was soooooo good.