Ever since I walked past the 1883 William Ladd Carriage House, I have been wondering what it would become. It was a beautiful house that is definitely beautiful enough for people and not just horses and carriages and the people who tend to them. But, when I moved here, it lay empty after its apparent move to construct an underground garage on the property for the condominium building across the street. Finally, the official news was released last year that the plans were to make it some sort of gastropub, and a few months ago the restaurant opened, named Raven & Rose.
I had it on my list to try. I wanted to check out the Victorian inspired restaurant helmed by Park Kitchen alum David Padburg that is putting out rustic farm to table cuisine inspired from history- early American farmhouse and Irish and English traditional fare. Meanwhile, besides the bar area in the downtstairs restaurant area, there is also an upstairs bar area named the Rookery. Here, bar director David Shenaut is using the former vaulted hayloft space to showcase historical cocktails.
However, its opening during the holidays made it difficult to fit into my schedule. Sundays and Mondays which are more free, they are closed (too bad, because it is the perfect environment to watch that new show The Following. They just changed their hours though, so maybe…). Last month, when as part of my Portland Food Adventures trip to Tasty n Alder, John Gorham’s list of restaurants he recommended resulted in several gift certificates as an introduction, and Raven and Rose was one of those gift cards.
And then… I saw David is continuing his reputation of community builder (he helped cofound Portland Cocktail Week) in that the Rookery would be hosting several events to bring producers and imbibers together, including a bimonthly brewer’s social called “Beer with the Bird”. This inaugural event debuted this past Thursday February 28 with Charlie Devereux from Double Mountain Brewery and John Plutshack from Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales, along with cheese pairings available from Steve Jones of Cheese Bar. SOLD!
Since it was a Thursday evening I had limited time as I had an evening work conference call. So this first visit, I was only able to glance at the dining space as I made my way past the hostess desk and the booths with gas lamps up the stairs to the Rookery. I look forward to returning and seeing more- and I am wondering what it would take to sit at those kitchen seats by the wood-fired oven pictured here in the Eaters Coverage with photos. For a little context, the first photos in the slideshow are the main restaurant, and the last 3 from the Rookery. I know because I saw them myself:
Isn’t that bar amazing? There’s a cabinet just full of aged scotch over there. The next event they have is an event Raven & Rye with James C. Russell, master distiller at the Wild Turkey Distillery where he served more than 50 year, carrying on the tradition from his grandfather, father, and his son has also worked there more than 20 years now. Jimmy is so beloved at Wild Turkey, they named one of their finest products after him in 2000–the 10-year-old Russell’s Reserve. The Raven and Rye event is an opportunity to meet Jimmy and explore Russell’s Reserve rye cocktails. Sounds dangerous- and it’s on a Tuesday night- March 12 4-6pm. Will I see you there?
Now let’s focus on Beer with the Bird. I got there right at 5pm so my friend and I were able to snag a table in the library nook side that you see above to the right. This wound up giving us more space from the buzz of people by the bar area, where an hour later there was standing room only in the Rookery. You could buy any glass of beer from the breweries you wanted, or opt for a flight from a brewery. Also optionally you could add the flight of cheese that Steve paired with that flight of beer. They thoughtfully provided lots of information about the beer and cheeses.
I started out with the flight of beer and cheese from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales because I thought these would be most appealing to my palate, and I was right. I loved every single one. I admit the Peche ‘n Brett was my favorite, and I would have another of any of these Logsdon beers again.
These were paired with Samith Bay Ladysmith and Ancient Heritage Hannah cheeses, with the Ladysmith going well with the Seizoen (who am I kidding, I could eat a whole tub of Ladysmith alone) as its lighter flavor lets you still taste the freshness of the cheese, and the Hannah I paired with the other two beers.
- Logsdon Farmhouse Cerasus 8.5%ABV Oak-aged Flanders Red with tart organic Oregon cherries. We add 2 pounds of cherries per 1 gallon of unfinished beer. Crystal malts, oak tannins and fruit develop into a soft well rounded beer. The complex esters and yeast-derived flavors come from the bottle conditioning. 2012 Portland Cheers to Belgian Beers Peoples Choice award winner.
- Pech ‘n Brett 10.0%ABV Created with organic peaches added to our Seizoen Bretta from a nearby farm. This beer displays crisp peach flavor with the added acidity produced by our special Brett yeast and light oak aging. 2012 World Beer Cup gold medal winner American Brett Style.
- Seizoen 7.5% ABV Unfiltered Seizoen is naturally fermented and carbonated with pear juice and select yeast strains, producing complex, fruity and spicy flavors balanced with whole organic hops and soft malt character.
I totally got greedy and decided to get the second flight of beer and cheese all by myself so I didn’t share with my friends at all. For Double Mountain the Red War, a strong Belgian Style Red Ale, surprised me as the favorite of the flight for its smoky yeasty tones over my usual leaning towards porters and stouts. The Carrie Ladd was a very light in terms of porter style flavor but I liked the roasty yeastiness. And, the Kolsch was wonderfully refreshing- only the Cask IRA I shared away to a tablemate because it was too hoppy for me, but remember I am not an IPA fan.
The Double Mountain beers were paired with Fern’s Edge Mt Zion and Vintage Cheese Co. Mountina. I liked the earthyness of the Mountina a lot with the Red War and saved those for my last bites.
- Kolsch [German Style Ale] 5.2%ABV 40BU In Cologne, many a brewery produces a light-bodied ale with a delicate fruitiness and rounded maltiness, courtesy of a unique yeast strain. Our Kolsch is unfiltered and more generously hopped than its German cousin
- Cask IRA [India Red Ale] 6.5%ABV 60BU This IRA marries an enticing red color and rich body with the hop flavors of an IPA. The darker malts we use provide a nice balance to the depth of hoppy flavor, while our unique ale yeast strain adds a delicious complexity. The softer carbonation of the cask conditioning process makes for a gentler and more delicate-tasting brew
- Carrie Ladd [Steam Porter] 6.6%ABV 45BU Named one of the early steamships on the Columbia, this chocolatey/roasty steam porter uses a Czech lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures to provide a light cherry fruit overtone to the lovely Sterling hops.
- Red War [Strong Belgian-Style Red Ale] 8.5%ABV 30BU A big yet approachable abbey-style beer. Lots of fruity complexity (banana, cherry, apricot) without a lot of the smoky phenols and higher alcohol notes of many Belgian ale strains. The fermentation finished dry, but with residual sweetness from a blend of light and dark crystal malts.