One of Portland 10 best new brunch spots
Gastrodiplomacy: The French-Arabesque Delights of Levant
Scott Snyder’s Middle Eastern eatery has lots going for it. If you’re dining at the bar or on the patio, happy hour lasts from 5 to 6 p.m. and from 9 to 10 p.m. daily.
It’s time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant…?” This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck.
Bars around Portland (and one in Eugene) are sharing their best drinks to beat the heat. Whether it’s rum-, tequila-, gin- or even aperitif-based, these drinks will cool you down out on the town or offer a chance to mix up a new drink at home:
Here they are. The best of the best. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, the following list, curated by restaurant critic Michael Russell, should be the starting point for any exploration of the city’s food scene.
“Until recently, east-side enclave Levant has lived as an upscale dinner destination for Portlanders seeking Middle Eastern cuisine with a modern twist. This summer, however, the restaurant aims its sights on casual meals care of a Portland-perfect happy hour served both at the bar and on the relaxed outdoor patio.”
“A great spring cocktail because it evokes both premonitions of summer and memories of a winter past.”
Warm weather! IT’S FINALLY HERE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, MAYBE — LIKE, REAL SOON! After you shove your puffy coats in suitcases and hide them away in a dark corner never to be seen until the cold returns, go sit outside and have a drink with your friends. Many, many of these drinks!
Just like fashion, wine is trend-driven. One year, we’re all wearing boot-cut jeans and drinking unoaked chardonnay. The next, we’re going straight-leg and sipping dry rosé. Then, suddenly, we’re wearing jeggings and ordering gruner veltliner. So, what’s next? I touched base with a few of the most clued-in restaurant wine buyers and sommeliers in town to find out what we will be drinking in the months and years to come.
When you think of the Mediterranean diet, you probably picture grilled fish, Greek salads, olive oil and plenty of fresh vegetables from sunny Spain and Italy. But there’s so much more! Travel to countries like Turkey, Israel and Morocco, and you’ll find bold food that’s both chef- and nutritionist- approved.
Check out Levant Sommelier’s Brent Braun and Christopher Sky Westmoreland answer all your wine questions!
Levant, Portland, OR
What you’re getting: Hearth-roasted lamb… if they have it on the ever-changing menu
In a city that seems to pop out a new, hot restaurant every 15mins, chef Scott Snyder’s Levant managed to trump all newcomers this year by turning his place into a culinary United Nations, using French techniques and a centerpiece Tuscan wood-fired grill to fire out Middle Eastern, North African, Iberian, and Sephardic Jewish cuisine. But what the hell does all that mean, aside from making it impossible to classify on Yelp? It means hearty, intensely flavorful dishes like rose-scented duck breast with “dirty” freekeh grains, squid with toasted almonds and preserved lemon, or beef kofta (kind of like meatballs) with berries, pine nuts & yogurt. It also means you’ll never eat anything like Snyder’s creations anywhere else.
At Southeast Portland’s three-month-old Levant restaurant, chef Scott Snyder uses French techniques and Oregon produce to explore the ways these ingredients and techniques collided with millennia-old regional cooking traditions, creating a modern Israeli cuisine. But if this sounds like pure scholarship, think again. Snyder’s research is appealing, alluring and often delicious
Levant (2448 East Burnside St.) eludes Zagat classification. Chef Scott Snyder’s vision for the cuisines of the Sephardic Jewish Diaspora (that’s Spain, Portugal, North Africa, and the Middle East, FYI) is still evolving, but already it’s blazing new culinary frontiers in Portland. The conflation of cuisines presents a unique challenge for the former Wildwood cook: How do you make a restaurant work with so many different influences and flavors? Levant, it turns out, has a few answers.
Serving a specialized blend of North African, Middle Eastern, Iberian, and Sephardic Jewish cuisine, E Burnside’s Levant proves that all you really need to unite a region is good food (…assuming said region is in a nice Portland neighborhood). And serving it in a cozy cabin of a restaurant with bronze lighting and crazy amounts of refurbished wood doesn’t hurt either
Scott Snyder grew up in California, but much of his family, including his great grandparents, have Israeli roots, having emigrated there from Russia in the mid 1800s. Their visits and the food he grew up eating — lamb, goat, birds and kosher charcuterie — are just part of the inspiration for east Portland’s soon-to-open Levant.
1. Levant: According to chef Scott Snyder, this 40-seat East Burnside eatery will feature traditional flavors from North Africa and the Middle East, using techniques from Snyder’s classic French culinary background. Think Kosher charcuterie, plenty of preserved lemons, and refined plates using the spices, herbs, and sauces from the region.
A soft-opening menu and hard-open date have both been revealed for Scott Snyder’s anticipated Arabesque restaurant Levant: Eat Beat brings word that the spot will debut on February 28. Possible menu items include fried cauliflower, pomegranate-glazed grilled sweetbreads, fava bean falafel, and “charmoula-marinated sturgeon with farro and sunchoke puree.” In an October 2012 interview, Snyder also promised several items from a custom-designed grill. [Eat Beat]