Kachka, Bamboo Sushi and Arden move forward with events, reopens and new launches


Compared to the same time last year, Portland’s food scene looks downright rosy, even as we head into the darker days of the year.

After a painful 18 months of the pandemic, a growing number of well-known local restaurants are starting to fill their dining rooms to capacity, reopen closed locations and even launch brand new restaurants.

Kachka, Chef Bonnie Morales’ exceptional tribute to her Belarusian roots, was one of the most cautious kitchens in operation during the COVID-19 outbreak, first serving customers in cabins spread across the parking lot, and then making take out dinners when the temperatures got too cold to stay outside.

Limited indoor dining returned last spring, shortly after shoppers were allowed to browse the aisles of adjacent grocery stores Lavka, and now the main restaurant is fully open for seated service, including the bar. Morales also greeted guests in the building’s second dining room, which is reserved for the regular dinner service on Friday and Saturday. All clients must show proof of vaccination.

And if that’s not a strong sign of optimism, Kachka has officially celebrated: you can rent the second dining room for private events. The restaurant is also relaunching its epic New Years Eve dinner – reservations are already open.

Before fully reopening this month, Kachka’s management team took a recent break to take a food-focused field visit to Uzbekistan. Expect the influence of this experience to trickle down to the menu – we’re told that plov (the country’s iconic dish traditionally made with rice, meat, onions and carrots) will make an appearance soon.

Another popular name in the restaurant industry, Bamboo sushi, has finally reopened its location on Northeastern Alberta Street for the first time since the 2020 pandemic lockdown.

Deals shared on his Facebook page that an unexpected maintenance issue at the 12th Avenue southwest store allowed this team to move to the temporarily closed property for a smooth reopening.

Bamboo Sushi Northeast will officially launch on Saturday, November 13 with limited hours, for now: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

Finally, a few steps away, the Pearl District restaurant and wine bar Ardennes launched his little brother café, wild thing, late last week at 1483 Northeast Alberta Street. The all-plant-based menu focuses on build-it-yourself bowls made from brown grains or mixed greens, which are then unleashed by fruits, veggies and nuts in every shade of the color wheel.

Wild Thing is a three-year project in the works by Arden owner Kelsey Glasser, as Eater PDX reported for the first time. Chef Sam Smith, who runs the kitchen at Sweedeedee, serves as a consultant, developing menu items and bowl fillings that will be updated each season. The cafe also serves its own label of canned wines and cold brew coffee in conjunction with Never Lab.

For now, Wild Thing is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, although Glasser plans to expand those hours and add a breakfast menu.

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