Apr 29 2011

This is the second installment in a series of blogs about our new Zeus Café at the Crystal Hotel, opening on May 3 in downtown Portland. Here, we take a look at what's on the menus.

photoJust four more days ‘til Zeus Café is officially open to the public. As of this coming Tuesday, May 3, you can stroll in any time after 7 a.m. for a quick bite to eat or a leisurely multi-course meal. You can choose a booth by the window or sit at our open showcase kitchen to watch our kitchen staff at work. No need for reservations - just roll on by whenever you're hungry or thirsty.

So, what will we be serving, you ask? Executive Chef Barry Rumsay and Chef de Cuisine Paul Arnold have put together a set of menus slightly different than what you expect from our pubs. For example, there's nary a tater tot on the menu. Nor will you find a Captain Neon burger. But not to worry - we've got you covered.

photoFirst off, there is an emphasis on farm-to-table ingredients -- our kitchen will use vegetables, herbs, fruit, proteins and more from farmers, growers and artisans including Cascade Organics, Rainyway Farms, Your Kitchen Garden, 47th Avenue Farms, Carlton Farms, Bob's Red Mill, Rogue Creamery and others. (It should be noted that all of our McMenamins pubs, hotels and breweries aim to use local ingredients, from tots to greens and beyond.)

Say you're meeting a client for a breakfast meeting at Zeus Café - how about some McMenamins houseroasted coffee and the Spring Succotash ‘Benedict' with fava beans, spring asparagus and red pepper? Or perhaps Eggs in a Cadillac (inspired by the Tom Waits tune "Eggs And Sausage [In A Cadillac With Susan Michelson]") that's served with bacon, sausage or jambon royale and creamy polenta or salt-roasted baby potatoes.

photoMoving on to lunch - the Shaved Zucchini ‘Noodles' with olives, fennel, red pepper pesto are already garnering rave reviews from fellow McMenamins employees, while the Zeus' Piedmontese Burger with butter lettuce slaw, extra sharp cheddar, grilled Walla Walla onions, fresh piccalilli on soft Crystal Bakery brioche is the way to go if you're super hungry.

photophotoGot a date? Zeus Café is ideal spot for a night on the town. Start your evening by sharing the Wood-Fired Manila Clams with chorizo and charred jalapeno butter, followed by Ruby Trout, Escargot Butter with crushed hazelnuts, capers, fingerlings, haricot vert and the Salt Brick-Roasted Cornish Hen with artichoke barigoule and bordelaise. Plus a nice bottle of wine, of course. And for dessert? How about Old Fashioned Custard with a nutmeg crust and hazelnut biscotti or Chocolate-Caramel Torte with hazelnut praline crunch and orange almond sponge. Yeah. Pretty awesome.

photoAnd finally - it's been a late night at the Crystal Ballroom. You've danced your face off to your favorite band. All you want isa cold pint and something tasty. Have the Edwardian Shooter Pie - it's a crusty, pressed sandwich made with piedmontese flat iron steak, crimini mushroom duxelle and horseradish. So. Good. And get a side of the House Chips, served with black garlic remoulade, harissa aioli and sriracha ketchup, because what the hell, right?

Welcome, one and all. We'll see you next week!

Next time, read about our Zeus Café cocktail menus...

About the author: Kerry Beeaker has been part of our crack McMenamins marketing staff since 2005.
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