In my opinion, it’s hard to find anything affiliated with the Kimpton Hotel chain that is “wrong.” Our experiences in these hotels, around the country, and here in Portland, have been absolutely superb. In fact, the Portland Monaco (formerly Fifth Avenue Suites) was Mrs. BDB and my choice to host our wedding party, back in the day. The concierge there, during our visit, saved our bacon on more than one occasion during the turmoil of putting a wedding together!
We’ve also stayed at their sister hotel across the street, the Vintage Plaza, and been equally impressed. Pazzo is the in-house restaurant at the Vintage Plaza, and we have eaten there on several occasions. We ventured there last night looking for a happy hour where we could enjoy Portland’s brief flirtation with the sun, and sit outside, if possible.
Wednesdays are our “happy hour” night out, and we set out early, arriving just after 5p, so there was no problem getting a table outside, to enjoy the evening sun and watch the pedestrian traffic on Broadway.
Pazzo has a bar menu all the time, and the happy hour menu is the same, but at greatly reduced prices. So reduced, that we shot our wad and ordered the entire menu, skipping only the pasta. This is the bar menu, but with the regular (not happy hour) prices:
Everything we tried was absolutely “Kimpton wonderful,” as was the over the top service from our waitress, who is in her third year at the Pazzo, previously having been down the street at Portland’s luxe hostelry, the Benson.
We grazed in the order the dishes were served, starting with complementary breads and oil, the salad, and one of the impressive aspects of our server is she went ahead and delivered the smaller items on two plates, so sharing was easily. The salad was delightfully refreshing in the evening heat, and we followed that with the salumi plate, loaded up with beautiful Italian processed pork products, olives, and, fresh mozzarella.
The wood-fired pizza came next, I had chosed sausage, fresh mozzarella, and basil for the toppings, the crust was cracker thin and had a nice char around the edges from the oven. Pazzo also operates a take-out shop and bakery next door to the restaurant, opening during the daytime only, and they have a great pizza, as well, but their version is not baked in the wood oven. The sausage was tasty, the basil and mozzarella fresh, the cheese added a nice creaminess to the pie. Since I do so love ‘cracker-thin’, this is one of my favorite pizzas in Portland.
After the bread, salad, salamis, and some pizza, I couldn’t even touch the hero sandwich, but Mrs. BDB had a bite and said it was excellent. Upon our departure, the served boxed up the remaining food, and we’ll have enough to get through the morning after…if not the day.
Like most people, we enjoy these happy hour meals because they are inexpensive, and allow us to sample the fare of a variety of Portland restaurants. We went over the top here, with an $80 tab, but that included over $50 in beverages. You can get by for much less, well drinks during happy hour at Pazzo are only $3.00.
I really love the folks at Kimpton. Luxurious accomodations, top notch staff, plush amenities, a wine party at night at most hotels, pet friendly.
And food like Pazzo. BRAVO! Ahhhhhhh.