Beast

Intensely-driven, food-obsessed, self-taught chef Naomi Pomeroy has been captivating Portland food lovers for nearly a decade now, first with her Ripe empire (Family Supper, clarklewis and Gotham Building Tavern), and now with Beast, a most excellent value for your communal dining buck.

Even though I’ve had it many times, the charcuterie plate still feels like Christmas when it’s set on the table, each jewel-like canapé a bite-sized gift—particularly the foie gras bon bon and chicken liver mousse with candied bacon.

One of Portland’s hottest dining tickets, Beast and its intrepid executive chef, who describes her food as simple, refined and feminine, have been lauded by the likes of Esquire, Gourmet, Food & Wine Magazine, the James Beard Foundation and the Food Network, and perhaps most importantly, retain a staunch local following.

Each course on Naomi’s locally-sourced, lovingly-prepared $68 six-course prix fixe menu is crafted by Naomi and her sous chef Mika in Beast’s intimate open kitchen, mere feet from the two wooden farmhouse tables that comprise the entirety of the diminutive restaurant’s family-style seating. Courses change weekly, and dinner might include smoked tomato soup to start, followed by pheasant pot pie and a simple salad of local organic greens tossed in an aged sherry vinaigrette, a cheese plate compiled by noted local cheesemonger Steve Jones, and deep dark chocolate truffle cake with salted caramel sauce and pistachio praline.

The only constant on the menu is the charcuterie plate, and even though I’ve had it many times, it still feels like Christmas when it’s set on the table, each jewel-like canapé a bite-sized gift—particularly the foie gras bon bon and chicken liver mousse with candied bacon. Wine lovers, don’t pass up the wine pairing—it’s a steal at $35 for six pours. Walking out the door with a full belly and new friends, you’ll leave wishing you could dine this well with your new extended family every night.

Details

Cuisine: French

Executive Chef: Naomi Pomeroy

Sous Chef: Mika Paredes

Atmosphere: Warm and intimate, with a rustic French country-meets-Portland feel

Outdoor seating: A couple of sidewalk tables are put out in fair weather

Best Seat: Anything facing the open kitchen, Naomi and crew are great fun to watch in action.

Noise Level: The space is small, and depending what point everyone is at in their meal, noise levels fluctuate from hushed to downright raucous

Dress Code: Dressy casual

Bring the Kids: No

Bathrooms: In the back behind the black curtain, feel free to doodle on the walls. No really, everyone else does, they even provide chalk.

Parking: Free and plentiful on surrounding streets

Beer: Yes, a rotating selection of Belgian-inspired beers is available.

Wine: A carefully curated list designed specifically to compliment the week’s menu. Opt for the wine pairing with all six courses for $35, quite a deal if you ask me.

Corkage: $30 per 750mL

Teetotalers: Sparkling water

Coffee: Stumptown

Tea: Varies

Ideal Meal: Whatever's on the fixed menu

Vegetarian Friendly: The following quote is directly from the Beast web site: “Pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans would find it a challenge to enjoy our six-course dinners."

Good for the following occasions: Special & Splurgey, Out With Friends, Family Meal

Group/Private Party Details: Call the restaurant to inquire as to renting it out for a private party.

Reservations: Yes, call or go on OpenTable