In the grand scheme of things, Portlanders have it very good. Oh sure, we have problems like everyone else—because of the 856-inch average yearly rainfall*, many of us suffer from terrible WSS (wet sock syndrome), due to all the ace coffee roasters, we are often dangerously overcaffeinated, and thanks to the abundance of first-rate restaurants, most residents are perpetually wearing our skinny jeans one size too small. Aside from these minor issues, however, we’ve been under the impression that we want for nothing. But sometimes, you don’t know what you’re missing until it hits you in the tongue with a rhubarb vacherin, and as it turns out, all these years, none of us had any idea that there was a huge gaping void in our culinary lives—a pastry luncheonette. (Cue angels singing and Moscato d’Asti corks popping.)
Armed with a pastry background and aesthetic so impressive that entire shelves of sugar bags bow and curtsy in unison as she glides down the grocery store dry goods aisle, Kristen conjures up stunning sweet somethings.
Fortunately, posh restaurant pastry chef turned pastry luncheonette proprietress, Kristen Murray, has stepped in to save us all from a existence bereft of mango tarte tatin and cocoa puff palmiers by opening this nectarous new concept in a sweet space tucked down a pleasantly mellow tree-lined street in downtown’s happening West End neighborhood. Armed with a pastry background and aesthetic so impressive that entire shelves of sugar bags bow and curtsy in unison as she glides down the grocery store dry goods aisle, Kristen conjures up stunning sweet somethings like duck egg flan with chocolate consommé, geranium-scented pain perdu, and black pepper cheesecake with rhubarb-apple confiture and celery leaf gelée, served alongside craft cocktails and fine wines, on the heels of Maurice’s daytime “luncheonette” menu. But as wondrous as this all is, with mo’ honey comes mo’ problems, problems like skinny jeans that are now two sizes too small.
*By my socks’ best estimate
Executive Chef: Kristen D. Murray
Owner: Kristen D. Murray
Atmosphere: Light, white, bright downtown dessert nook rocking a Scandinavian simplicity that belies the sophisticated sweets to come
Best Seat: One of the cozy booths
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: In the far back, and don't be startled by the fly in the toilet, it's there to help menfolk aim
Parking: Street parking is metered and can be difficult to find
Tea: MEM Tea Imports, T-Project, and Steven Smith
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes