This has been a tough year for us, so my husband and I decided to take a short trip to Portland, Oregon to celebrate the ending of 2016 and the kickoff of, what we hope will be, a fresh start moving into 2017. Now, I will be the first to admit that a three-hour drive from Redmond, WA to Portland, OR does not constitute a large travel itinerary, however a night in a beautiful hotel followed by a unique dinning experience is always a welcome departure from the normal routine.

We set out at 8:30am to 1) hopefully beat the traffic and 2) get to a sports bar, by noon, to watch the University of Washington Huskies play Alabama in the Peach bowl. We made it to On Deck Sports Bar and Grill in plenty of time to cheer on the Dawgs. On Deck is located in the Pearl district of Portland, think hipster meets rabid football fans! The food is basic, well executed pub fare, great cocktails and over 25 HD televisions. It was clean, affordable and the staff was friendly and attentive. Unfortunately, Alabama won the game, so we headed off to our hotel with a heavy heart!


We stayed at Hotel Lucia, about ¾ of mile from the sports bar. This is the second time we stayed at Hotel Lucia and we liked it even more the second time.

This is a boutique hotel known for their art collection, particularly their black and white photography collection, which I tried to provide a sample for you here.



Kramer is on all the floors of the hotel!



This is made up of gray crayons!


Another huge bonus, for my husband, is their nightly craft beer hour where they showcase local breweries from 5:30 to 6:30 every night. Since it was New Year’s Eve they included the option of a champagne toast and/or craft beer, free of charge of course! We enjoyed some champagne before heading to the restaurant. As I mentioned before Hotel Lucia is in the Pearl district and used to be full of warehouses and railroad related industry enterprises. Like many urban areas it has undergone a transformation and is now known for its art galleries and unique shops and upscale restaurants. So, we had a lot of great places to choose from for our New Year celebration. Fortunately we chose Park Kitchen and its prix fixe menu. The restaurant was tucked away in a renovated warehouse. It was cozy with just a few tables, which required reservations. The prix fixe menu consisted of eight courses!

The New Year’s Eve special menu:


But this is a celebration! So we started off with some cocktails with our oysters!


The Lonesome Whistle Barley salad was delicious! Look at the Chèvre around the top of the bowl, so good!


The Carman Ranch flank steak salad with blue cheese and sherried onions was also spectacular!


While the Arctic Char was cooked perfectly, the star of this course was the black radish which was new to me.


The Carmen Ranch Ribeye, while also cooked perfectly, is not my favorite cut of beef, so it was pretty good. We also opted to add the Oregon Black Truffle (it is a special night after all!) We both love truffle infused products, but this time the truffle really didn’t add much to the dish, in our opinion anyway.

As if we were not full enough yet-there were two desserts! The apple cake with toffee, spiced pecans and chèvre creme anglaise was outstanding! You can see how much we loved it!

And that was followed by the double chocolate tart with hazelnut ice cream!


Then, because two desserts are never enough, they brought out homemade cracker jacks with the bill.


To say we were stuffed and tipsy is an understatement! We were also happy and thrilled with our choice of restaurants! Park Kitchen was delicious, even the dishes I was not as excited about, were tasty and a fun change from our usual fare. The staff was attentive and knowledgeable about the menu and the preparation. The chef even took the time to talk with me about one of the sauce preparations. I had an unobstructed view of the kitchen and enjoyed watching the sous and pastry chef in action.

My husband and I both recommend On Deck Bar and Grill, Hotel Lucia and Park Kitchen and plan to visit all three in the future.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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