1021 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Last night I had the chance to try Chef David Machado’s new restaurant, Altabira! This was fun for me as a budding food journalist! It was a one-of-a-kind experience dining at a one day-old restaurant. I had no yelp rating, no reviews, and no idea what to expect. Time to form some opinions for myself!
Before we get to the food, let me just say how breathtaking the dining room is! With huge floor-to-ceiling windows, precise edges, and minimalistic modern décor, Altabira makes you feel like you’re stepping into a James Bond movie, or an ultra-sleek rich-people club that you definitely can’t afford to step into! Located on the top floor of the new Hotel Eastlund in the Lloyd District, the restaurant offers some amazing city views. There’s also a patio equipped with fire-pits, windbreakers, and heaters, although we didn’t need them because it was such a gorgeous day!
Whenever I see rabbit on a menu I have to grab it, because it’s so rare for some reason! This dish was amazing. Rabbit is very similar to chicken in texture, so it worked well in a pot-pie. The extra little bit of gamey flavor made this pot-pie spectacular. I liked that there was only a topping of flaky pastry, so that the filling was really the star. The pastry was lovely, and just a wee bit doughy in the middle, just the way I like it.
We also ordered a cocktail called the “Ginger Island”, which was made with Rum, lime, vanilla, and Ginger Beer. It was also awesome! Well-balanced and not overly sweet.
Nik ordered the Roasted Chicken with Ricotta Spaetzle, Sweet Corn and Oyster Mushrooms, and it ended up being my favorite of the two dishes! The corn and mushrooms worked surprisingly well together to create a meaty, smoky hash that offered some crunch to the soft, pillowy spaetzle. The chicken was perfectly cooked, juicy and bursting with flavor. I don’t usually go for chicken because I prefer red meat, but this dish was spot on.
I make myself choose between an appetizer and a dessert because money. I’m so glad I chose dessert! We ordered the Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata with Brown Butter Ice Cream. Oh my god. There’s no other way to describe it other than that all the individual components sing together. The flaky pastry, the tart rhubarb, the luscious strawberries, salty caramel, and the nutty brown butter ice cream- I’m now in paradise. Natalie Harkness, you are an angel. (I like dessert, can you tell?)
Check this restaurant out now before it starts getting hard to get a reservation! I can tell this is going to become a happening place! Prices were great too, nothing on the dinner menu was over $24. I will definitely be back and can’t wait to see how this restaurant evolves and finds its own!