It’s okay if you can’t pronounce the name properly, the food will love you just the same. Brasserie Montmartre offers the bistro-vibe complete with a great wine list, delicious French-inspired dishes and a beautiful interior. Located walking distance from Pioneer square, it’s a great place to grab Saturday lunch or post-office (or post-shopping!) happy hour drinks and snacks. The food menu is concise and all the dishes sound spectacular. With daily specials, including a lunchtime quiche du jour, there is so much to try!

For lunch, I enjoyed the Grilled Draper Valley Farm Chicken Salad. Set on butter lettuce, dotted with delicious crafted goat cheese, and drizzled with a spectacularly vibrant orange tomato-tarragon vinaigrette, I savored every bite. The portion size was literally perfect. Other excellent lunch offerings include a beautiful burger served on a brioche bun with house bacon and caramelized onions, cod and chips, and a fried chicken burger - an upgraded version of the American classic. The only complaint at our table was the French onion soup. It was simply average and was unfortunately not left under the broiler for long enough to crisp the top of the cheese.

On the other hand, I can’t get their fries off my mind. They were wonderful. I’ll forewarn all you thick-cut lovers that these are shoestrings, but don’t let that fact scare you away. With the option to upgrade to truffle oil and sel gris or duck fat and rosemary frites, the flavor more than makes up for the smaller cut. The duck fat frites were beyond good. They were rich and flavorful and kept me going back for more... I had to cancel out my healthy salad somehow. Truffle oil and sel gris brought in an earthy flavor that was mellow and pleasant.

Portland has no shortage of great bars and restaurants to check out happy hour. Brasserie sets itself apart, among other ways, by offering keg wine. One wine I tried was 95% cab and 5% malbec. The flavors were balanced and it didn’t taste carbonated or over aerated. I learned from the bartender that to compensate for the loss in bottle ageing, keg wine vintners will let their wines age in the barrel for longer, usually by about six months. It’s very affordable and offered both by the glass or the carafe. If you’re less of a wino and more a beer snob, they have plenty on draught, many of which are locally brewed, and even more by the bottle. Mondays, happy hour lasts all evening with $2 Rainiers flowing and $5 mac and cheese so rich with fresh herbs, it’s almost green.

I highly recommend checking out Brasserie Montmartre for a meal, snack or even just a drink. The atmosphere is sophisticated without being stuffy, the lighting is warm and inviting and the service staff excellent. And what better chance to try out something new like keg wine. Bon appetit!

For more information about the author, Bethany Huntley, please visit their profile page.