Portland Monthly's Best Bars 2014
Come for: A livey blend of cognac, rye, Dolin Génépy des Alpes, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters dubbed No. 8.
Come back for: Candles everywhere, carefully selected vintage vinyl, and luxuriously tufted bar stools make this easily the sexiest bar in town.
It is laughably easy to fall under Expatriate’s spell. It begins when you walk in the door and find yourself in a discrete world of warmth: thick red candles flicker, dark booths ooze that come-hither look, a well-coiffed bartender flashes a knowing smile, and jazz purrs from a turntable. It is gritty and glamorous, playful but self-assured. You may find yourself musing, “This is exactly where I want to be right now.” The 30-seat haven of dimness is the brainchild of bartender Kyle Linden Webster and wife Naomi Pomeroy (whose bastion of communal dining, Beast, is just across the street). This communion of casual but carefully engineered ambience is enhanced by confident cocktails and bold, crunchy, loosely Asian drinking snacks (order the Chinese sausage corn dog!), not to mention one very simple, very satisfying onion and butter sandwich inspired by James Beard. Each of Webster’s eight nightly cocktails is calibrated to the drop and comes with a footnoted backstory. Read up and order the No. 8, a spirited mix of cognac and rye amped by herbaceous liqueur and orange bitters. From there, let the candles be your guide as you freely roam both sides of the globe-trotting menu. 5424 NE 30th Ave