Reality Check 2013 -- Where I Spend My Own Money
by Chris Onstad, Portland Mercury
My days, like anyone's, are mundane hashes of sock hunting, empty toothpaste tubes, automated phone systems, and noticing weird new lumps on the dog. When I walk into Expatriate (5424 NE 30th) it's as though I assume the identity of the urbane, civilized person I was meant to be. It's said that the clothes make the man, but it can also be said that the room makes the evening. Expatriate is a room to disappear into, adjacent to the current universe, where adults are treated like intelligent things, where they can feel good looking and witty, and let their evening unfold in an intimate space whose attendant pleasures are the most refined of their kind. Kyle Linden Webster's house cocktails are as meticulously crafted as they come, but he's also talented at inventing drinks on the fly. ("Name a color, I'll come up with a drink," he said. "Copper," she said. He came back with something involving tequila, sherry, apricot brandy, citrus... there was more to it, but in a word, it was sublime.) And getting to enjoy Naomi Pomeroy's world-class cooking alongside—without the commitment of a reservation at Beast—is, to me, one of the best developments of 2013.