Sometimes you just want to kick back with friends on a comfy couch and enjoy a delicious plate of cheese and crackers with a big ol’ glass of wine… someplace other than your own couch, maybe someplace you can stop by after a weary day at work, or a place that allows you to escape the rain on a dreary weekend.
Enter Remedy Wine Bar (733 NW Everett, Portland, Oregon). The brainchild of Dan Beekley and Michael Madigan — two men who are no strangers to running food & wine-related businesses — Remedy Wine Bar is a warm, relaxing haven where you’ll discover new wines and exceptional small plates in a comfy, cozy environment.
Billed as a “beverage first” wine bar, Remedy takes pride in offering guests accessible wines from small farmers with big stories. Beekley’s roots traveling and discovering smaller batch wine producers as an importer and distributor play a big part in the type of wines available by the glass and by the bottle (for on-site and take-home consumption). Remedy Wine Bar is a great place of discovery; it’s definitely the place to go when you want to expand your typical go-to wine repertoire beyond the popular, well-known labels.
Wines by the glass vary from $8-15; Tuesday Tasting Flights run $12-20, and Beekley promises you can purchase a solid, delicious bottle for between $25 and $45.
The night my husband and I visited, we were treated to the Tuesday Tasting Flights. The week’s selection: Loire Valley Village Reds ($13 for three pours) and Loire Valley Chinon ($15 for three pours). Beekley enthusiastically shared the type of knowledge that we really love to learn about the wines: the incredible stories of the people who made them. Beekley’s appreciation for the heart and soul behind the wine that is poured, and not just the process and statistical results of winemaking, make the Remedy Wine Bar experience truly special. “We want to educate without being pedantic about it,” Beekley said.
[photo above: Partner/General Manager Dan Beekley, Remedy Wine Bar]
To accompany your glass, flight, or bottle(s) of wine, Chef Ingrid Chen prepares a revolving menu of small plates based on what’s fresh and available at the time. Two items that we’re told are guest favorites (and that we personally hope will never, ever leave the menu!): Chen’s shallot marmalade, served on the charcuterie plate, and her grown-up version of homemade Cheez-Its, which she calls Cheezy Bits.
Made with pie dough, cheddar cheese, butter, and dusted with Rogue Creamery blue cheese powder, the Cheezy Bits at Remedy Wine Bar are possibly my favorite bar bites in town. These beauties are gloriously, insanely addictive.
The charcuterie plate and cheese plates are also noteworthy among a town overflowing with charcuterie and cheese plates. One hazard of food blogging and taking along your husband on a media visit: the food might be so good that he ends up eating enough of the charcuterie & cheese that you don’t get a chance to take a decent photo.
On our visit, the cheeses were AMAZING: a soft Lorelai goat cheese, and my favorite: a Beemster Gouda.
The meats included a delicious, housemade veal pate, and a highly memorable Speck Americano (La Quercia), made by smoking prosciutto with applewood, resulting in a sweet, rich meat.
We also enjoyed the tart flambe, made with delicata squash, caramelized onions, and bacon lardon.
[photo above: tart flambe]
Depending on what’s at the farmer’s markets that week, you may also be treated to dishes such as seared wild mushrooms, padron peppers, or salted rosemary baby potatoes. Chen, whose cooking chops were formerly put to work at Clyde Common, Aviary, and Olympic Provisions, enjoys the challenge of developing a food menu that pairs well with the wines.
My husband and I frequently bemoan the lack of variety of quality wine bars in Portland. We walked away from our first experience at Remedy Wine Bar almost with a sigh of relief, as if a burden had been lifted off our shoulders: we found a wine bar where we felt comfortable and welcome, where wines were stars not for their popularity or based on taste trends, but for possessing the rare quality of being accessible, largely undiscovered, and enjoyable all at the same time.
To top it off, the Remedy Wine Bar team brings to the wine world something refreshing: a lack of pretention and pomp. Sure, maybe you know a lot about wines, but maybe you don’t — it doesn’t matter either way here. Dan, Michael, Josh, and Ingrid have a simple goal: they want you to have a nice night, that’s it. Hang out here, meet your friends and lounge, or make new friends in the bar section. Watch the world go by through the large windows overlooking the North Park Blocks.
[photo above: A fine pairing: Ingrid serves up tasty nibbles while Josh pours a series of well-curated, small production wines]
Sit, sip, enjoy.
Remedy Wine Bar has perfected the art of simplicity in the Pearl District. Stop by with a smile and relax: you’re in good hands here.
Remedy Wine Bar
733 NW Everett
Disclosure: My husband and I were provided complimentary tastings and food, with no media coverage requirement. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.