Muselet Restaurant and Wine bar is a sleek, sexy spot that celebrates seductive wines and inventive, tantalizing nibbles. It’s my new favorite spot in Portland, Oregon. Here’s why.
[UPDATE: This restaurant is now closed]
Inventive cuisine, fine wine, and creative craft cocktails intersect in South Waterfront’s latest shining star: Muselet Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Muselet Restaurant & Wine Bar
On the verge of celebrating its first anniversary, Muselet is already winning over neighborhood fans and food & wine critics alike. Just two weeks after opening in May 2015, it was named one of America’s Best 100 Wine Bars by Wine Enthusiast and is the OpenTable Diner’s Choice Winner of 2016. And, it has won over my heart, happy tastebuds and satisfied stomach, as my current favorite spot to dine in Portland.
I don’t give away that spot lightly, folks. Muselet is IT.
#1 Restaurant Wine Program in Portland
Owner Ron Acierto has developed an incredible wine program at Muselet, which stands far above any other I have experienced recently in Portland. Muselet currently offers more than 30 wines by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle.
Having managed fine establishments such as Bluehour, Departure at The Nines Hotel and Jory at The Allison Inn & Spa, Ron has developed relationships with some of the finest wine producers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Through those relationships, he’s able to bring some incredible wines to the table at Muselet; you will find bottles here that you won’t find at other restaurants.
The wine flights are outstanding, and I love coming here to discover new wines. I completely trust that whatever wines are served here will be excellent selections that have been handpicked by Ron. And, best of all, Muselet is now offering complimentary wine tasting every Saturday from 5:00 – 6:30pm. This is an amazing opportunity to try new wines and to learn more about the wines, since a winery representative or wine expert will be on hand to answer any questions you have.
Upcoming wine tastings include:
Owen Roe | Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Oregon Pinot Noir, Washington red
Le Cadeau | Exclusively estate grown Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay
Aubichon Wines | Distinguished Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay
Closed for Patricia Green Cellars Wine Club Dinner
Ian Burrows of Consulon Wines | pouring wines from Boulay Wine Company, Swick Wines, and Guillén Family Wines
Jackalope Wines | Craft Nortwest Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc
Helioterra | Pinot Noir, Mourvédre, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Arneis, Melon de Bourgogne, Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Riesling
Creative Craft Cocktails
In addition to the outstanding wine program, you’ll find some delicious and fun craft cocktails here at Muselet.
My favorites include:
Le Muselet – Olmeca altos plata, aperol, grapefruit, lemon, agave nectar, sparkling rosé
The Ardea – Wild Turkey 101 Rye, local chinato, nocino della christina, walnut chocolate bitters, and orange peel
As if the wine program and the craft cocktails weren’t enough to tempt you to swing by for a drink, the food here is a true feast for the eyes as well as the palate, and pairs so sweetly with the libations at Muselet. Chef Greg Zanotti focuses on showcasing the Pacific Northwest’s agricultural bounty in truly delicious, visually stunning works of art.
There were some dishes that I have to admit, I admired visually but wasn’t sure I would enjoy them based on the written descriptions… but (thankfully) I was proven wrong each time. I love it when a chef can surprise me like that. If you ever doubt a dish that you see on the menu at Muselet – don’t; it is most likely going to be more delicious than you could imagine.
Here’s a look at some of the dishes I sampled during a recent media event.
Oysters – half dozen shigoku, blood orange mignonette ($18)
An applause-worthy goat’s milk custard-streusel, wild blackberry, cajeta. On this night it was paired with a sultry Port-Style Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley Vineyards.
Porridge – warm yolk, trout roe, chive ($16)
Seared Foie – pain d’espice, pear, cognac ($22). This dish is truly a work of art that looks almost too beautiful to eat, but trust me: if you like foie at all, you will eat every last morsel of this.
Potato Mille Fuille – créme, dulse, smoked cod ($8)
Scallops – with pork rind and red-eye gravy ($28)
Wagyu Culotte – short rib, mushroom duxelle ($26)
HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – closing
Soirée: (Cocktail hour) from 5-6pm in the bar/lounge only.
What part of Muselet attracts you the most: the wine program, craft cocktail program, cuisine, or all three?
I attended a Muselet media event and many of the dishes and drinks you see here were complimentary to us during the event. I have since returned to Muselet for wine tasting and appetizers, and you bet I will be returning again. As always, all opinions and photos are my own. I love this place, and think you will too!