Portland Variety does a little bit of everything and does it damn well. From house made breads, cheese and pastries to seafood platters and fantastic cocktails, it’s all amazing.
The front of the restaurant serves pintxos– small tapas with unique twists. House made bread slathered with cheese roasted cherry tomato and a teeny anchovy. Skewers of olives and cheese. Slices of onion tart. Brie topped with eggplant. House made chorizo.
All of these bites are available to nosh on by the piece/skewer/slice.
There’s also a nice selection of sweets including giant chocolate chip cookies, chocolate bomb cakes and more treats.
From the front of the restaurant it seems like a small space but as you go further in it opens up into a large, sleek open space that seats 150. There’s even a patio if you feel like soaking up some sun. Portland Variety has just started to serve dinner.
The meal that I had was outstanding! All the dishes were sharing plates. Here’s the scoop.
This fabulous Chilled Seafood Platter ($45) was brought to the table covered in a copper dish. When the server reaches your table the lid comes off to reveal a heaping dish of seafood. The platter includes lobster, shrimp, clams and amazing smoked trout. This is served with browned butter for dipping. Heaven.
The star of the show was this 22 oz Canadian AAA Porcini Rubbed Blackened Rib Eye ($45). The steak was tender and perfectly cooked to medium. It was served with melt in your mouth caramelized onions, and crispy cassava frites. So good.
Next up was dessert.
You’ll be happy to know that the drinks were as fantastic as the food!
The beautiful bar serves up beer, wine, pitchers of sangria and a slew of impressive cocktails.
Each cocktail is stunningly creative and some are akin to performance art in the way they are served.
If you look carefully you can see tendrils of smoke curling from the Tequila Bong ($15). This cocktail is loaded with tromba blanco tequila, fresh lemon pineapple, jalapeno-infused agave with a hickory-mesquite blend.
I am thoroughly impressed with Portland Variety, and I think that it’s my favourite new restaurant of the summer. Run, don’t walk to King W & Portland to check it out! Stop by for tapas or dinner. Brunch is in the works for the future.
Portland Variety, 587 King Street West