Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter
It was a typically drizzly day in Portland, Ore., and I was on the hunt for a gastropub a little off the beaten track in the Alberta arts district neighborhood. At the recommendation of my Airbnb host, I popped out of the rain and into Wilder, a bar and restaurant a few blocks north of popular Alberta Street.
I was immediately greeted by the friendly bartender, who remained a faithful spirit guide throughout my journey. To start, she suggested, the No. 9: a well-balanced cocktail made with rye whiskey, Chartreuse, dry curacao and Boker’s Bitters.
And, much to my delight, I was just in time for the start of happy hour. As I sipped my libation and noshed on some house olives, I perused the myriad cocktail books set atop the counter while mellow oldies tunes from the likes of Al Green, Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops played.
Then, it was time for the main attraction: A white bean, roasted tomato and quinoa burger, studded with flax and sunflower seeds and served on a brioche bun with a sweet basil aioli, red onions and arugula. Other menu items include a burger, moules-frites, fried chicken, a kale and garbanzo salad and more — but it’s bound to be a delicious surprise depending on when you visit, as both the food and drink menus rotate frequently.
The cozy venue, with its handsome dark wood and brick interior, proved the perfect spot for my rainy-day lounging. So I was all too happy to continue lingering with another cocktail — this time, a Sazerac — when my trusty guru inquired, “Would you like another?”