lafitte's at the waiting room
2327 nw kearney st.
portland, or 97210
LAFITTE'S, YOUR NEW PLACE TO GET ABSINTHE MINDED
back in april, i was invited to celebrate the opening of Lafitte's, the newest cocktail lounge -and additional drinking parlor- to recently open up on the second story of the ever popular The Waiting Room -known for their fried chicken, oysters, and champagne.
The Waiting Room and subsequently Lafitte's is located in an old victorian-style house adjacent to the very popular shopping and dining destination in portland's NW alphabet district and right off 23rd avenue. the home is outlined with a bright eccentric blue railing that frames the large front first-floor patio and second-floor balcony.
what sets Lafitte's apart from The Waiting Room is their wonderful collection of absinthe forward cocktails, their variety of bubbles, and their savory selection of drinking snacks like deviled eggs, baked oysters casino, and lamb ribletes. if you've ever been curious or have wanted to experience absinthe in cocktails, or just plain love being absinthe-minded, Lafitte's is quickly becoming my favorite spot and it just happens to be what your curious cocktail-loving-self wants.
LET'S TALK COCKTAILS AT LAFITTE'S
on top of the bar program at Lafitte's is Chazz Madrigal, bar-star and portland bar veteran, previously at Gil's Speakeasy, and part of the opening teams of Star Bar, and Renata. alongside Chazz is bartender Becca June, together their expertise in creating handcrafted cocktails means nothing is pre-measured or mixed; unless it happens to be punch.
left cocktail: corpse reviver #2: gin, house orange cordial, lillet, absinthe / right cocktail: the hanging garden: gin, house grapefruit cordial, tarragon, cocchi americano, and house bitters.
my favorite two drinks of the night were the corpse reviver and the not pictured 'bourdeux state of mind'.
so what is so great about absinthe and why was it ever banned from the states?
absinthe certainly carries an unflattering past, back in 1915 absinthe was banned from entering the hands of curious americans -and many other countries- as it was believed to be a hallucinogenic and considered an addictive psychoactive drug.
the ban was lifted in the 1990's and absinthe -also dubbed "the green fairy"- has been welcomed back into the states and has since eased back into the craft cocktail scene.
if you're curious about the taste, absinthe delivers a herbally flavor, very reminiscent of black licorice. the staring herbs of the -usually- green spirit are anise and fennel which have similar notes found in the leathery black chewy candy.
-the first page of Lafitte's cocktail list -during the april media preview-
THE FOOD AT LAFITTE'S
since your going to be enjoying some delicious cocktails, be responsible, order some food!
the food at Lafitte's is absolutely freakin' delicious! everything that touched my lips echoed in my head, imagine how delicious we'd be while buzzed. because let's be honest, food is even more mouthwatering while buzzed. when was the last time you had a double cheese burger sober, and still thought it was a great ideal? okay horrible comparison, but take that and imagine really good food, and imagine really good food with really good cocktails! the fare a Lafitte's is a reflection of TWR's and Lafitte's chef and owner Thomas Dunklin's louisiana roots. alongside Dunklin is also chef and owner Kyle Rourke's. together Thomas and Kyle have built the menu of TWR to feature fresh ingredients and items from the PNW with a southern touch.
here's a sample of some of the tasty offerings i sampled while there:
the most creamy deviled eggs topped with crumbled bacon, mirco greens, and buttermlik dressing
baked oysters casino, the right amount of baked briny notes that made for a savory snack to accompany drinking.
albacore tuna ceviche, lite, refreshing and won't sit heavy in your belly.
while you're here don't forget to check out the menu to The Waiting Room. TWR serves a killer brunch, along with dinner, a lengthy list for happy hour, and a whole batch of cocktails that don't have absinthe. just to sprinkle in some background infor, the name Lafitte's comes by way of pirate Jean Lafitte who spent time in new orleans, a nod to Dunklin’s roots in louisiana.
disclosure: i was invited to attend a media preview of Lafitte's, while there i received complimentary cocktails of my choosing and shared bites from Lafitte's menu. my media invite was not in exchange for a positive review, all opinions shared are my own.