written by Lauren Sharp
Teeming with ’60s glam—bronze fixtures, velvet chairs, walnut dining tables— this spot at The Hoxton hotel is the place for an evening cocktail and small plates or prix-fixe dining. Adjacent to Portland’s Old Town Chinatown, it was scheduled to open in early 2020, Lovely Rita opened October 15.
Just like the lovely meter maid of the song invoked by its name, the space will be devoted to work (and lounging) during the day, transforming into a sultry dining destination for dinner. Of course, the hyper-local rotating beer, spirits and wine menu will be available throughout the day.
Chef Joel Lui-Kwan took the creative lead on the Pacific Northwest concept, overseeing the food throughout the hotel, which besides Lovely Rita, includes the breakfast and lunch cafe Little Rita and the rooftop bar, Tope. Lui-Kwan’s menu embraces smoked fish, oysters, pan-roasted meats, seasonal vegetables and artisan charcuterie sourced from farmers in the region. The chef and his team are dedicated to supporting local food sources yet also incorporating specialty items such as the Spanish octopus appetizer. For PNW flavor, order the elk tartar with cured egg yolk, pickled shimeji mushrooms, mustard seed and rye crackers or the smoked trout, with Nantes carrot, panisse (crisp, fried chickpea), romesco (a rich Catalonia-style tomato sauce) and mint.
Put your palate in Lui-Kwan’s command for an immersive Northwest culinary experience by ordering “off menu” for two or more guests. The family-style dinner is the chef’s selection of starters, main dishes and dessert at $75 per person. Add a wine or beer pairing for $50. This gives you a personalized taste of the chef’s creativity in the kitchen, influenced by his Hawaiian roots, life in Portland and volunteer work on farms across the region.
15 NW 4TH AVE.