Thursday, January 24, 2008

V is for Victory

So it had been a looong day, and my sis and I were both exhausted. I posed the age-old "Where do you feel like eating tonight?" and a half hour later all we'd managed to agree on was we both wanted 'comfort food.' Finally we narrowed it down to either Apizza Scholls (best pizza in the world) or the Victory Wine Bar (best spaetzle in Portland). We decided on Victory Wine Bar, because Eric (the chef) is an amazing cook, there is rarely a wait, and they have great drinks.

After my sister finally figured out how to get into Victory (she really does know how to read, but for some reason the sign stating "Use Other Door" was invisible to her), we feasted on the charcuterie and cheese plate ($13), steamed mussels with chorizo and saffron butter ($9), the baked spaetzle with Gruyere cheese and crispy shallots ($7), and the braised beef short rib with turnip gratin ($9). We were in the mood for a relaxing glass of wine from their excellent by-the-glass-or-bottle list (mostly French and Italian wines, a few Spanish, very reasonably priced), so Jen had a glass of La Chaussynette '06 Southern Rhone ($6) and I had their house red wine ($5). I believe I may have mentioned that the spaetzle (my favorite dish) is the best in Portland--and the ultimate comfort food, what with that hot melty blend of cream and Gruyere cheese, and the crunchy toasted shallots. It's served with applesauce, which gives you an oh-so-happy salty-sweet buzz. My sister wouldn't stop talking about the beef short rib, which was so tender it practically fell apart when you touched it with the fork. We did think the charcuterie and cheese plate was a little overpriced for the portion size at $13, but it was delicious nonetheless.
A few more glasses of wine later we decided that we must throw points to the wind and have a dessert, so we ordered the gingerbread pudding cake with spiced-wine poached pear ($6, pictured above) and a New Fashioned cocktail, where they take an entire Satsuma and crush it, then mix it with bourbon, pomegranate, and house made cinnamon bitters ($6). My sister was so excited about the whole Satsuma--skin, pulp and all--being in the drink that she could barely contain herself ... it's the little things in life!
The scene at Victory is very hipster/old style bar. It's welcoming, cozy, dimly lit, and they have board games. I just love the idea that they don't mind if you hang out all night playing a board game while eating their fabulous food and sipping New Fashioneds!

Victory Wine Bar * 3652 SE Division * 503.236.8755 * no reservation needed * get the spaetzle

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