Belly Timber, in Portland’s Hawthorne neighborhood, has been recommended to me by a few people who know their cocktails. Last Wednesday they hosted a “Recession-Proof Mixology” event, sponsored by House Spirits, a local distilling company and creators of Aviation gin. Guest bartenders and cheap yet high-quality cocktails? Sign me up!
This was our first time visiting Belly Timber, despite walking past it on Hawthorne probably once a week. They’re primarily a restaurant and the menu isn’t very vegetarian-friendly so we’d been putting it off for a while now but this event was the perfect opportunity to check our their bar before heading home for dinner.
They had a special cocktail menu for the event, featuring five Aviation gin-based drinks at $5.00 each. Sarai started with the Last Word — gin, green chartreuse, maraschino, and lime — while I tried the Johnnie Blanc, which was “Aviation gin stirred clockwise for exactly 20 seconds”, along with Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet Rouge, and orange bitters. We were sitting at a table, not at the bar, so I couldn’t verify the 20 second claim but it was delicious nonetheless.
For our second round I had the Jasmine Cocktail, made with gin, Cointreau, Campari, and lemon, while Sarai went with the classic Pegu Club. The Pegu Club is one of our go-to drinks at home but this one was quite a bit different from ours: they used Grand Marnier in place of the Coitreau we use, and I make them with both Angostura and orange bitters, while they used just Angostura. I’ll play around with their recipe a bit next time.
We did try some appetizers while we were there. Sarai had a green salad and I had the “Raviolo of the moment”, which that day was stuffed with beet greens and feta, and topped with a beet sauce. We were also served bread with butter with spice powders for sprinkling on top. The food was good, if a bit pricey, but the meat-heavy menu pretty much guarantees we won’t be back for a full dinner. It’s a shame, really, especially in a city with as many vegetarians/vegans as Portland. Oh well.
You can find Belly Timber on Twitter as @BellyTimberPDX.