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.
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I didn’t even know Belly Timber had a bar in it! Nice find, it’s in my hood, so I’ll have to check it out.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time living here, it’s that nearly every restaurant in Portland has a bar (and the bars have restaurants!).