Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Portland Bar: Angel Face

What: Angel Face
Where: 14 NE 28th Ave
When: 5pm-midnight Sun-Thurs, 5 pm-1am Fri-Sat
Honeys Heart: Fish Board

Kel and I have been on a kick of hitting up new-to-both of us bars on Monday nights. While perhaps not the ideal night of the week (read about last week's debacle here), its fun to have a standing HHH date night again.

This week, we headed off to Angel Face, sister bar to Navarre. I've heard good things about Navarre (they serve small and large plates with Italian, French, and Spanish influences), so I was excited to see what Angel Face had to offer. Also, check out these walls:

Not wallpaper, fyi. All those flowers were hand-painted. But seriously, how fun is that? Plus, Kel and I had read that there is no cocktail menu at Angel Face. Instead, you just explain to the bartenders what you like- and you know that's like Kel's and my favorite thing to do (sorry, annoying like that).

Kel and I first grabbed a seat at the slightly awkward lower bar in the back before making the switch to the horseshoe-shaped main bar as soon as a spot become available. When the bartender asked what kind of cocktails we were looking for, we gave her the usual requirements: "gin, citrus, not too sweet." I threw in "floral" too, for good measure.

We ended up with a Jasmine made with gin, Cointreau, Campari and lemon for Kel and a Pegu Club made with gin, Cointreau, Angostura bitters, and lime juice for me. Classic and tasty.

For our next round, we told our bartender we wanted to try some cocktails with a little something more going on. Don't get me wrong, the Jasmine and Pegu Club were very good, but Kel and I do like to be a bit more experimental when we're out.

The bartender suggested a Last Word for Kel. It's made with gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino, and lime, which seemed perfect since Kel chose Chartreuse as her SALEP topic back in July. I got a Chamomile Sour. Couldn't tell you what was in it, but I did like how the strong chamomile flavor paired so nicely with the citrus.

We also tried Angel Face's Fish Board ($12/$18) which, as far as I can tell, features a rotating selection of seafood deliciousness. Our board included pickled mussels, smoked trout, pickled shrimp, a cod spread, and capers.

I think it was the Fish Board that really made our night. While the cocktails and service were good, there just seemed to be something missing at Angel Face, like it wasn't fully finished yet. But with the arrival of our food, I suddenly felt much happier with our choice of bar. Each item on the board was well-crafted, delicious and, equally important for us, interesting.

Angel Face opened recently, so it's certainly understandable that the best part of our experience came from the seasoned restaurant next door. I don't think Kel and I would be opposed to checking back in a few months from now to see if Angel Face has grown into its skin a bit more.