Turning Tables: The Ritz-Carlton Opens a New Hotel and Restaurant in Oregon


Who’s behind it: Bellpine is within the newly opened The Ritz-Carlton, Portland, in Portland, Ore. Helming the kitchen is executive chef Pedro Almeida, the chef behind Midori inside the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort in Sintra, Portugal. There he blends Portuguese cuisine with the traditions of Japanese cooking. Almeida will oversee the Portland hotel’s entire culinary program. Joining him in the kitchen is Portland chef Lauro Romero, formerly of restaurants Clandestino and República; at the latter, opened in 2020, he garnered acclaim for his modern Mexican cuisine.

When it opened: Both the hotel and restaurant debuted Oct. 31, 2023.

Why you should know about it: The addition of the 35-story Ritz-Carlton to downtown Portland indicates that the hospitality landscape in the Rose City, within driving distance of Oregon’s renowned Willamette Valley wine region is continuing to grow.

Bellpine aptly fits into Portland’s culinary hodgepodge of exciting restaurants while bringing a measure of luxury and tapping into the finest that the Pacific Northwest offers. “Lauro is someone who can speak to the people of Portland,” said John Roussin, Bellpine’s restaurant manager and sommelier, who explained this is key for drawing both locals and hotel guests to the restaurant.

The culinary approach: Roussin said the menu subtly highlights Romero’s experience with Latin American flavors while playing to Almeida’s background. The result is a multicultural and modern American menu with plenty of whimsy, one that taps local ingredients such as geoduck, mushrooms and truffles. One recent dish that showcases Bellpine’s culinary ethos is a savory take on a traditional buñuelo (a type of dough fritter), which is filled with avocado mousse and topped with shaved geoduck, serrano ham and Fresno chiles; Bellpine’s culinary team finishes the dish with guajillo chile oil, a dollop of caviar and puffed amaranth.

[article-img-container][src=2024-01/restaurant-news-bellpine-portland-oregon-chefs-table-b-020824_1600.jpg] [credit= (The Ritz-Carlton, Portland)] [alt= The white-topped chef’s table at Bellpine, beneath circular glass lighting fixtures and near a tan, wood-paneled wall][end: article-img-container]

Another recent highlight is seared diver scallops with Rainier cherry salsa, cranberry cocoa butter and a dollop of fresh trout roe. “It takes a creative mastermind to put these ingredients together, but it’s everything I could want [from a bite],” Roussin said. “It’s got rich, sweet flavors from the scallops, and the cocoa butter coats the palate … and the tang from the cherries and pops of trout roe.”

While the menu is centered on sharing, it’s not all small plates. Large entrées include a cedar plank salmon with potlatch seasoning and yuzu hollandaise, as well as a 32-ounce, 30-day dry-aged, smoked rib eye steak with aioli and jam.

What’s on the wine list: With more than 200 labels, the wine list zeroes in on Oregon’s most celebrated wineries, including Argyle, Adelsheim, Bergström and Penner-Ash. Roussin said Oregon and Washington wineries comprise 40 to 50 percent of the list, with a heavy dose of Champagne and little bits of everything else from around the wine world. “Since opening, I’ve gotten to know the chefs better and figure out what they’re doing with the food, and the list has doubled,” he said.

Roussin noted that he’s also begun bringing in lesser-known, food-friendly Oregon varieties such as Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc from Columbia Gorge, as well as wines from Tuscany and Piedmont as a natural fit for the heartier dishes.

The Design: Bellpine is named after a type of marine sedimentary soil found in the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant embraces the name, drawing inspiration from its surroundings. Design elements include a ruffle-textured ceiling that evokes the underside…

Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/the-ritz-carltons-bellpine-debuts-in-portland-oregon