Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Heathman Hotel

1001 SW Broadway
Happy Hour: In the lounge, 4 - 6 PM and 9 - close

The Heathman Hotel is out of my league, for sure. I've only been there twice in the almost thirteen years that I've lived in Portland. Once for a Holiday Tea (which was a gift and probably too spendy) and last night to enjoy some jazz music (played by a friend) in the lounge. I wasn't planning to post any reviews. I didn't even know that I would be there during their happy hour. But, I figure after sampling some items from the bar menu and sipping on a few cocktails, I might as well add it to the list.

The lounge is divided into two sections. There is an area that is most definitely a bar. And, then there is the fireplace lounge. It's cozy with cute little couches and small tables. There are a few that would be suitable for dinner but most of the tables are too low to accommodate a fork and knife kind of meal. We quickly realized that, although the seating looks comfortable, the tables have an awkward second level that leaves little room for your legs. And, sitting at the circular bench in the center means that you'll be getting cozy with a stranger if you don't plan ahead.

It was pretty packed last night but having known that the musicians playing brought out quite a few people, I can't say that this is typical. It also might have been overflow from the actual restaurant as it seemed to be reaching capacity with the many prom dates in attendance.

The server was quick to take our drink orders but the drinks themselves took quite a while to return. I'm guessing that the bartender is covering too many areas in the place and that it slows down service to the lounge and restaurant. That is only a guess, though. The menu was covered with cocktails ranging in price from seven to twelve dollars. I thought I'd play it safe and order a lemon drop. It wasn't on the menu and I quickly realized why after receiving the bill. Nine dollars is a little steep for such a small lemon drop. I'm guessing (again, merely a guess) that it was made with something closer to the top shelf. That's my hope, anyway, after dropping $18 on lemon drops. My sister ordered a Moscow Mule. I had never had one before but enjoyed the fresh ginger kick.

The happy hour special (available between four and six and again after nine) is a five dollar burger. That's the only special. It's a great price, sure. And, I'm sure it's a fantastic burger. But, I don't eat meat. I still had options, but they were from the bar menu and not all at such a great price. There are size listings, though. So anything can become super reasonable if you want to order the small. (I'm not sure how small they are, though.) My sister had taken a look at the menu first and warned me of some of the offerings. It seems that not all of their salad choices are meat-free. And, one of them uses a certain part of the animal...well, I'll stop there to avoid any further discomfort.

We ordered the butter lettuce salad and a plate of the gnocchi with spring vegetables to share. On the menu, it's listed as butter lettuce. It was so much more than that....I'm not sure why they don't say so. The salad had a creamy dressing (with a hint of horseradish) and was sprinkled with cheese and a few chives. The gnocchi was the star of the show, though. Each bite was so delicate. And, the spring vegetables were sauteed to perfection. (Honestly, I've never enjoyed a lima bean before...and these were great.)

It was a little pricey and the lounge appeared to be far more comfortable than it actually was...but, the music was great and I enjoyed the company. Knowing that the happy hour is nothing but a five dollar burger was more than disappointing...but, I wasn't really even there for happy hour. I'll be back someday. But, I'll have to save up before then.

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Meets
Service: Nearly Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Does Not Meet




  1. Hey Erin! Thanks for checking out my little blog. And, thank you for doing all of these amazing restaurant reviews! Having just moved to the area, I definitely need recommendations. Take care!