Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bar Avignon

2138 SE Division Street
Happy Hour: 5 - 6 PM, Monday through Friday

I have four favorite happy hours in Portland, leaving number five to rotate as I find new places that please my palate. Bar Avignon is now my number five. And it has the potential to stay number five for a long, long time.

Bar Avignon has a super short happy hour. That's probably their only flaw. But with food as flavorful as what I had during happy hour, I'm willing to time things just right. I'm also eager to go back and enjoy some of what I saw listed on their regular dinner menu. Maybe I can do both.

There are plenty of things on the happy hour menu that I'm not willing to try. No, I will not be eating oysters or the lamb tongue crostini. Their names alone remind me why I don't eat meat. But the soup of the day, the cheese of the day, the bread, the salads, and the hazelnuts glazed and seasoned with rosemary and paprika make me want more. And I know that I can find the right people to go with me next time who will love seeing such great options.

I enjoyed the most delicious bowl of spicy pumpkin soup when I was there a week or so ago. I know, I know, it's the soup of the day...but with the quality of the ingredients, the textures, and the extra little add-ons, I know that they must all be equally divine.

The salad was one that I was hesitant to order as it contained chicories--usually my least favorite and often left behind on the plate--but with the sliced pears, blue cheese crumbles, and sherry vinaigrette, I was able to finish every bite. It was superb. Superb chicories. That says a lot, in my opinion.

The bread and butter worked well to accompany both the soup and salad. I wasn't able to finish it all and the server was not at all concerned with the idea of wrapping it up to go. How often does that happen at happy hour? 

I was feeling less than adventurous when ordering a drink to go with all of the delicious dishes. They do offer a fancy cocktail discounted during happy hour and well drinks, too. I went with a glass of the happy hour red. It changes daily, I am sure. This glass was a Tempranillo. Like the chicories in the salad, Tempranillo is so very rarely something that I will order. This glass was good and might have just helped to change my mind about Tempranillo. Perhaps it will end up in my list of favorites in the future, too.

Service at Bar Avignon makes it obvious that these people really do care about their customers. I tend to ask a lot of questions when out and about--sometimes too many--and our server was ready to answer every one of them. I am eager to return to Bar Avignon. Whether it be for dinner or just happy hour, I would love to spend more time enjoying both the atmosphere and the flavors. I also want to share the fun that is the space-aged faucet with others. That is most definitely something that shouldn't be kept a secret.

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Meets
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Exceeds
Value: Meets


Bar Avignon on Urbanspoon