It's been open for awhile now, but I have not written about the re-envisioned afternoon tea at the Heathman Hotel in Portland, OR. Chef Vitaly Paley relied on his heritage (Belarusian) to inspire the experience. I had the opportunity to enjoy tea here recently, and am happy to share a few moments with you.
The Tea: Paley collaborated with Steven Smith Teamaker to curate a small but mighty list. I chose the Georgian Caravan, served only at the Heathman. It's smoky but not overwhelming, bold but allows for the jam (do add!) to be distinct. Plus the tea is served in a pretty glass cup with fancy metal cutwork.
The Setting: I was visiting alone, something I enjoy. I was given a lovely seat near the fire. The restaurant manager rearranged things to ensure my view was of the fire - I made note! It's a gift to have such care.
The Food: Bolder than one normally finds at afternoon tea, but delicious and unique! Find the full menu here.
Some of my favorites: The middle tier shown below, including a deviled egg, walnut-stuffed eggplant, blini with caviar and mushroom piroshki (stuffed potato bread). The khachapouri (Georgian cheese bread - not shown) was amazing, and I was touched by the steopka (sour cream and walnut cake), based on his grandmother's recipe.
If you're in Portland and love afternoon tea, I recommend this experience. Be sure to take in the lovely surroundings, too - the tall bookshelves and the interesting large-scale art.