One of the things I love about my job is the ability to meet with people who use architectural salvage in a vast array of projects. Seeing the end-product of someone’s dreams and ideas is a huge honor because people open up their homes and businesses, gardens and studios for me to come and photograph their creations. I get to hear detailed stories about what lead to their project and the steps to make their ideas happen.
A few days ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to the practice opening of a new restaurant opening in the Pearl District. Irving Street Kitchen is entering Portland’s playing field of great restaurants. What they bring is an upscale twist on Southern comfort food – and it is incredible! Our waiter, Don, told us that this was a special night for family and friends so order something we usually wouldn’t have. I ordered the Draper Valley fried chicken with smashed potatoes, collard greens and country gravy. For dessert I had the Meyer lemon chess pie. Both were amazing. I can’t comment on the Butterscotch Pudding. My husband said it was so good he wasn’t sharing – and he meant it.
Irving Street Kitchen is owned by brothers Mitch and Steve Rosenthal and Doug Washington. When Mitch speaks about sustainability there is pure passion in his voice. The idea behind the decor of Irving Street Kitchen is a reflection upon where good food originates – not a lab but from the land. Barn wood siding from Aurora Mills was used to clad a number of walls. Doug Washington is the mastermind behind the incredible light fixtures. Glass milk bottles coated internally with yellow paint give a bright, soft light while the reused chicken feeder chandelier cast a warm glow.
Some very humble items were used to bring to life a fresh and modern decor. Irving Street Kitchen is a mix of your favorite cozy blanket being wrapped around you and bright and airy industrial. They are opening for dinner tonight and will be serving dinners every night. By summer they will be open for take-out BBQ. Irving Street Kitchen is located at 701 N.W. 13th Avenue. Their phone number is 503-343-9440 and website is www.irvingstreetkitchen.com