Portland, OR (February 9, 2009) - In Sage Restaurant Group's signature style, Urban Farmer aims to contribute to Portland's vitality and culture. It is located in the new luxury hotel, the Nines, in the historic Meier & Frank building. The handsome space embraces travelers and locals alike with a chic and comfortable ambiance inspired by a farmhouse. Restaurateur Peter Karpinski, who leads Sage Restaurant Group, promises Urban Farmer will be "a polished, feel-good restaurant that really allows guests to connect with northwest American flavors as they enjoy an intelligent new spin on the modern steakhouse."
Urban Farmer further refines the modern steakhouse; the forward-thinking and highly imaginative restaurant prizes American steakhouse fare through the Northwest's local, organic and sustainable flavors. From grass-fed Oregon beef to imaginative and comforting sides to house-made Moonshine whiskey, the restaurant's menu immerses guests in the region's rich culinary landscape.
The Menu: Northwestern Ranches, Oregon's Farms, Pacific Ocean Catches
Urban Farmer's menu honors national and local culinary traditions. Riffing on classic steakhouse fare and sourcing from the Northwest's finest eco-friendly producers, Urban Farmer yields recipes with optimum flavor and creativity.
An extensive selection of First Courses sets the tone for a meal that encourages guests to share, savor and dig in. Produce from locally renowned farms like Wooden Bridge and Sudan Farms are transformed into the Wedge Salad with Smoked Blue Cheese, Avocado and Fried Duck Egg and the Local Greens with Shaved Vegetables, Mustard and Malt Vinaigrette. Pacific Ocean inspired starters include Pacific Oysters and Urban Farmer Shrimp Cocktail. Heartier First Courses include Beef Tartare with Mushrooms, Mustard, and Grilled Country Bread and Lamb Sweet Breads and Chorizo Sausage with chili oil.
Guests find the highest qualities of beef in an abundance of choices, including Grass-Fed Filet Mignon, Grain-Finished Hanger Steak and Corn-fed Flat Iron. The menu emphasizes the best sustainable and organic ranches in Oregon, Washington and California, but also gives a nod to renowned purveyors across the country like Niman Ranch and Strube Ranch. The curious appetite is sated with individual beef tasting menus, the option to order shared beef entrees "for the table," and 21- and 42-day dry-aged Kansas City Steaks. Honoring Portland's renowned lamb growers are recipes like Cattail Creek Lamb Shank with sassafras and coriander and Dungeness Crab Pot Pie with Creative Growers Heirloom Carrots, Lamb Bacon, and Sherry Gravy. Non-meat options include Pacific Halibut with figs, lemon and fennel and Kookakoolan Farms Chicken with chanterelles and sherry jus. Taking modern steakhouse sides to new levels of wittiness and sophistication are dishes like Roasted Squash with candied almonds and Szechuan peppercorns; Heirloom Baked Beans with Bourbon; Roasted Porcinis with Bone Marrow and Tater Tots with red wine and foie gras.
Urban Farmer's desserts offer playful renditions of classic American comfort desserts. There is the Apple Crisp with Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream and the Vanilla Souffle with Grapefruit Sorbet, Candied Ginger and Vanilla Sauce. The Frozen Pies showcase homemade ice creams and serve as a fun twist on sundaes. Creations are served in a mason jar and include Lemon Meringue Pie with Lemon Sorbet, Toasted Meringue and Shortbread and Mud Pie with Rocky Road Ice Cream, Chocolate Cookies, and Fudge Sauce. The Carrot Cake makes an artistic statement; it is served with Crisp Cream Cheese, Pineapple Sherbet and a shooter of Homemade Carrot Soda on the side.
The Drink: Homemade Moonshine, Portland Brews and Oregon Varietals
Oregon's culinary culture does not stop at ranches and farms and the state's renowned wineries, breweries and distilleries can be enjoyed to the fullest at Urban Farmer. In fact, the restaurant was so enthralled by its neighboring distilleries that it even created its very own Moonshine Whiskey using grains from a local brewery and collaborating with downtown Portland's House Spirits Distillery. While four barrels of whiskey will age for three to five years at Urban Farmer itself, the Moonshiner cocktail lets guests enjoy Moonshine right off the still with soda and lime in a mason jar. Other cocktails refine American classics with high-quality liquors from renowned Portland distilleries. The Sazerac cocktail serves Trillium Absinthe from the city's Integrity Spirits with Fee Brothers' Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, Sazerac and Orange. Draft beers showcase Portland's microbrewery offerings like Roots Red from Roots Organic Brewery, Widmer Hefeweisen from the Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, and Deschutes' Mirror Pond Ale.
Urban Farmer's 320-bottle wine list brings into focus the varietals of Oregon, Washington and California. The menu boasts over three-dozen world-class wines from Willamette Valley, Oregon and an interesting selection of Grenaches, Syrahs, and Dolcettos from the up-and-coming Abacela Vineyards in Umpqua Valley, Oregon. The "Spotlight on Sustainability" program will showcase different local, organic wineries like Brick House Vineyards, which has been certified organic since 1990. Guests with an appreciation for innovative winemaking will be drawn to Washington's Long Shadow Wineries' Collection. The vineyard gathered the world's most highly acclaimed winemakers together in 2003 to craft from the Northwest's fabled grapes.
The Design: Where 1908 Meets 2008
Urban Farmer plays an integral role in the exciting revitalization of downtown Portland. It is located in the historic Meier & Frank building, a landmark symbol of style and fashion since 1908. The building has been lovingly restored by Sage Hospitality, a national leader in "historic adaptive reuse," to bring architectural treasures to life. Within the building, the Nines will operate as a Starwood Luxury Hotel Collection and anticipates LEED Silver certification. Urban Farmer is nestled within the hotel's soaring, seven-story atrium and offers diverse landscapes within its space, including the Bar, the Pavilion, the main dining room or "Deck," and the semi-private dining room or "Pantry."
Designer David Ashen created a country chic ambiance using an array of organic, reclaimed and modern materials. The Bar features a striking twenty-foot communal table made from an old-growth Douglas Fir. The spacious "Deck" captures the light-hearted feel of outdoor dining and is uniquely accented by a field of wheat grass in the center of the room. A video installation by Portland's beloved experimental artist, Matt McCormick, rolls stunning images of the city's rural and urban landscapes. The "Pantry" offers an intimate setting. Its walls are made of steel and reclaimed timber and are decorated by shelves stacked with vibrant pickled fruits and vegetables. The Library, adjacent to Urban Farmer in the lobby of the, is the ideal venue for guests of the restaurant to host private parties, play a game of pool, or enjoy a quiet drink. The handsome room features wall-to-wall, reclaimed wooden shelves with 3,000 new books and Chesterfield leather sofas.
Urban Farmer joins Sage Restaurant Group's growing list of innovative nationwide restaurants that pay as much attention to great food and service as they do to culture, architecture and style. The restaurant is the group's first foray into Portland, Oregon, but will soon be joined by two exciting new Sage concepts in 2009.
Urban Farmer serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is located in the Nines Hotel at 525 SW Morrison Street, 8th floor (Lobby level), Portland, OR 97204; Tel 503.222.4900; www.urbanfarmerrestaurant.com.