NW ALPHABET DISTRICT— Upscale Noisette has been transformed into Le Vieux, a cozy dinner house from San Francisco transplant chefs Annette Yang and Brian Leitner. The seasonal, rotating, semi-themed menus change every few weeks, ambling through various Old World Mediterranean cuisines. And on weekends they serve up a hearty brunch.
NORTHEAST— There's a new wood-fired pizza place in Portland. Fire and Stone is a new venture from Jeff Smalley, former baker at Grand Central and New Seasons. The crust is built on Smalley's levain dough and properly blistered in the wood oven by Ken's Artisan Pizza alum Joey Alvarez. The menu features a small selection of salads, Italian appetizers like arancini, and entrees like roast chicken and braised shortribs. But the half-dozen or so pizzas are the stars.
DOWNTOWN— Portland's favorite cheesemonger Steve Jones is spinning off a sushi-bar-style second location of Cheese Bar called Chizu. At the tiny 450-square-foot spot next to Multnomah Whiskey Library, guests will order cheese plates via a sushi-style score card. Or they can order omakase-style and be surprised. He'll also have a tight selection of cheese-friendly beer, wine, cider, and sake by the bottle and glass. Target opening date is mid-February.