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Chefs Week PDX Announces its Schedule; Lardo’s Rick Gencarelli Will Open Beer Bar, Beer Belly

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up and down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

DOWNTOWN—Gregory Gourdet, the executive chef at Departure and 2015 Top Chef runner-up, announced the line-up for the third annual Chefs Week PDX. CW is Gourdet's brainchild, and brings together chefs from all over the county for a series of collaborative dinners at restaurants all across town. This year's theme: the West Coast. Gourdet welcomes chefs from as far north as Vancouver, B.C., and as far south as Los Angeles. The five-night feastival caps off with a 27-course dinner at Departure, where Gourdet will cram into his kitchen Top Chef and Top Chef finalists Mei Lin and Doug Adams, as well as Seattle kitchen-runners Brian McCracken, Dana Tough, Eric Johnson, and Jason Stratton. Chefs Week PDX goes down from February 3 to February 7.

DOWNTOWN—Rick Gencarelli, the man behind the Lardo Sandwich shop and the adjoining pasta shop, Grassa, dropped on the public last week that he's taking over the space adjacent to both (the former Ración space). His plan? A beer bar, tentatively named Beer Belly, that will have 30 to 40 taps, 200 or so bottles, and specialty barrel-aged brews.

EAST BURNSIDE—Last week, Blair Reynolds—whose tiki bar Hale Pale is a favorite of virtually every bartender in town—shared with Eater a few morsels of news on his highly anticipated bar, Americano. We knew before that he and co-owner Ian Christopher (Coco Donuts) were planning on opening a space dedicated as much to good coffee as it was to good cocktails. Now we know that the pair have brought on former New Orleans chef Chris Debarr (Green Goddess) who will oversee an eats menu that will carefully reflect Americano's caffeine and spirits theme, and all of it will be centered around the concept of the "Bitter Circus." The menu's still being worked on, but expect waffle irons that won't be strictly used for waffles and deep fryers filled with duck fat.

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