The guy behind Lardo opens a souvlaki spot in Belmont


Welcome to am Intel, a quick and dirty roundup of food, drink, and restaurant news from Portland. Tips are always welcome; you can drop them here.

Rick Gencarelli – the man behind Portland’s famous chains Lardo and Grassa – is taking a break from expanding his sandwich and pasta empire, instead of chasing mojitos ouzo and hummus. Bluto’s, named after John Belushi’s character in Animal House, will occupy the space that once housed Portland’s short-lived Japanese cafe, Tonari. According to Oregonian, the restaurant plays with a wide range of dishes, from flambé saganaki cheese to candied lemon margaritas. The only locked side of the menu: souvlaki, served in a flatbread wrap or platter. One idea thrown out here sounds particularly exciting: a soft serving of Greek yogurt with a magic tahini shell. Bluto’s is slated to open in late November at 2838 SE Belmont Street. [O]

Berlu will reopen as a Vietnamese gourmet restaurant

Since having to suspend his tasting menu service in Berlu, chef and owner Vince Nguyen has played with Vietnamese dishes: spring bánh bò nướng with pandan hues; crispy bánh tráng nướng covered with egg; noodle soups like bánh canh trảng bàng. In October, however, it will blend Berlu’s past and present to create his future, with a Vietnamese tasting menu served three evenings a week. The restaurant will serve dishes like crispy grilled bánh bò nướng topped with coconut cream and caviar, whole deconstructed multi-course ducks (similar to its original Berlu chicken dish) and Vietnamese hot chocolate. The menu is $ 115 per person, with a $ 55 food and wine pairing and a wellness supplement. Make a reservation here. [PoMo]

Nico’s New Zealand Real Fruit Ice Cream Stand to Open Ice Cream Shop

In the new store, owner Nico Vergara will mix either Tillamook Vanilla Ice Cream or Coconut Bliss Ice Cream with mixes like fruits and cereals. The store is slated to open at 5713 NE Fremont Street in November. [O]

Marketing company opens restaurant

The Norr agency, known for filming food footage for places like Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel, will start selling its own food on October 6 for take out and delivery. Matt Hobbs, a former of various Vitaly Paley restaurants, will run the restaurant at 920 NE Glisan Street. [WWeek]

Mary’s Club has landed in a new space after decades on Broadway

Portland’s oldest strip club is moving to the space that once housed Nick Zukin’s short-lived Mexican pizzeria Zapapizza. The new address is 503 W Burnside Street, but the club is not yet open; to watch in the coming months. [WWeek]

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