Readers of this blog will not be surprised to find me raving about Lincoln. Along with being one of the best restaurants in Portland, owners Jenn Louis and David Welch have received nationwide acclaim for their North PDX spot, appearing over and over again in the likes of Bon Appetit and Food & Wine (Jenn was on F&W’s Best New Chefs list in 2012) and appearing at food festivals across the country.
But all those things aside, my favorite thing about Lincoln is that it is such a mainstay of the neighborhood (which is our neighborhood). When you sit in Lincoln, you can watch Jenn and David greet customers by name, handing out hugs and high fives and making every guest feel like they’ve been waiting for them to arrive. You want a recipe for that? No problem, Jenn will email it to you. North Williams is full of new construction and new businesses now, but Lincoln has been there since 2008, when there were a lot fewer restaurants on the block.
I’ve recently started biking to work, and as many biking Portlanders know, N. Williams street is the main thoroughfare if you’re heading to North or Northeast Portland after work because of its nice wide bike lane (which is about to get wider) and low number of intersections where you actually have to come to a full stop. Thousands of bikers take that route each day, and they are the people that Lincoln had in mind when they created the Commuter Corridor Happy Hour.
Yes, you read right, nothing on that menu is over $10.
Dave and I stopped in the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to start the holiday off right. Here’s a few of the delicious plates we had:
Bucatini with Rabbit Liver Ragu and Parsley – For those of you who have never been to Lincoln, Jenn is a pasta wizard. If you don’t order at least one plate when you’re here, you’re doing it wrong.
Beef Tartare with Douglas Fir Tips – Douglas Fir Tips!! This was a first for me. We loved the fresh aroma they lent to an always-decadent treat.
Prosciutto Bruschetta with Quince Paste and Fennel Pollen – the sleeper hit. It’s just a prosciutto bruschetta, right? Wrong. The quince paste is the star of the show – a beautiful compliment to the salty prosciutto.
Yeasted Polenta Fritters: I’ve seen/eaten a lot of polenta applications around town lately, and these go in the “would order again” column. It’s a little tricky to make them light and correctly seasoned, but these are perfect – I think it must be the yeast. It’s like a savory donut.
Asparagus with Preserved Tomatoes – Nobody does veggies like Lincoln. The perfect amount of acidity makes these a treat.
The Poutine: Sometimes it’s lamb, and this day it was beef. Do you need to have a reason to order poutine? Me either.
The cocktails: We may or may not have tried most of the brief, well-curated menu. His and hers: Dave had the bourbon-based Springboard, with maraschino liqueur, OJ and balsamic – amazing. Mine was the Pericoloso, a rhubarb vodka potion with lemon, amaretto and salt (which was surprisingly – and delightfully – prominent in the drink).
Later we also tried the Juan Collins, which I’ve had before. It’s a refreshing and simple combination of tequila, lemon, syrup and soda. Perfect for post-bike.
The Commuter Corridor Happy Hour is Tuesday-Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Check it out! PS, the FTC says I have to alert you that this particular happy hour was on the house. However, my opinions are my own and I’d say the same thing had I paid for it. Dave and I visit Lincoln every year to celebrate our anniversary (among other visits) because it is our favorite place in Portland. We’ll be back every year that we can. 🙂