Vitaly Paley is in the vanguard of Portland chefs and Paley's Place, the restaurant he runs with his wife, Kimberly, consistently ranks among the top in the country. The duo recently opened up Imperial, a fine dining restaurant in the Hotel Lucia, and now this week their third enterprise, the Portland Penny Diner, follows fast on its heels.
I attended the Portland Penny Diner pre-opening party the night before the restaurant's official unveiling to sample the Americana-inspired dishes and beverages and to chat with the owners about their inspiration. The food selections are creative reinterpretations of standards -- from patty melts to falafel, classic fountain sodas to egg creams -- and the overall vibe is simple and very approachable.
As the owners told me, one of the principal goals was for them to have fun while creating food they'd want to eat. With the cooking and cocktail-making chops they have on hand, it'll be hard for diners and drinkers not to get in on the good times, too. Put Portland Penny Diner on your to-check-out list, and read the full review here.
Photo: Kimberly and Vitaly Paley at the pre-opening party ©Joshua Liberles