The beginning of 2016 marked the third anniversary of Raven & Rose restaurant and The Rookery Bar, housed in the Portland, Oregon’s Art District’s historic Ladd Carriage House from 1883. At this milestone, owner Lisa Mygrant announced that her friend and colleague, Daniel Mondok, has taken over the kitchen as executive chef. Together, Mondok and Mygrant are working to strengthen and deepen the restaurant’s focus on the cuisine of the British Isles.
“My time living and cooking in both London and Ireland opened my eyes to a world of food that I hadn’t previously understood,” Mygrant says. “There is a depth, a breadth and a history to the cuisine of this region that many people are unaware of, and that is definitely worth exploring and celebrating.”
The restaurant and bar’s much-lauded beverage program, directed by famed Portland barman David Shenaut, is strongly rooted in history, paying homage to the long history of the building in which Raven & Rose is housed. Classic cocktails, single-barrel spirits, and cask-conditioned beers are all nods to the 1800s, when the carriage house was built. In this same vein, Mondok and Mygrant are excited to bring a historic element to the food menu as well.
“We have been having a lot of fun researching historic recipes from the British Isles,” says Mondok. “For example, the oldest collection of recipes in the English language was from the cooks of the court of King Richard II, written in 1390 called, ‘The Forme of Cury.’ From this, we have created our version of a dish called Ryse & Flesh, which is a recipe for rice cooked slowly with meat stock and saffron. We are also serving Salmagundy, an elaborate medieval salad.”
Adding to the restaurant’s long-standing list of classic dishes, such as fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, house-corned beef, stuffed Yorkshire pudding, and full Irish breakfasts, are new offerings such as West Cork Rabbit Two Ways and Ballymaloe Chicken Liver Pate. Mygrant acquired these examples of Irish cuisine while attending Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. She credits this experience with sprouting the conceptual seeds of Raven & Rose’s food program and commitment to sustainability.
“We’re just getting started,” Mygrant adds. “Research trips to the British Isles are in our near future, and we look forward to bringing back knowledge and recipes to share with our customers for years to come.”