Deciding to switch things up a bit today, Dan and I happy houred Downtown at a swanky joint called Urban Farmer. Located in The Nines Hotel on SW 5th Avenue and Morrison Street, it's one of the fancier places in town and offers a beautiful city view from the 8th floor of the hotel.
Sleek, sophisticated and a little earthy, Urban Farmer offers some great visual candy right as you walk in. I was surprised to see that it's nestled inside the lobby of The Nines hotel - as in right in the center of an indoor courtyard. Instead, I thought it'd be facing the city but you still get some majestic views when you get off the elevator and explore the hotel.
The restaurant is spacious and offers some diverse seating options, including a nice bar, some high top tables, communal seating and the like. I love its mismatched banquette seating and the beautiful plants and flowers that separate the bar area from the main dining room. Overall, everything about this place says elegance and style and you expect the food to mirror that as well.
Loving the rich variety of food options on the happy hour menu, we didn't have trouble deciding what we wanted, but instead had a harder time with the drinks. The cocktails are still on the expensive side but sounded lovely, so after some deliberation, Dan and I both went with classic Bloody Marys.
Deviled Eggs - The most impressive dish of the night, we oohed and ahhed at the presentation of these bite-sized goodies that were topped with house-made bacon maple strips. The latter was a big highlight, as the texture was a little chewy, the flavor smoky with a touch of sweetness from the maple.
Beef Slider - Even though the size of the slider was rather small, the quality of the meat trumped everything. If I had to guess, I think the beef was grass fed and didn't need much to complement it. The buttery parker house roll that sandwiched this baby was the perfect way to enjoy it and soaked up all the delicious juices coming of the patty.
Lobster Salad Roll - I love me a good lobster roll and haven't yet tried one here on the West Coast. This was definitely on the fancy side, bejeweled with pickled celery and soft pieces of a cooked egg that lightened things up. Once again, the bread was soft and moist, absorbing all those yummy lobstery bits of the generously sized sandwich.
Glazed Beef Meatballs - Dan ordered the meatballs, which offered another high-end spin on a classic comfort food. Resting on a thin layer of dijon mustard sauce, we loved dipping the tender meat into it, as it gave it an unexpected hint of spice. While I loved the texture of the meat, I thought it could've benefited from a little less salt.
Bloody Mary - Using a homemade Bloody Mary mix, I enjoyed the hearty flavor and the thick consistency of this cocktail. It wasn't overly spicy and I could've done with a little more horseradish or even pepper to heat things up. Once again, they went heavy on the salt around the rim of the glass.
Service and Cost:
Since we went in for an early happy hour meal, the restaurants was on the empty side, which was A-OK with us. It just meant that we received really great service and that things came out pretty fast and we never felt neglected.
Costs are excellent for happy hour items, ranging between $4-$10 for the food and $5-$6 for drinks.
Urban Farmer - 525 SW Morrison Street, Portland OR 97204