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New Gem in Portland: The Hairy Lobster Opens

Mellisa and David Root open The Hairy Lobster, a shared plate heritage eatery

PORTLAND, OR (February 2016) – The Hairy Lobster is a name that is hard to forget, menus rich in American regional cookery coupled with modern techniques is set to make an impression on the Portland dining scene. On March 3rd, The Hairy Lobster, a shared plate eatery with a focus on heritage food, will open its doors to locals and visitors. The Hairy Lobster is the first restaurant for husband and wife chef team, David and Mellisa Root and the realization of a 10 year vision come to life. Mellisa and David have graced award winning and nationally acclaimed kitchens across America. Prior to The Hairy Lobster, Mellisa worked as the Executive Pastry Chef at Madera, the restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill and prior to that worked at Thomas Keller’s famed Per Se in Manhattan. Standout highlights in David’s career include two James Beard nominations and the tenure of Executive Chef for Todd English’s bluezoo in Orlando. The culinary duo aims to make The Hairy Lobster a place for nourishing old world comfort food in a new world setting. “We would like all of our guests to feel welcomed into our home when they come to share a meal with us,” said David. Every aspect at The Hairy Lobster has been carefully curated down to the Old English themed and timeworn mismatched china and dinnerware. The casual eatery breaks down its seasonally influenced, vegetable forward menu into three sections: water, garden and barn. Under “Platter”, larger portions are offered to accommodate 4-6 diners in the shared plate format. All dishes share a common trait, a strong focus on heritage varietals of local and regional products. The Roots took special care to discover how much of the menu’s diverse components were foraged, fished, grown, milked or herded. Opening menu items include Corn Oyster Oyster Corn with smoked salmon, ginger squash and spicy b&b pickles, a dish rich in coastal history, a spin on “Breakfast for Dinner”, a Red Flannel Confit Duck Hash with poached egg, foie gras crouton and a cheeky nod to the restaurant’s namesake, a Maine Lobster Cubano with BBQ pork, sunchoke pickle and lobster nage aioli. Mellisa’s award winning pastry skills shine through on the dessert menu that focuses on childhood sweets she loved. Opening menu favorites include a Tangerine Creamsicle with almond shortbread, clementine and yam custard. Every “truly American” establishment needs a pie on the menu and Mellisa has added a new world twist to her Lemon Chiffon Pie - lemon curd, cassis ginger sorbet and cilantro meringue. The restaurant is designed to allow patrons to relax and enjoy dessert and an espresso or cocktail directly inside the front entrance or at their tables. The design of the restaurant space is divided into two areas, a 110 seat restaurant downstairs and an event space upstairs for banquets and corporate meetings. One of the most distinctive features directly inside the front entrance is a wall of antique door knockers collected from all parts of the world and hung on the main wall to welcome guests to The Hairy Lobster. The wall is the Root’s invitation stating their diversity as chefs and welcoming all guests into their home. Each one has a story to tell that both chefs feel relates to who they are and why they cook with such passion. The Hairy Lobster is located at 900 NW 11th Ave (between NW Lovejoy St and NW Johnson St) in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. The restaurant will be open every day but Monday from 4:30PM to 10PM and Friday and Saturday until 11:00PM.