Winter Warm-Ups

Any well-crafted drink can stir the spirit. But there are certain beverages that speak especially to our sense of warmth and well-being, melting the chill of a winter evening, or perhaps offering the truest complement to a delicious cool-season dish—we’re thinking of the blistered-crust pizzas at Oven and Shaker, or the black mussels with Old Bay broth served in a cast-iron pan at Paragon. At the latter tavern, and additionally at the ski lodge–inspired Sisters Coffee, you can even nurse your soul-soothing drink before the flickering glow of a fireplace. Here are five of our favorite Pearl destinations for sipping wintertime beverages amid comfy trappings and delicious aromas. Cheers!

coffee_inset2Atmospheric and amiable Sisters Coffee (1235 NW Marshall St, 971-279-2957, might just be the Pearl District’s ultimate hangout for curling up with a good book or mingling among friends over a piping-hot drink. You could go with one of the delicious coffee drinks, of course, but other toasty favorites include Metolius mint tea and Holy Kakow hot chocolate. The sleek, contemporary space with an upstairs book-nook loft has tall windows, comfy leather sofas, and just enough outdoorsy trappings (mounted snowshoes, a fieldstone gas fireplace) to make you feel as though you’ve stumbled into a Cascades ski lodge.

wine_nsetPiazza Italia (1129 NW Johnson St, 503-478-0619, is just the spot to sip a hearty, full-bodied Italian red wine, accompanied by rigatoni Bolognese or pappardelle al cinghiale (with wild boar meat sauce). Boost your spirits by watching soccer games on TV and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow sports fans.

cocktail_insetYou may have noticed that craft breweries come up with all sorts of heady winter-style beers during the cooler months. Rogue Ales Distillery & Public House (1339 NW Flanders St, 503-222-5910, produces an especially robust selection of seasonal ales: velvety Double Chocolate Stout, rich Hazelnut Brown Nectar, and the holiday favorite—Santa’s Private Reserve (a malty double-hopped red ale with a spruce-inflected finish). Venture inside this lively Pearl taproom for beer and tasty pub chow, including root beer–barbecue pork sandwiches. Or heat up your evening with a glass of Chipotle Whiskey or Hazelnut Spice Rum, which is produced in the adjoining distillery.

hot_coffee_insetWarmed by a brightly flickering white-tile gas fireplace, Paragon (1309 NW Hoyt St, 503-833-5060, is a lovely hangout for relaxing over cocktails and creative American tavern fare, or for a late-night flaming Irish coffee, best enjoyed alongside a generous helping of butter-pecan bread pudding.

oven_shaker_cocktail2With its lineup of creatively topped, crisp-crust pizzas, Oven and Shaker (1134 NW Everett St, 503-241-1600, is a cheery go-to for enticing food and stellar craft cocktails. We’re fans of the Louisiana Handshake (Old Overholt whiskey, fresh-press lemon juice, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters, and absinthe mist) and the internationally inspired Japanese Cocktail (Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac, BG Reynolds orgeat, bitters, lemon oil), either of which will leave you feeling toasty inside.

– Andrew Collins | Photo by Stuart Mullenberg