Paley, who emigrated from Russia to Rome to New York as a teenager, is sifting through memories of panini-pressed pizza at Italian train stations and foldable slices bought from Manhattan street windows for pizza inspiration for the new bar, found on the other side of the Hotel Lucia's lobby from Imperial.
Chef Vitaly Paley has closed his Portland Penny Diner (the casual sandwich shop/diner next door to Imperial) to make room for a New York-style pizza spot, the Crown. The Oregonian reports that Paley takes inspiration from his New York youth, creating 12-inch pies with long-fermented dough paired with ingredients from his other restaurants.
"For dessert, pastry chef Danielle Bailey is known for her flaky, home-style pies, but besides these delicious fruit-filled pastries, Bailey whips up a changing array of even more delectable (and snap-worthy) sweets.
Look for creations like a delicate, lavender-scented pavlova with a sweet-tart rhubarb compote or a tropical baked Alaska, filled with passionfruit sorbet, sauced with blood orange caramel, and paired with intensely flavored brûléed pineapple."
"It’s safe to assume that if you’re planning to do weekend brunch, you’re going to be waiting in line. But it doesn’t need to be that time-consuming if you don't want it to. Here are 21 Portland brunch restaurants that all take reservations:
IMPERIAL: Can't get enough Paley? The James Beard Award winning chef's other downtown Portland restaurant takes their brunch menu through the fire with grilled ham steaks and flat irons, alongside more classic dishes like crab omelets, french toast and latkes with smoked salmon."
"Luxurious, old-school hotel dining is already making a comeback. Here’s who’s who in the ever-evolving Portland hotel dining scene
Imperial: In case you just can’t get enough of Paley-in-hotels, the powerhouse chef is also behind Hotel Lucia’s restaurant. And it happens to be one of the best in town, hotel or not, for comforting brunch plates and wood-fire-grilled meats."
"Imperial will be serving longtime favorites and adventurous plates for your whole party to enjoy on Easter Sunday, April 16th from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Dig into brunch favorites such as Eggs Benedict, Shortstacks of Buttermilk Pancakes, or Imperial’s famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Chef de Cuisine Matthew Jarrell will also add some inventive specials for the occasion. The restaurant will also be holding their regular dinner service featuring favorites such as Roasted Lamb, a variety of vegetables straight from the Imperial wood-fire grill, and pastry chef Danielle Bailey’s signature desserts."
99 DELICIOUS DISHES FOR $10 AND UNDER
"Take a break from your usual breakfast sandwich for a savory croissant at Portland Penny Diner, chef Vitaly Paley's casual Southwest Broadway morning counter. We’ve had buttery, flaky croissants stuffed with fat oyster mushrooms, swiss and bacon, but our favorite is the caraway-seed-topped pastry with layers of house-cured pastrami, melty Gruyere and tangy sauerkraut."
WHERE TO EAT OREGON WHITE AND BLACK TRUFFLES THIS WEEKEND
"Imperial lets you have it your way, with shaved truffles added to any dish for a mere $7. But the chic downtown restaurant is also serving truffles with Snake River Farms wagyu beef carpaccio, hand-rolled potato gnocchi, and Snake River Farms wagyu coulotte."
27 PORTLAND DINING MONTH 2017 RESTAURANTS ACTUALLY WORTH YOUR MONEY
Proving that a hotel restaurant can have passion, pop and personality, Vitaly Paley's Imperial has steadily improved since its 2012 debut. Today, the menu treads a difficult line between retro and dated, paying homage to Oregon culinary history with a lineup heavy on American nostalgia.
Grilled cauliflower with hummus, olives, fava greens and roasted red pepper
Roast lamb eye of top round with salsa verde and spring onions
Brown sugar cake with cashew nougat ice cream
"The quirky hotelier [Provenance Hotels] wooed Paley to debut Imperial in 2012 inside Hotel Lucia, finding the sweet spot between Portland’s wood-fired ruggedness and the expense-account business meal. Imperial’s executive chef, Doug Adams himself, cemented the restaurant’s local cred with his signature fried chicken drizzled with house hot sauce and honey from the hotel’s rooftop hive."
"Despite all the cheap eats Portland has to offer, [writer and Cooking TV host Ali] Khan's favorite is the PDXWT at the Portland Penny Diner, which is located inside the Hotel Lucia. For under $6, diners get a platter that includes mortadella, sauerkraut, egg, and cheese, served on a Parker House roll. "What will really catch your palate is the coffee mayo, which could easily be renamed espresso cream spread and still nothing would be lost in translation," Khan said.
"Tell your out of town friends to stay the weekend at Hotel Lucia so you can all stumble into Imperial – the restaurant on the ground floor – for one of Portland’s best hangover helpers. Recent Top Chef contestant, all-around good guy, and international man of mystery, Doug Adams, says his favorite brunch dish is the Ham Steak with Two Skillet Eggs, Baked Beans and Red Eye (coffee) Mayo. Chef Adams is from the country of Texas, so you know this is good."
HAPPY HOUR VIEUX CARRÉ
The Vieux Carré is already a fantastic drink, and Imperial, the new(ish) spot from the famous Vito Paley, makes them predictably well. They’re made in batch, on tap, and only $5 during happy hour. A couple of these and you’ll think you’re in the French Quarter listening to a local jazz group. Don’t miss the $6 happy hour burger while you’re there.
FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE: BEST HAPPY HOURS IN PORTLAND
Happy hour at this celebrated downtown spot by Chef Vitaly Paley kicks off earlier than most at 2pm, so the flat top burger – it’s a crowd pleaser with griddled beef, gooey cheddar, bread and butter pickles, and dill mayo – is just $6 (Before 2pm, it’ll cost you $12). A $3 basket of hand-cut fries makes for the perfect partner.
DISCOVER PORTLAND: 15 HAPPIEST HAPPY HOURS
Why Go: Few restaurants epitomize classic Pacific Northwest dining better than Imperial, which is operated by James Beard Award-winning chef Vitaly Paley. Getting a seat for happy hour, which is served at the bar, can be a challenge, but it’s worth the hustle. Tip to the wise: show up early, and order the happy hour burger, a glorious example of the simple wonders of a toasty bun with grilled beef and cheddar.
Best Deal: $5 special cocktails and the $6 Imperial Flat Top Burger.
The Scene: Business-casual, which in Portland translates to fleece, flannel and Danner boots.
Read the full story by Discover Portland's Jon Shadel