Opening Thursday, May 10th • 1205 SW Washington & 12th Ave
One of the added advantages of living in downtown Portland is that you get invited to fun opening events for new restaurants in the area. Last night my husband and I got to check out Corazon, a new Mexican-influenced restaurant on SW 12th and Washington (where Pinot American Brasserie used to be). The food was delicious, the drinks were tasty and the decor was fun, fresh and welcoming. Check out Corazon yourself – they open to the public this Thursday, May 10th!
I’ve often thought that the downtown Portland area needed a really good sit-down Mexican restaurant. And if anyone was going to make an upscale Mexican restaurant with high-quality food and fun drinks, it would be James Beard-nominee Chris Israel. Corazon’s head chef is the guy behind Gruner, 23Hoyt and Saucebox. At Corazon, he will be using his Mexican-American upbringing to create a menu featuring tacos, tamales and lots of seafood dishes.
At the opening party last night, we got to sample a few of their appetizers. No Mexican restaurant can get my vote without having top-notch guacamole. Corazon has this figured out. To make it even better their creamy guacamole was served with warm, homemade tortilla chips and fresh pico de gallo salsa.
My particular favorite for the night was the fried plantains with an olive oil, garlic dipping sauce. The plantains were fried impeccably – crisp on the outside and still soft on the inside. I never would have thought to put plantains with olive oil or garlic, but this was a delicious combination! I think I ate the entire plate all by myself… whoops!
For drinks, we got large glasses of red wine sangria made with tequila, perfect for summertime. We then tried two of their cocktails – Lupita (mezcal, pear brandy, lemon and ginger syrup) and La Isla Bonita (rum, lime, demerara sugar and orange blossom water). Both drinks were super flavorful, though a bit strong for my taste (be sure to have a designated driver when drinking their cocktails!).
Corazon is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and I’m excited to check out their full menu once open to the public.
From what used to be a slightly seedy area, this little area of SW Portland called the “West End” is truly becoming the new culinary hot spot. All along SW 12th, you can find great restaurants or will see them shortly – historic Jake’s Famous sits on the corner of Stark, super delicious Gruner is up the street, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream is opening in just a few shorts weeks, Beast is coming to town this summer and now you can also add Corazon to the list. I am starting to feel very spoiled 🙂