Source: Oregon Live
Sometimes you find a restaurant that whips up great drinks or a cocktail lounge cooking up tasty bites on the side, but you know from the name Oven and Shaker that kitchen and bar share equal billing here.
"Oven and Shaker came to me while dwelling on the heart of the concept, a partnership between a chef and a bartender with equal influence from both parties," says Ryan Magarian, the bar maestro who opened the Pearl District spot with chef Cathy Whims and restaurateur Kurt Huffman about a year and a half ago.
"Originally, our goal was to be more bar than restaurant, but our guests, the size of the room and the reality of the location steered us toward a concept more along the lines of a restaurant with the feel of a rocking bar that we are today."
Perhaps it's fitting then that Oven and Shaker made the Top 10 list for best restaurant bar at the Spirited Awards, which will be handed out at the Tales of the Cocktail, the industry's premier gathering running through this weekend in New Orleans. Portland's Clyde Common is a finalist for World's Best Hotel Bar, while Imperial also made the Top 10 list for restaurant bars.
Magarian, who's been involved with Tales of the Cocktail since 2005 as a speaker, panelist and judge, says he's "honored to have been recognized by our peers as one of the world's best restaurant bars."
"I would equate them to the James Beards of spirit and cocktail service," he says.
His partner certainly knows about the James Beard awards. Whims has been nominated five times for best chef in the Northwest for her work at Nostrana. Oven and Shaker gives her a chance to explore her love of pizza, while Magarian takes a similar tack with the cocktail program.
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