I’m back in Tacoma after being in Oregon for work. I rarely travel for work and so I get very excited when I get to do so. This short trip to Portland was no exception to my excitement about business travel.
I booked a great rate through Priceline at the Hotel deLuxe, a charming boutique hotel in downtown Portland with an old Hollywood theme. Sounds kind of cheesy, but it wasn’t.
I left the hotel to walk to the nearby Multnomah Whiskey Library and then this happened:
The Multnomah Whiskey Library was a short 5-minute walk from the hotel… if I had been eagle-eyed and noted its totally nondescript entrance the first time I walked by it. Unfortunately, I did not notice its totally nondescript entrance and walked by it not once, not twice, but three times before I found it.
I’m smart. Really.
So the entrance was nothing special, and the long, close hallway down to the bar’s door was also plain and provided no clue of what I would see inside. I opened the door and it was like Alice walking into Wonderland. The bar is this relatively large room with a high ceiling and it truly looks like a library, complete with a back bar that covers two walls and extends to the ceiling, a fireplace, cozy chairs, and communal tables that look like the study tables in old fashioned libraries.
It was gorgeous.
I’d read that it’s almost impossible to be seated immediately without reservations (which are possible only if one pays a $500 membership fee). The host told me there was a wait even though the room was only half full and was about to take my name and number when an older waiter glided up next to her and whispered something. She ended up seating me right then, and put me at one of the communal tables.
The spirits menu was huge–containing at least 40 pages–and I started to thumb through it, mystified and overwhelmed.
I like bourbon, and there were 3-4 pages of bourbon alone. While I was deciding what to order, the very same waiter who snagged me a seat brought over a complimentary sample of some delicious, aged, 100-proof (!) bourbon.
I let the waiter pick my “real” drink and he picked a really nice Kentucky bourbon, which I took “on the cube.”
I ate some scallops and, later, a small plate of gnocchi–both delicious–while I sipped my bourbon and read my book.
I really enjoyed my time at the Multnomah Whiskey Library and will definitely return. The service was fantastic, as was the ambience, and the food and drink were lovely. My only regret is that I will never have that first, magical experience there again. This, I think, is a sign that it’s a truly special place.
Back at the hotel, I was thrilled to find this card indicating I could order a pint of artisanal, local ice cream with the touch of a button:
Feeling like Eloise at the Plaza, I pushed the “Make It So” button on the phone to order the strawberry honey balsamic flavor, but not before consulting my best friend via text to make sure that I wasn’t being a total glutton.
What a great way to end the day.