Stay in a cottage attached to an izakaya-inspired restaurant in a Portland neighbourhood, discover a curiosity shop run by an airline pilot in Honolulu and eat Portuguese haute cuisine at Belcanto in Lisbon. These are just some of the highlights this month.
In the up-and-coming Las Salesas district, the Do concept store opened its doors under designer Lucía Ruiz-Rivas, featuring a well-edited range of things for the kitchen, wardrobe and office and displaying an international line-up of designers, such as Kento from Japan and The Medley Institute from Germany. The space, with a café, was designed by Ruiz-Rivas herself and houses exhibits from local artists. The shop also stocks its own expanding collection, which includes collaborations with Steve Mono (bags) and Abe the Ape (ceramics).
It’s the little things that make this new East Vancouver café stand out in what is quickly becoming the espresso capital of Canada. Aaron Braun (pictured centre) and his business partners Annie and Spencer Viehwager opened Matchstick in late January. “Literally every single detail in the café was a point of conversation,” says Braun. “This means baking pastries from scratch every day on site. It means making sandwiches fresh to order and using only the top 2-3 per cent of coffee grown in the world.”
Amidst the restaurants and offices on Kapiolani Boulevard is Honolulu’s only cabinet of curiosities shop. Occupying a bright corner space in an unfussy 1959 office building, Hound & Quail sells everything from Knoll originals to mounted seashells. “The shop is only 20 sq m but we love the floor-to-ceiling windows,” says Mark Pei, who opened the space with his partner Travis Flazer. They previously ran a mid-century furniture shop and now focus on offering antiques to Honolulu’s residents. Both raised in the city, Pei and Flazer sell pieces sourced from local estate sales or markets in the US and Tokyo, which Pei visits in his job as a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines.
A discreet business restaurant, Belcanto has gained a new lease of life under chef José Avillez, who cooks Portuguese haute cuisine after a stint at the Michelin-starred Tavares diner. Avillez suggests trying the partridge, and also the “professor-style scrambled eggs” created by a surgeon who, when he finished work, would go to the kitchen and cook eggs with burnt butter.
It’s Mitte but could be San Francisco: The Barn – a cosy storefront deli – offers sandwiches made with local ingredients, scones, cakes and tasty artisanal coffees. The Barn has become a serious expat hangout but friendly German owner Ralf Rüller doesn’t mind; he’s happy to share his mum’s recipes for things like carrot cake with anyone.
The micro-neighbourhood of Fox Chase in Northeast Portland has become a foodie destination — but until recently, there was nowhere for travellers to stay. Dayna McErlean, who owns the Yakuza izakaya, has changed that with the opening of its Garden Cottage – a smartly renovated 1920s carriage house. “The neighbourhoods are what Portland is all about,” says McErlean. Tucked discreetly behind the restaurant, the cottage has a Northwest-Scando aesthetic. Best of all, you can order room service from Yakuza’s seasonal menu.