It’s named after a French wine term, but this is no stuffy Euro affair. Sur Lie is the latest newcomer to Portland’s smoking resto scene. How smoking is this wine-driven, 75-seater in waiting? Take Caleb Cole from Hugo’s and add Tony Alviar from 555 and you’ve got a hit on lees. This term for fermented wine is the translation of Sur Lie, which opens at the end of summer on Free Street. Though the health-conscious still mourn Roost House of Juice, Sur Lie is set to put Free Street on the dining app. A 60-bottle wine list, craft cocktails and local beer will be the start to the evening — Sur Lie opens nightly at 4:30p.
The team has knocked down the wall separating former flower shop Compositions in preparation for their small plates empire. Though the menu is under lock and key, chef Emil Rivera, a newcomer to the scene, will prepare the vittles. He last worked for Jose Andres, the Spanish/American chef heating up the culinary scene from Beverly Hills to South Beach to Obamaland in the nation’s capitol.
“We are targeting locals and people in the restaurant industry,” said Cole. “Free Street is a major pedestrian highway,” and people after work will be bee-lining in, they hope. Located near the Civic Center (or fill-in-the-blank insurance center) and Sur Lie is poised for greatness. Technically part of Monument Way, the mall that connects Monument Square to the Old Port, they should be swinging by the time the leaves fall.