Tasty, the hugely popular Portland brunch spot that closed at the start of the pandemic and then reopened under new ownership in Lake Oswego, will lend its name to a new private dining venue taking over the former Trifecta Tavern space in the southeast of Portland.
The new venue, House of Tasty, will be open for gatherings large and small by March at 726 Sixth Ave., a former auto upholstery store that recently housed Bar King.
Faye Crosswhite and Michael Kessler, partners in the revival of Tasty’s Lake Oswego, have teamed up with Katie Grosz, their former colleague at event space Pearl District Plaza Del Toro, to launch the new venue. As they did at Plaza Del Toro, the trio plans to host everything from monthly dinner parties with tickets, chef collaborations to pop-ups, but House of Tasty’s bread and butter will be events of company and large parties including birthdays, retirements, holiday events and wedding brunches or rehearsal dinners. Crosswhite will serve as the venue’s general manager, Grosz as its events and sales director, and Kessler as its executive chef.
“My biggest clientele when I was with Plaza Del Toro were corporate events, business dinners, people Travel Portland brought me, people from out of town who were hosting conventions, from retail businesses, to financial advisory dinners,” Grosz said. “It was fun because it gave people a place to have a real Portland experience, rather than congregating in a hotel.
Kessler, who has spent time at Ping, Tasty and Plaza Del Toro, plans to use the venue’s open kitchen to prepare dishes from his various travels and career, including Tasty’s radicchio salad, patatas bravas inspired from Toro Bravo, the carvings of beef ribs next to the table and more. . Partner Katherine Benvenuti, who previously ran the bakery adjacent to Bar King and currently operates Fills in the same Lake Oswego complex as Tasty, will manage the site’s dessert and bread programs.
Although the venue hosted a Tasty pop-up last year, don’t expect the venue to turn into a daily brunch restaurant anytime soon. ChefStable restaurant group owner Kurt Huffman, who bought the Tasty brand from founding chef John Gorham in 2020, hopes to one day bring a full-service Tasty back to Portland, but for now he loves the ‘ecosystem’ created by House of Tasty, which sits next door to Loyal Legion, ChefStable’s beer hall.
“We have Evergreen right next door, which is a huge event space, but it’s hard to accommodate,” Huffman said. “One in two marriages already go down to drink at the Loyal Legion while they alternate between the ceremony and the ascent to eat. Now they could go down to House of Tasty, have dinner, then come back up to dance.
Still, many ideas have been floated for the space, Huffman said, including a return of Tasty to the old weekend brunches or the reopening of Benvenuti’s excellent bakery, which collects mothballs. since Bar King called him in early 2021.
Look for House of Tasty opening in March at 726 SE Sixth Ave. firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Michael Russell, email@example.com, @tdmrussell