Bar Pastiche – Basque Cider House Dinner

Tonight I enjoyed the traditional Basque Cider House Dinner at Bar Pastiche on Hawthorne. It was such fun! They pulled enough tables together to cover the reservations (required for this event only) and served the 5 course meal family style. When I say “family style,” I mean let’s give 10 people 4 plates per course and watch them eat off them! Germophobes need not apply.

My friend and I didn’t know our tablemates so we trusted them not to have anything infectious and went to town on the great food. The point of the food was to soak up the unlimited cider, from the Basque region of Spain, which they made sure to ply us with before providing the food so that we would all be social with complete strangers and eat off each other’s plates.

They (sometimes the patrons) pour the cider from 12″-24″ above the glasses in order to aerate it. This leads to much giggling and splashing so you may want to think twice about wearing silk. The cider is completely unlike the bottled cider you can buy by the 12 ounce bottle in the grocery store. This cider is naturally fermented, needs the extra aeration, and dry. I can’t imagine getting drunk off the cider by Hornsby’s. I’d be sick in 3 bottles from all the sugar. I can, however, happily report that even as I type and retype this blog entry, and the previous one, that I don’t feel sick at all. You can infer from that statement, that I am indeed inebriated.

The 5 courses consisted of chorizo with onions, salted cod with scrambled eggs, salted cod with Basque green peppers, big juicy slabs of steak (which were incredibly good), and quince with a hard cheese for dessert. I feel quite good about spending $40 on such an enjoyable culinary experience.

Since we were on Hawthorne, we were pretty well assured of dining with interesting people, who were unlikey to be Republicans. We dined with a woman, her husband, and her parents. The husband was from Poland and they had a good friend from Armenia, so we had a fun time comparing notes on our Armenian friends, who are all convinced that anything from Armenia is automatically THE BEST in the world.

It was a lovely experience and I highly recommend it. They do this dinner on the last Tuesday of each month. For reservations, call 503-236-4760. You can read more about them at




  1. Sandra Said:

    Sounds like it was a great time.

    Republicans, no! Dry cider, yes!

  2. Steve Said:

    Bar Pastiche is a fantastic place — and the Cider House Dinner is well worth the money. A great time and yummy food. They just rolled out a great late night happy hour, too. May be the best in town. Half-price food, $2 pints of great beer, $1 off wine and $3 ‘wine of the moment.’ Sun-Thu 11pm – 12am and Fri-Sat 12am – 2am. Get there!

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