Openly gay mixologist Lucy Brennan, the charming owner of Mint Bistro and the adjacent 820 Lounge (816 N. Russell St., 503-284-5518), has become celebrated internationally for her distinctive cocktail concoctions, from the Bella (blackberry puree, vodka and lemo-lime served in a sugared martini glass) to the strangely delicious Avocado Daiquiri. The native of London, England has even written a cocktail recipe book, Hip Sips.
Here at her restaurant-bar complex in Portland's up-and-coming Eliot neighborhood (on the east side of the Willamette River, midway between the Alberta Arts District
and trendy East Burnside's restaurants and bars, and also close to the Mississippi Avenue Arts District), you'll encounter a mixed crowd of scenesters and bon vivants enjoying superb food and drink. The kitchen's well-crafted world-beat cuisine includes halibut with spring peas and fava beans, and the Anderson Valley Ranch lamb burger with mint chimichurri, garlic aioli, and sweet potato fries.