“At Mother’s, we take traditional homemade favorites and refine them with classical cooking techniques, so they’re like mom’s cooking, only a bit better. Slow-cooked foods that take hours to prepare—hand-made dumplings, stews, roasts and braised dishes.
We make everything from scratch, using the best possible ingredients Pacific Northwest wild salmon, Carlton Farms pork, Painted Hills beef and the finest European-style butter in everything we cook and bake.
The best meals of a country aren’t in its restaurants. They’re found in its homes, made with love by mothers cooking for their families. That’s why each month we feature a Mother of the Month (or “M.O.M.”), and bring you some of her special dishes prepared in our kitchen.”
Owner, Chef Lisa Schroeder
Mother’s Bistro & Bar is located in the heart of downtown Portland, easily accessible from all directions with lots of parking nearby. Separate dining areas provide warm and cozy atmospheres each equally inviting, with gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers glowing with warm light.
The bright and sunny dining room in shades of yellow and green with gold accents make for a warm and fuzzy dining experience for all, from families with young children (there’s even a play area!) to couples sharing a night on the town.
The Velvet Lounge, our sultry bar, is the “dark side” of Mother’s, with gold and black flocked wallpaper and comfy banquettes in addition to even more crystal chandeliers and mirrors, making it a perfect spot for a happy hour bite, pre- or post-theatre cocktail or late-night dining.
When I arrived to Mother’s Bistro & Bar on a Friday night around 8 p.m. the restaurant was full. It was brimming with families, young couples, couples on a double date, older folks on holiday and a smattering of regulars. Right away I felt like I was in a family establishment. People were on their best behaviour and were wearing their Sunday best.
This is a nice feeling when travelling alone. Being able to fit in and slide into a nice table without being noticed but noticing everything safely around you.
When I was seated and looked around the Mother’s Bistro & Bar’s space I felt like I was sat in a brasserie in France. The soft furnishings echoed of buttermallow, gold, warm wood and chandeliers with diamond like earrings. It was luxe but also very comfortable. Comfortable enough for me to be alone and also to be sat with a family of four from Eugene visiting for the weekend.
The waiter was pleasant and gave me the day’s specials. Everything looked great and something indeed my mom could make for me from scratch on a Sunday if I was still living at home. I’m sure a lot of people can attest to when they are travelling, there is a tiny ache of home when really all you want to do is run away from it and have an adventure. Food is a safe choice to satiate that ache.
I ordered the familial, Chicken & Dumplings (slow-stewed chicken (mostly white meat) with herbed dumplings) and the Carlton Farms Pulled Pork (slow-cooked natural pork topped with country gravy, (or gluten-free house-made barbecue sauce served with smashed potatoes & seasonal vegetables).
As I waited for my meal I made myself comfortable and listened in to a conversation from an older couple beside me. The gentleman was saying to his wife that perhaps they needed to walk off their meal. Her reply was simply, ‘No, I’m good. I just want to sit with it.’
It’s true. Isn’t ok, to just sit with the meal? I want to love it and I want it to love me. I’m on holiday, I thought, I’m going to sit with it too and sleep well.
When both entrees arrived they were perfect. They were just the right mix of hearty, protein and warmth that filled my belly but also gave me that extra love that only food can do for you when you are in a city on your own in November. Satisfaction.
I thought the service was very good. The wait staff was attentive, authentic and gave a lot of space. It didn’t feel like an oversell to purchase food and drink. Instead it felt like you were at home and a member of your family were politely asking if they could get you a plate from the stove. It was a nice feeling to sit back, have a meal, people watch and contemplate the day’s activities and what else I had planned in the days ahead.
Mother’s Bistro & Bar should be on your travel itinerary when you visit Portland. It is a fine establishment, with earnest customer service, offering time to reflect on your travels but also feel part of a new city family. Lastly and most importantly, the food is definitely worthy of writing home about.
Mother’s Bistro & Bar
212 SW Stark St.
corner of Second Ave.
Portland, OR 97204