What makes The Duniway Portland, a Hilton Hotel special is their friendly and thoughtful staff, especially Concierge Extraordinaire John Conway.
Stepping into the warm, eclectic, living-room style lobby, one admires the trendy furniture and tchotchkes on the wall behind the reservation desk. There is a glass-encased Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the Ghostbusters franchise, an iconic camera, and a record player with a stack of vinyl records to play. Curated books from the largest independent book store Powell’s are on display.
Conway is usually one of the first people to welcome guests. He stands near nostalgic items that include an old typewriter, and items made in Portland resting on the shelves. He is happy to inform guests about the hotel and city that he loves so much.
The hotel is named after Abigail Scott Duniway, Oregon’s women’s rights advocate, newspaper editor and writer. Getting off the elevator on the 19th floor, artsy photos hang on the wall of strong women dazzling with tattoos.
Inside room number 1947 the lights of the city of Portland are in full view. Below one can see the exclusive 11th floor Abigail’s Hideaway outdoor space. This is the social hub for live music, wine tasting events, games, and rooftop views of downtown Portland. Also on this floor is a heated indoor lap pool and fully equipped workout facility.
The room offered two soft Queen size beds with pure white, high thread count sheets. A standout in the room is the enormous 65-inch HDTV television. There is also a small sitting area, with curated books for guests reading pleasure. There was a book about tattoo artist and New York Bestselling author Kat Von D; Chris Cosentino’s Offal Good – Cooking From The Heart, With Guts and a book about Portlandia. Also in the room is a safe, refrigerator and Vittoria Coffee espresso machine. The bathroom offers a combination shower and bath, along with an array of C.O. Bigelow bath products and plush bathrobes hanging on the door.
What makes this hotel extra special is the onsite restaurant Jackrabbit. Food and travel are intertwined, as both not only nourish ones mind, but also ones soul. A good meal can enhance any city, especially when visiting Portland, OR.
Executive Chef Chris Cosentino is known for his celebrated restaurant Cockscomb in San Francisco, and winner of the popular television show Top Chef Masters. Jackrabbit is his first restaurant in Oregon. I first met Cosentino in 2012 when he opened PIGG in downtown LA at Adam Fleishman’s UMAMIcatessen. Cosentino has a flair for turning offal (internal organs of a butchered animal) into gourmet fare. I’ll never forget when his PIGG style fries arrived with pickled red peppers and ham puree. At first, I thought our server said the fries were topped with béarnaise, however it tasted different than a traditional sauce. Since Cosentino uses every part of the pig, I soon discovered it was topped with ‘brainaise’ made from pig brain.
Jackrabbit is named after the Northwest’s wild nocturnal rabbit that enjoys coming out at night to eat and play, just like the locals do in Portland. Jackrabbit is one of their favorites.
Starters include a French onion deviled eggs with caramelized onions, and meat intensive platters that Cosentino encourages families and friends to share. There is garlicky buttermilk fried rabbit, a 28-day aged four pound steak served with seasonal vegetables, and a show stopper whole pig’s head with cabbage escabeche. For dessert indulge in the flourless chocolate cake and house-made slice of Spumoni ice cream.
The Duniway Portland is within walking distance to a multitude of culinary delights, historic sites and beautiful gardens in a city dubbed The City of Roses. 545 SW Taylor, Portland, Oregon (503) 553-7000, https://www.duniwayhotel.com.