I really enjoyed Jolie Laide, and have been looking forward to the new venture, Berlu restaurant, from chef Vince Nguyen. Every so often he sends out a press release, and I pass them on in their entirety.
There was a good two year span in my mid-20s where I would meet people and after introductions immediately forget their name. I was too embarrassed to admit I forgot so, often times, I would hope a friend was nearby so I could introduce them to each other to hear their exchange of names. Otherwise, it’d be “Hey man” the next time we met. It wasn’t that I was forgetful, just over analytical of their mannerisms to the point I’d forget their name. I believe I have since recovered from this setback. Now, to avoid any potential awkwardness for others, when encountering someone I recently met, I’ll reintroduce myself and how we initially met until there’s no doubt.
So in case you have forgotten, hello! I’m Vince, the guy that was supposed to open a restaurant around this time last year. You may have dined at my pop-up, Jolie Laide. We may have met at the Farmer’s Market or at a Feast Portland afterparty. We may have never met. I’m still here. I’ve been working on that restaurant and the day has finally come! June 13th, will be the first night of service at Berlu.
I’ve been pretty quiet about the developments leading up to the opening. No daily updates of bricks being placed, drywall going up. No dramatic video pulling tarp off the walls. The only sign of this restaurant process has been the dust on my shoes, the added wrinkles around my eyes, and the occasional newsletter to let you know I’m still alive.
Many have reached out during this time. Coffee dates, dinner parties, lunch, email/text, and a verbal scolding for not wearing a helmet while riding one of those electric scooters often left in the middle of the sidewalk. I’ve appreciated all of these, yes, even the scolding. Signs that you care.
I care about you too. So much that I only want to show you the final product. No tile by tile updates, just the completed wall. In Berlu, I see a sense of completion/refinement that Jolie Laide failed to deliver. Not to say we won’t grow and improve or that the experience will be perfect, but already, there’s something more. The restaurant is set, my focus is clear, I’ve worked hard to create this dream. I’m excited for you to experience our growth.
We are located in the courtyard entrance of 605 SE Belmont and open for dinner Thursday-Sunday. We’ll start with one seating per night at 7:30, eventually offering two seatings nightly. Our omnivore menu will be $80 per guest and can now be enjoyed with a wine pairing that has been curated by Sommelier Brent Braun. We are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions nightly, but will continue to offer strictly vegan nights seasonally, with the first being the week of July 25th-28th. Similar to Jolie Laide, reservations are made by purchasing tickets in advance through Tock.
Like Langbaan, Berlu is a small, intimate restaurant with a similar open kitchen setting. We won’t be offering counter seating, rather, all 12 of our seats are placed at 6 tables for a shared experience without the communal seating. If you enjoy sitting at Chef counters please let me know, as we have some seats closer to the kitchen than others.
I appreciate you and hope to see you soon.
Berlu will have two menus: a omnivore menu that features organic produce from local farms, a variety of seafood, a few meat courses, and sweets, currently $80 per person, wine pairing an additional $45.
They also serve a vegan menu for $79 a person with the same $45 wine pairing option.
Berlu is located at 605 SE Belmont St.,
Portland, OR 97214