Discovering Portland’s Newest Hidden Cocktail Bar

Have you heard? There’s a new hidden cocktail bar in Portland and it’s amazing! Bespoke, delicious and downright dandy. That’s Lafitte’s at The Waiting Room.

Laffite’s opened last night in Portland. Thanks to our Little Green Pickle friends, ALOR snagged a sneak peek cocktail party invite.

Which means, I scored a chat with Bartender extraordinaire, Chazz Madrigal before jetting off to Europe this week!

“The idea behind the menu here is very subtle twists on classic cocktails. We’re focusing on the flavor profiles for sure but also a bespoke esthetic. It reflects what my personality is about.” — Chazz Madrigal

Chazz’s personality is infused both in the cocktails and the glassware itself.

“Yeah, it’s mine, well ours now [motioning to the bar and room]. Some of the other pieces that are mixed in are Chef Kyle’s wife, she bought some too. Then we all just brought them together. I like the mix of the glasses, so you can see how the different glass effects the cocktail itself.” — Chazz Madrigal

Glass Wear, It's Personal
Glass Wear, It’s Personal

Personally, what got me at Lafitte’s was A Boudreux State of Mind.

This beautiful cocktail played to all my weaknesses. Herbsaint, lemon, lime, egg white, herb honey syrup and house bitters blend. It had me at first sip. Hello lover.

Lafitte’s features an Absinthe forward menu and as Chazz says, classics with subtle twists like “Elizabeth Taylor.”

creme de violette | champagne | house cherry

And Gilded Splinter

Absinthe rinse | bitters | sugar cube | champagne | star anise

Paolo’s favorite? Leave it to a man who lived in Ireland for a hot minute to love a whiskey forward pick. Namesake, Lafitte’s Lament.

Rye Whiskey | lemon juice | nardini amaro | maruin quin quina hopped grapefruit bitters | lemon peel

Just when we began to feel beyond lucky (slightly buzzed) everything got that much better.

Samples of Lafitte’s food menu came pouring into the room. The Waiting Room’s Chef/Owners Thomas Dunklin and Kyle Rourke carrying dishes themselves.

Here is where the cocktail party hit a feeding frenzy. The lucky cocktail party crowd swarmed plates on offer.

Paolo ever the expert photographer and amazing husband to his blogger wife, quickly helped me snag plates and sneak outside.

Otherwise we could never have brought our readers a few delectable food shots.

Baked Oysters “Casino”

Cornmeal Hushpuppies with pimento cheese and pickled chilis

Albacore Tuna Ceviche

Oh who are we kidding, with all the beautiful cocktails we “tasted” delicious bites were exactly what we needed!

Heads up, even when here with friends get your bites quick. Every last crumb will be gone, the food is that good.

Perhaps it’s the respectful nod to classic cocktails. Or the personal glasswear collected through the years. Lafitte’s has got “it.” That old school favorite bar feel.

Suddenly at Lafitte’s I was absinthe minded. The day to day, melted away. A fan, yes I am.

It might be a hidden bar right now, but something tells me, it’s about to be spotted by thirsty Portlanders soon!

Our return trip is already in the offing. Simply put, I am now in a perpetual Boudreux State of Mind.

Check out Paolo’s georgeous photos of Chazz at work behind the bar on ALOR Insta. That by the way, is how you know we really liked Lafitte’s.


This post was written after attending an invitation-only event.

Disclaimer: Occasionally, we are invited, not paid to attend parties, dinners, openings, wine tastings and press events. Those experiences make an appearance on ALOR too. Opinions are truthful and my own. Since I believe in not saying anything if I have nothing good to say, I reserve the right, at all times, to refrain from writing an article or sharing photography. If you work with equal integrity, we are open to working with you.  Full Disclaimer

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