The enduringly popular Our House Dinner Series is well underway now, providing dinner-going do-gooders a glorious season of mouthwatering menus and stimulating conversation. The appeal of this ongoing series is multifold: a limited number of seats at intimate and unique environs, hosted by and with some of the most interesting people in Portland, all to benefit a pioneering community resource. And, if you’re new to town or looking to expand your circle of friends, these dinners are a fantastic way to meet fascinating new folks.
And, with a variety of price points (from $30 to $150), there’s a meal or three to suit your budget, and your favorite cuisine. Think Hawaiian, Southwestern, Eastern Mediterranean, Asian, Latin American, French, Italian, German, Vietnamese, Southern, and more. The themes are just as diverse: A “Soulful” Sunday Brunch, Roaring ’20s Bash, Wine Tasting Garden Party, a Sauvie Island “Sizzle & Cycle,” a Soup Night, a Street Food Adventure, Art in the Pearl, A Swiss Christmas Revisited—there’s something for pretty much everyone, and something to take your palate well into spring 2016. (And almost every dinner offers vegetarian options upon request.)
All dinner proceeds go directly to Our House, founded in 1988, to support low-income people in our community living with HIV/AIDS, including health care, housing, and other vital services. Since its founding, Our House has expanded services that now range from regular in-home visits by clinical staff to 24-hour residential skilled nursing services. As the health of a resident or client improves or declines, Our House is able to continue to provide services within its continuum of care. Current programs and services include Our House, Neighborhood Housing & Care Program, Esther’s Pantry, and Tod’s Corner.
Here’s a sampling of the sorts of events that are sure to whet your whistle:
Dining & Dishing with Darcelle & Dunn, Sunday, August 30 at 3 p.m.: Admit it, you’ve been looking for a reason to dust off your favorite wig and get all gussied up. Here’s the perfect occasion, as Darcelle XV, her partner Roxy, and former Our House board member Barbara Dunn celebrate the beginning of autumn on Darcelle and Roxy’s lovely deck in their historic Eliot neighborhood Victorian home. You’ll indulge in cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres and laugh at Darcelle’s wickedly funny anecdotes. Darcelle and Roxy hold the distinction of having hosted a dinner in the first year of Dinner at My House for Our House. Now that the dinner series is in season 23, take the opportunity to reflect on the history of this beloved fundraiser among the great fashion (and drag) sense of these Portland celebrities.
All Lei’d Up, Hawaiian Style, Thursday, September 10, 6 p.m.: Island life comes to the Pacific Northwest as the partners of Pride Financial Partners whip up a Hawaiian extravaganza! Robert Kennedy’s large and open ranch-style home has loads of deck and yard space for this Hawaiian-themed summer luau party, in the heart of Portland. Your feast includes ribs, chicken, pork, pasta, fruit, salad, and rice. To quench your thirst, plenty of Mai Tai punch and non-alcoholic drinks are available. In addition, there will be music, Hawaiian dancers, fire dancers, demonstrations of Hawaiian history and culture, and much more. Catch a wave of fun that washes over a gorgeous garden setting with torches flickering and island music filling the air.
Embark on a Street Food Adventure, Saturday, September 12, 5 p.m.: Portland’s food carts are casual, traditional, and gourmet, and you’ll experience all three in this nod to the adventurous spirit they inspire. Watch and taste as nearly a dozen delicious street foods from around the world are prepared in one location just for you. Vietnamese seafood pancakes, Oaxacan lentils and plantains, Russian blinis, and all-American ribs are just a few of the interesting and tasty bites that await you. With international beer or wine in-hand, and heavenly desserts including seasonal gelato served up, you’ll marvel at the chic Northwest-inspired design of marketing company North’s offices, designed by SkyLab Architecture, the same people who designed Departure and Doug Fir. Clean lines, vaulted ceilings, and a floating conference room are wrapped in honey-colored wood, delicate light fixtures, and retro textiles. It’s a fabulous opportunity to peek at a creative space not many ever get to see.
Boozy Brunch and Comedy Show, Sunday, September 20, 12 p.m.: Grab your buddies for a boozy brunch and comedy show at the new Bit House Saloon. Master Barman Jesse Card (formerly of NE’s Knock Back) will serve up Bloody Marys and Mimosas while you grab a tasty breakfast sandwich (other cocktails will be available for purchase). You’ll experience the hilarious slate of local standup comics, including Gabe Dinger, Amy Miller, Bri Pruett, Sean Jordan, Whitney Street, Caitlin Weirhauser, Brian Nickerson, and Trevor Thorpe. This is also a great opportunity to experience the new Brit House Saloon (which just opened this summer), which extensively remodeled the space formerly held by longtime Portland staple, East Bank Saloon. Don’t miss the chance to network with other young professionals at this casual, fun, and hilarious event.
Many of the more than 70 (!) events have already sold out, so don’t delay—browse the series and reserve your seat at the table today. Regardless of your pick(s), you’ll want to take advantage of these one-of-a-kind events, presented by gracious hosts throughout the area. You can browse the events online at Our House’s website: http://www.ourhouseofportland.org/dinner-series. Get cultured, and support an amazing cause while doing it!