The San Francisco chef brings his offal-centric cooking to Oregon.
Look closely at the chandelier hanging in Jackrabbit, Chris Cosentino's newest meat-focused project inside the forthcoming Duniway Hotel in Portland, Oregon, and you’ll see why he decided to open up shop 636.3 miles north of his station in San Francisco.
The nine-foot fixture designed by Savoy Studios is made with recycled bicycle frames. And cycling is Cosentino’s longtime obsession.
“I have always loved Portland like a second home. It's a city I've been coming back and forth to for almost 10 years, whether it's for cycling, soccer or visiting friends,” the chef behind Cockscomb in SF says. “Jackrabbit is about Portland.”
The restaurant's decor, down to the black walnut and steel, is sourced from all over the state—as are the ingredients, of course—but Cosentino still brings his signature carnivorous sensibilities to Jackrabbit.
“The inspiration behind the restaurant is to be ingrained in the community here, in and of the city,” he says. “There are a couple of crossover dishes and signatures that I love, and think I'll always carry with me, but everything we're doing is reflective of Portland.”
He, along with executive chef Chris DiMinno, formerly of Clyde Common in Portland, set up subway-tiled charcuterie room, where he’s aging bone-in tenderloin for 28 days and making bacon and sausage for breakfast in-house. There’s a whole section dedicated to shared suppers, where diners can divide and conquer his twist on the old French classic of chicken cooked with 80 cloves of garlic (here, a whole rabbit) or slather bone marrow dip on pin-bone steak, the most succulent of sirloin cuts. Even the seafood plateaus, playfully dubbed “S&M,” are meatified with tufted slices of ham squeezed in between regional oysters and clams.
As for drinks, beverage director Jose Zepeda relies on over 60 gins—15 of them locally distilled—for cocktails like the refreshing Mills End with Union Gin, ginger, lemon, passionfruit and beets. There are also 8 local beers, two Oregon wines, cider and Negroni on tap, but clearly gin is Cosentino’s spirit of choice—and Portland, his new city.
“I've always known I wanted to open a restaurant here,” Cosentino says. “Now we're finally here, and I couldn't be more excited.”