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This Week in Cascadia: New John Gorham Opening For PDX; Tom Douglas Strikes Again in Seattle

Photo of Mediterranean Exploration Co. courtesy <a href="http://dinaavila.com">Avila</a>/EPDX
Photo of Mediterranean Exploration Co. courtesy Avila/EPDX

PORTLAND— After a few weeks' worth of "soft opening" dinners, one of Portland's most anticipated openings debuts for real starting tonight, August 1. Eater PDX takes a look inside the Mediterranean Exploration Company, the latest venture by lauded chef John Gorham (of favorites Toro Bravo, Tasty N Sons, and Tasty N Alder). As with Gorham's other restaurants, both space and menu are designed for group dining experiences; here, the menu flaunts influences from Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Greece. [EPDX] 
 
SEATTLE— Prolific restaurateur Tom Douglas strikes again with yet-another opening: Assembly Hall Kitchen, a fried-chicken-focused lunch counter inside Belltown's Assembly Hall marketplace. According to Douglas, the menu will rotated often: Its summery offerings of fried chicken and watermelon lemonade will turn into chili (and presumably other soups) come colder weather. [ESEA]

PORTLAND— The buzziest bar news from Portland comes courtesy a tantalizing future possibility: Bartender Jim Meehan, of New York City's lauded PDT, confirmed to Eater that he's moving to PDX later this summer, with plans to "eventually" open a new bar. Meehan says that the cross-country move is fueled by family needs, but he will retain his partnership in PDT. Stay tuned. [EPDX]

SEATTLE— Damn the Weather and Stoneburner bartender Tyler Stamon is the latest Barkeeper to enter the interview hot seat. The industry vet talks about getting into the bar business and doing double duty in two Seattle bars that serve stellar food and drink menus. [ESEA]