Higgins Celebrates 30 Great Years in Downtown Portland

Higgins in downtown Portland. (photo courtesy of John Valls)
Higgins in downtown Portland. (photo courtesy of John Valls)

A downtown staple for three decades,Higgins celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Chef and co-owner Greg Higgins and his culinary team have created a special month-long menu to celebrate this incredible milestone. 

As an homage to Higgins’ mentor, Chef Joseph Matter of Ribeauvillé, Alsace, France, the restaurant will feature a selection of classic Alsatian dishes made with fresh ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. This includes tarte àl’oignon, mussels in Riesling, and choucroute garnie. Additionally, a five-course prix fixe tasting menu will highlight selections from the past three decades. 

“Chef Joseph has had an immeasurable influence on my culinary career, starting very early on,” said Greg Higgins, in a press release. “As I look back over the past 30 years running this restaurant, I know that I wouldn’t be here without his guidance and the privilege of learning alongside him.”

Higgins opened in March of 1994 as Oregon’s original farm-to-table restaurant from co-owners Chef Higgins and Paul Mallory. Its menu was designed to celebrate the bounty of the Pacific Northwest and reflect its seasons. The ethos was farm-to-table, long before anyone knew that phrase. It also offered a world class wine and beer program with a back bar that is one of the coziest in downtown Portland.

Paul Mallory and Greg Higgins, co-founders of Higgins. (photo credit Timothy Horn)

Greg Higgins was one of the very first Portland chefs to garner national attention, earning his first James Beard Award nomination in 1999 and winning the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef three years later in 2002. 

“To me, real food should come from where you live,” said Greg Higgins. “We refine our recipes, of course, but our culinary approach and commitment to serving fresh, sustainably grown local food has been consistent from the beginning.”

Higgins has played host to countless notable visitors to Portland, including Julia Child, Graham Kerr, Michael Pollan, John Kerry, Robert De Niro, William Hurt, Morgan Freeman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma. And the restaurant’s commitment to serving the best of the region’s bounty extends beyond the food, offering a thoughtfully curated list of beer, wine and spirits to pair with the food. 

A charcuterie plate at Higgins. (photo courtesy of John Valls)
A charcuterie plate at Higgins. (photo courtesy of John Valls)

When the pandemic began, the Higgins team pivoted first to a curbside pickup model, then to opening the Piggins food truck with outdoor dining on the plaza at the Oregon Historical Society. These innovations were chronicled in Unsavory Times, a documentary film examining the challenges facing restaurants that were forced to close during COVID-19. The restaurant’s dining room has fully reopened and returned to its regular hours.

While the faces of Higgins’ partner farmers have changed over the years, Greg still relies on relationships with local growers to provide the very best of the region’s seasonal abundance to his guests. 

“This anniversary is an opportunity for us to celebrate the farmers, suppliers and customers who have made the last 30 years possible,” said Greg Higgins. “We’re looking forward to welcoming in everyone who’d like to raise a glass with us.” 

image courtesy of Higgins

Higgins is open Tuesday – Sunday with lunch service from Wednesday – Friday. Learn more at higginsportland.com.

Higgins – 1239 SW Broadway – Portland, OR

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *