By Cat Wurdack

815 SE Oak St. (& Sandy Blvd.)

www.cyrilspdx.com

503.206.7862

Lunch/Dinner

Lunch M – Sat 12 – 4 pm

Tues – Thurs 12 – 9 pm

Fri and Sat 12 – 11 pm

Closed Sunday

 

“For your mouth,” the Cyril’s spring menu promotion recommends.

Though one might add that Cyril’s simple, tasty repasts are also for the brain — in the way that dishes which crescendo with flavor and well-sourced ingredients can inspire how we think about eating and what we say about food.

So plant yourself at Cyril’s white marble chef’s counter, or sit at the windows facing Sandy Boulevard and that swath of sky toward the west side and quietly savor every fulsome bite of your chickalicious sandwich with radicchio and preserved lemon.

A chickalicious and a glass of 2010 Verdicchio (call it a spring break for the palate) have been known to induce quiet, thoughtful satiety which may not lend itself to conversation.

You may not care that this big-tasting sandwich of chickpeas and green harissa may deliver more taste, texture, and healthy goodness with less fat and salt than one might think possible . . . and without the usual dogma.

Consider the crunch of radicchio, tangy feta, and the spongy, toothsome crumb of Little T slab bread (is it the magical child of focaccia and ciabatta?).

The thin-sliced, sturdy bread topped with coarse sea salt supports the heft of the chickpeas and the borrowed salt opens the filling to a rush of flavor. There is just enough fat from feta and olive oil — with lemon and shreds of fresh mint — to dress the chickpeas and satisfy without weighting one down.

Likewise, the meatball pocket — a solid for lamb lovers — gathers flavor and texture from meat with arugula and cilantro, pickled onions, and fresh tzatziki in a house-made pita.

“This is food with a light hand,” owner Sasha Davies says.

You’ll also find cheeses, distinctive salads, charcuterie, and wines that can be tasted before ordering.

Davies and husband Michael Claypool (who runs the adjacent Clay Pigeon Winery) have transformed the 1940s building into an industrial-elegant dining space with dark walls, staghorn ferns, and weathered woods. An interior wall of windows allows diners to enjoy the working winery.

“What I love about feeding people is expanding their capacity to develop a personal food voice,” Davies says. “Do you like it? There’s no wrong answer.”