Dug Beaird, owner, and Jeff Strom, executive chef at Eugene’s Agate Alley Bistro, are looking to expand their skills in the kitchen at the new Agate Alley Laboratory. Situated on 26th & Willamette in the old Shoji’s location, The Lab’s eclectic and spunky menu resembles a “refined” bistro, and features an impressively innovative cocktail menu to quench your thirst.
The Agate Alley Lab burger, although similar to food found at the Bistro, is taken to the next level with a perfectly toasted onion bun, freshly-sliced and juicy tomato slices, and The Lab’s special housemade aioli. Choose a side to complete this meal (the shoestring French fries with truffle seasoning are salty and loaded with flavor), and feel free to pair this perfect summer entrée with The Laboratory Salad, which contains a mixture of local & organic mixed greens, giant protein-filled white beans, and juice-filled cherry tomatoes—lightly dusted with the ideal amount of shredded parmesan cheese. Not only does the menu contain gourmet (and affordable) dishes like the Nutty Snapper & Crab Guacamole, it’s also filled with lavish cocktails & a local beer selection, including local breweries like Ninkasi, Laurelwood & Oakshire. Even though these cocktails are outwardly fancy, don’t be fooled by their loud colors: most are made with premium liquors and fresh juices that are both worth your money and refreshing.
If you’re overwhelmed with the selection, I’d recommend starting out with the Stone Roses cocktail: the Grey Goose vodka and dried cherries mixed with rose water, lime juice, and simple syrup is delightfully distinctive. Topped with a delicate rose petal, this cocktail is guaranteed to put a spark in your step, and will make your meal feel glamorous (really, a friend described this cocktail as tasting “beautiful”). If dainty isn’t your style, try the Cloud 7: whiskey, Swedish cloudberries, simple syrup, and lemon, topped off with Brachetto d’Acqui. Once you’re full and beyond satisfied, your waiter will ask you if you’d like to order any dessert. And the table’s answer should be a resounding yes.Try the Charred Pineapple with Vanilla & Rum Lime Syrup, or the Honey Pistachio Brittle (served with rose petals). The swanky environment both inside and out of the Agate Alley Laboratory is perfect for happy hour or a solid dinner (given that their hours are 5 p.m to midnight). Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the sign off of Willamette—you really don’t want to miss out on this new Eugene gem of a restaurant.
2645 Willamette St. Eugene, OR 97405 (541) 653-8653
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