In a sea of fast food joints equipped to satisfy late-night cravings, Rain Northwest is the hidden oasis West Eugene has needed. The light and fresh elements are highly exceeded when feasting at the nine-month-old restaurant. From beautifully crafted cocktails to food and wine pairings with local Willamette Valley vineyards, this new spot is fine dining without being over-the-top.
Before opening in May, 1190 City View Street had been a longtime home to Nacho’s, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant that blended in with its surroundings. Once the Mexican joint permanently closed, building owners Ramin and Tracie Shojai had the idea of creating an environment where guests come to enjoy locally sourced, Pacific Northwest cuisine. This idea continued to grow and the restaurant was born.
Upon arrival, your eye is immediately drawn to the vast wall with projected lights that resemble trickling water. Seating arrangements make sense at Rain Northwest: There is space between each table, keeping guests from feeling crammed; the long countertop has plenty of seats for singles or pairs; an open kitchen allows for guests to watch entrées be prepared and the staff’s attention to detail is impeccable.
Head Chef Eric Garcia has freedom to experiment with ingredients, rotating weekly specials and hand-selecting produce from the local Saturday farmers’ market. Appetizers range from cheese and charcuterie plates to stuffed mushrooms and entrées feature meat, meat and more meat with a Catch of the Day and Game of the Day that rotate depending on availability.
On top of the inviting ambiance and seasonal menu, Rain host’s weekly Wine Wednesdays with 25 percent off bottled wines and once every few weeks winemakers from around Oregon will host food pairing nights. The most recent pairing took place with Justin King of nearby King Estate Winery. King paired Rain’s Game of the Day and duck special entrées with current releases and classic vintages.
Along with superb wine selections, Rain Northwest has a beverage for all palates. There’s a seasonal cocktail list, local beers on tap and and upcoming beer dinner on February 13 in partnership with Eugene’s Claim-52 Brewing. Guests can reserve seats for a five-course meal that includes four beers and one beer cocktail all made by the teams at Rain Northwest and Claim-52.
It’s an out-of-Eugene experience with Rain. The ambiance is upscale and inviting, the drinks are ample and the food is pleasant and aesthetically plated. You’ll become so lost in the experience that when you leave, you’ll realize you were surrounded by fast-food land the entire time.