f I’m really, really quiet I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief as everyone across the Gorge peeks outside and stretches toward the sun. Who knows how long this beautiful weather will last - let’s enjoy it while we have it. Here are your Thursday Tidbits for this week.
Top photo by Grateful Vineyards. Bottom photo by Dani's Kitchen Shop.
Story by Laurel Brown
Photos by Laurel Brown
Whether you’re craving something sweet or planning a fancy party, Edeske Patisserie has you covered. The microbatch dessert shop recently opened a new storefront in downtown Hood River and are eager to share their authentic Belgian Chocolates and pastries with the community.
When I arrived to interview Co-Owners of Edeske Tamara Bartucz Biscardi and James Biscardi, I was greeted with warm smiles and a fresh cup of espresso. The couple were welcoming and truly kind, letting their passion for their work soak into every detail of their stories. From meeting on a ship in the Arctic to their mid-pandemic wedding in Hungary, they have come a long way in just a short time and I am excited to see how Edeske evolves over the next few years.
“Edeske” is Hungarian for “sweet little thing,” a personal touch from Tamara who is Hungarian. Their shop logo, a ginkgo biloba leaf, is also symbolic; her grandmother had a ginkgo biloba tree in her yard growing up, so both the name and logo are a sweet reminder of her roots. Tamara chose to study chocolates and desserts in the Netherlands beginning around the age of 20, where she focused as a pastry chef for four years and spent an extra year to master chocolate.
Her style lends to the shop’s identity as a patisserie and chocolatier rather than a bakery. “I chose pastries because I like to work with my hands and being able to create things. The chocolates and flavors give me room to be creative. The possibilities with desserts and chocolates is endless. Plus I like sweet stuff,” she said.
After moving to Hood River in early 2021, the two rented an incubator kitchen at Columbia Gorge Community College where Edeske began. Tamara’s chocolates and desserts quickly became a local favorite, particularly at the Hood River Farmer’s Market, and their new location is just a staircase away from the market lot. Both Tamara and James were adamant about the market’s support of Edeske since the start. “We got to see what other people have to sell and meet customers and local produce growers from the orchards in the Fruit Loop,” said James.
From seeing and sampling produce options to meeting local farmers and establishing community relationships, the market was a key place for them to make connections and find ingredients they could source locally. “The agriculture is the whole reason we picked Hood River. We pick our own fruits as well as the orchards and farms we work with,” Tamara said.
The owner-couple duo gathered such a positive response from the public that investing in a storefront in Hood River just made sense. “The community, especially the farmer’s market, has been incredible and they are really excited for us. Everyone has been so supportive, it makes Hood River the perfect place for our shop,” said Tamara, who is also Head Pastry Chef. She is excited to teach the community about her own styles and inspirations.
Tamara and James met in 2018 while both were working for the high end luxury cruise line Lindblad Expeditions. Tamara usually worked in 3-month intervals as the Head Pastry Chef while James worked as the company’s Videographer, traveling from ship to ship collecting footage for marketing and promotions. That year they met on a boat in the Arctic and fell in love.
After making long-distance work for about two years, the couple made plans to finally be together. Tamara sold all of her belongings and prepared for her last trip working for Lindblad, but when they arrived back home after the excursion, Covid was in full swing and international borders rapidly closing. She was forced to remain aboard the ship for another 8 weeks and had to push back any plans of visiting James. When she finally was allowed off the ship, Tamara found herself with no home, belongings, or job, so she moved in with family during the pandemic. She made a pact with James that one would visit the other as soon as one of their borders opened.
That border happened to be Hungary’s, and James snapped into action booking flights and reading international travel guidelines until he made it to her hometown. In 2020, James and Tamara got married with a small group of her family members in a centuries-old Turkish castle. “We tried to set up a livestream for my family back home but I set the camera up assuming everyone would be sitting, and everyone was standing, so it didn’t turn out so great,” James laughed.
Prior to getting married, the two had traveled the state of Oregon looking for the right place to settle in the future. They considered places like Bend, The Dalles, and Portland, but Hood River had the homey feeling and community clientele that was perfect for their vision. They acquired the LLC for Edeske Patisserie in 2021. “We got the LLC as soon as we moved in,” James said, also mentioning that they recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the business.
James and Tamara recently finished their kitchen build, complete with natural light and precise temperature control. The storefront is simple with an open layout so that guests can observe the chocolate-making process in real time. On a clear day, you can catch a view of the Gorge cliffs and the Columbia River.
Though they are excited to experiment and expand, they offer a range of desserts including chocolates, tartlets, croissants, authentic French-style macarons, layered mousse cakes, and extravagant dessert tables. “You can’t find what we do anywhere near here. Maybe if you drive to Portland you’ll find a few options,” James said. “We have ultra-refined recipes that Tamara has developed for years, and our new shop will allow for more styles and versatility.”
Items like mousse cakes and dessert spreads are available for custom order for large parties and weddings. “I will just ask you your favorite flavors and find a way to build them together,” Tamara said excitedly. She explained that her authentic macarons are naturally gluten free, and she can specialize her desserts for any kind of allergies.
Edeske is just beginning to blossom with their new storefront but you can still catch them at events such as Cider Fest and Mosier Spring Fest. “Right now our big focus is on being able to successfully open the storefront and scale up. We need to establish our presence in downtown and then work to build the business up,” James elaborated. They both agreed that quality over quantity is their priority.
Sustainability is also a priority at Edeske, and they plan to offer a discount for customers who return with their chocolate box for a refill rather than purchasing new packaging. The boxes are custom-made to snuggly fit the delicate sweets and avoid any movement or breaking during transportation. Another future goal the couple has is to find the best way to ship their chocolates outside of the Pacific Northwest region, as temperature changes affect the consistency and longevity of the chocolates.
When asked about her favorite dessert to make, Tamara struggled to pick just one. “My favorite thing to make is the layered mousse cake and then cutting into it because it’s one full dessert with separate flavors that you can taste on their own or together. I purposefully place each flavor for how you eat through the cake, and it’s labelled so you always know what you’re eating. I also love seeing the chocolates when they first come out,” she shared.
I enjoyed some of their amazing chocolates after the interview and, similarly to Tamara’s dilemma, I couldn’t pick just one favorite. My top must-try chocolates are the passion fruit dark-milk ganache, cookie butter, and Irish coffee with bourbon, and my overall experience pre-opening was divine. Edeske Patisserie is now open Thursday through Sunday from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. in downtown Hood River, 512 Cascade Avenue. Their official grand opening is planned for Mother’s Day and all other events are regularly updated on their captivating Instagram, @edeske_patisserie. They welcome contact via social media, email, or phone at (514) 716-1661.
To help support the Hood River Area Trail Stewards (HRATS) Family Man rebuild in Post Canyon, seven local breweries have concocted special edition beers for the spring. The breweries plan to donate proceeds from each Family Man pint to the HRATS project.
The Family Man Staging Area in Post Canyon has undergone clear-cutting and mulching over the last several months to both prepare the land for new trails and aid in forest health. The trails and jumps will be made more family-friendly, with trails for people of all abilities and flat areas to practice other biking skills. Currently, the Family Man area does not offer a wide enough range of difficulty levels, so adding more intermediate jumps and progressions will make the trails more accessible to kids and first-timers who want to work on their mountain biking skills.
In an effort to fundraise for the project, HRATS paired with local breweries to craft a Family Man-inspired beer. Until May 31, the public is invited to vote for their favorite Family Man beer from one of the following breweries: Thunder Island Brewing, Double Mountain Brewery & Cidery, Full Sail Brewing, Everybody’s Brewing, Mountain View Brewing, Ferment Brewing, and Freebridge Brewing.
Each spring beer is uniquely influenced by the nuances of mountain biking and the Family Man vibe. A portion of sales from each Family Man Beer will be donated by the individual breweries to the HRATS Family Man trail rebuild project. Full Sail Brewing Company has pledged $1 per pint of their brew, the El Dorado Pale Ale, to be donated to HRATS. Each participating brewery should have QR codes available for voting, but be sure to try them all first because you can only vote once!
photo and article by Laurel Brown
Hood River Lavender Farms is now offering lavender vanilla ice cream, with hints of honey and naturally colored using Ube powder. Available at the farm Thursday through Sunday.
Votum Restaurant is hosting Solena Estate for a special dinner Monday, Apr 24. Seating is limited so make your reservations soon.
Deb’s Kitchen will be serving brunch at Working Hands Fermentation starting April 22. Bring your eggy desires and a thirst for Mango Cidermosas.
Fresh asparagus has arrived at Packer Orchards two days early. $2.99/lb cut and bundled.
The goats are back at Draper Girls Country Farm. Stop by to say hello daily 10-4.
Double Mountain introduces a new special pizza, The Spring Chicken, loaded with arugula & basil walnut pesto, roasted chicken, sundried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, finished with a balsamic glaze.
The burger of the week at Red Bluff Tap House is the Banh Mi Burger! A house made Jalepeno Banh Mi Slaw with just the right amount of fresh Banh Mi Sauce make this burger one not to miss.
Local Rhoots is hiring! Do you love organization, have people skills and can manage multiple moving parts at once? The Front of House Manager position is open and they want to hear from you.
Freebridge Brewing is hosting a coaster making class tonight at 6pm. Open to all ages, $5.
Thursday is pitcher-pie night at Grateful Vineyard. $35.
Grasslands Barbecue is now offering catering! Giant trays of smoked meats and crowd pleasing sides that are perfect for rehearsal dinners, staff parties, and any other excuse you come up with to get your friends together.
Want to make sure you have a seat? Celilo and Solstice are now accepting reservations through Tock.
The food truck at Wy’East Vineyards is open Friday to Sunday 12-5pm.
Chef Sarah Doyle, pictured above, and Maitre d’hotel Nathan Ricks have opened Votum Restaurant in downtown Hood River.
By Laurel Brown, Columbia Gorge News
HOOD RIVER — Votum Restaurant is now open and accepting reservations for their fine dining experience. Chef Sarah Doyle and Maitre d’hotel Nathan Ricks first developed the idea for Votum after meeting at Manresa, a three Michelin Star restaurant in Los Gatos, Calif., that recently closed. Together, the duo returned to Oregon in 2019 and soon after leased the ground floor of the Masonic Lodge in downtown Hood River. They built the restaurant by hand, including a modern open-kitchen that features two deck ovens for bread and pastry production as well as a saltwater live tank for their fresh seafood ingredients.
Doyle’s cuisine showcases seasonal seafood from the Pacific Northwest and around the world; she sources locally milled flour for house made bread and procures seeds for bespoke herbs and vegetables grown by local farmers. Maintaining relationships with local fishermen, ranchers and shellfish farmers is important to her business structure, which comes together to offer a handmade and house cultured experience to residents and visitors of the Gorge.
Votum offers guests a nine-course tasting menu and a la carte options, combining traditional techniques with modern plating and sensibilities. Perennial dishes such as the forest risotto and Manhattan steak anchor the always-changing seasonal seafood offerings. The wine list highlights the best of Burgundy, German Riesling, vintage Bordeaux and a carefully curated selection of local offerings.
With white linen table cloths and servers in suits, Votum aims to transport guests to a more refined place and time with old-world experiences and cutting-edge cuisine.
Reservations can be made online votum restaurant or via phone at 541-645-3465.
Tired and stressed from tax prep and worn down by the rainy weather this week? Here’s our weekly list of tidbits to help you refresh and rejuvenate your palate and soul.
Willow Wine Cellars is offering oysters with their tastings this Saturday, April 15 from 12-4pm. $25/6 oysters + tasting. Email Brendan.email@example.com to reserve.
Fish People is hosting a Crab Boil event on April 26th with chefs Elona Trogub and Dustin Nielsen. Get your tickets here
Save the date: Hood River Farmers' Market kicks off for the 2023 core season on May 6th! The market will be open every Saturday, 9am - 1pm, at 501 Columbia Street - across from Full Sail Brewing - through November.
Solera is celebrating their 11th birthday today with a party featuring Bonneville Power Trio! April 13 at 5pm. Congratulations and thanks for all the great beer!
Jacob Williams Winery is now carrying all beef pepperoni sticks from Goldendale’s favorite custom meat shop, Siebert Custom Slaughter & Meats LLC. The Original recipe and the Original with cheese pair beautifully with their Syrah and Merlot!
Don’t miss The Pines 1852 Wine Club Party Saturday at the tasting room Saturday night. Live music by Dan Boller & friend from 4-6pm. Hors d’œuvres, club pick ups, and plenty of wine.
Freebridge Brewing is releasing their Black and Blueberry Gose, infused with Oregon Black Currant and Willamette Valley Blueberries! Nicely Tart with a subtle salty sweet finish.
We can’t wait to try the new seasonal salad at Boda’s Kitchen. Their North African chickpea salad is packed with shredded chicken, chickpeas, preserved lemon, red peppers, red onions and spices.
Find another gorgeous spring salad at Gorges Beer. Their Spring Panzanella is filled with arugula, shaved carrots, asparagus, cucumber, radish, fennel, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, sunflower seeds, and croutons, tossed in an herbed buttermilk dressing.
Ferment Brewing is bringing back Lost in Fragaria, a wild batch fruited strawberry sour ale. This clean, rich, fruity, and refreshing American sour is made with Oregon strawberries and dry hopped with Hüll Melon.
Send any tidbits you have our way, we'd love to hear from you!
Hood River Winery reopens By Laurel Brown, Columbia Gorge News
Though it’s been a long four years, Hood River Vineyards and Winery is again open to the public. After a wildfire destroyed the main building and some of the vines on property in 2019, the winery is once again ready to host tastings in their brand-new hospitality space.
The new building is beautiful and inviting, made of Douglas fir and open to natural light with great views of the vineyard. The woodgrain on the bar top is stunning, finished with a warm shine and simple light fixtures. Bernard Lerch, owner and winemaker, is eager to share his wines, ports, and sherries with visitors, as well as the new space for which he worked hands-on as the general contractor. Once the kitchen construction is completed, he also aims to feature a simple menu with items like cold sandwiches for lunch or dinner. In the future, Lerch sees potential to host more involved dinner nights with wine pairings, and possibly small weddings or events.
Hood River Winery technically reopened its doors in August 2022, but Lerch wants to continue to get the word out that the vineyard is thriving and ready for guests. Upon arriving, visitors might notice the lingering cleanup still required from years of construction. However, Lerch wants to reassure people not to be shy — find the easiest place to park and enjoy the new building, delicious wines, and wonderful company. They are open every day from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., located at 4693 Westwood Drive in Hood River.
Based on all of the fun Easter events on our list this week, it looks like the Easter Bunny will be hippity hopping all over the gorge this weekend!
All the fun things are happening at Packer Orchards this weekend, including an Easter egg hunt on April 7 and 8 at 10am. Get your tickets now for the family style buffet breakfast Saturday morning before the egg hunt. Doors open at 8:30 and breakfast starts at 9. Tickets at https://packerorchards.com/breakfast-with-the-bunny
The Gorge Canoe Club and the Cascade Locks PTO are hosting a Pancake Breakfast and Egg Hunt this Saturday at the Port of Cascade Locks Marine Park Pavilion. Breakfast starts at 9:00 am.
Head to Carson for Bunnies & Brunch in the Backwoods with Backwoods Brewing Company. The brunch is sold out but the Easter Egg hunt is on at 9am.
Crooked Tree Tavern at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is offering free champagne with their Easter Brunch. Call 541-652-6692 for reservations.
White Salmon Lions are hosting an Easter Egg Hunt at Rheingarten Park on Saturday, April 8 at 10am. Bring your own basket.
Pine Street Bakery has Easter goodies for your Easter cuties - decorated cookies, cookie decorating kits, hot cross buns, bird nest cupcakes, and more.
Create your own Easter Goodies with Easter DIY kits from Dani’s Kitchen, available Friday from 10-2!
Divots is hosting an Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 9 from 10:30 to 2pm, reservations are recommended.
Visit Arome this Friday April 7 to celebrate 6 years in downtown Hood River. Janice will be cooking up food samples from 4-6pm and they are offering 20% off all Arome branded products, gourmet food, and kitchen wares.
Phelps Creek Vineyard is hosting First Thursday After Hours at their tasting room from 5-7 on April 6. Come to network and enjoy an evening together.
Walking Man Brewing has switched over to spring hours and is open 3-9 on Wednesday and Thursday, and 12-9 Friday through Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Skamania Lodge is hosting a private wine dinner featuring Domaine Pouillon Winery, April 13. Get your tickets at https://www.skamania.com/things_to_do_in_washington_state/wine_dinner/
The spring pasta special at Solstice is fresh casarecce pasta, charred asparagus, spring peas, pea shoots, lemon, shallots, garlic, chili flake & cream sauce.