5 to Try: Martini Bars in Portland

We're over cosmos but give us an expertly made classic martini or something with a bit of punch (Bloody Martinis anyone?), and we'll gladly belly up to the bar. From martinis for chocolate lovers to sips for the eat local crowd, we've got the martini scene covered in Portland. Here's where to head for your next indulgence.

Updated: November 16, 2009

Shaken, Not Stirred

Vault Martini Bar

226 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

You need only consult the lengthy cocktail list at this sophisticated, velvet-bedecked bar to understand that martinis rule this cocktail kingdom. The hip bartenders serve more than 40 twists on the classic martini to patrons in power suits including the Dirty Byrd (a dirty Grey Goose martini) and a chocolate martini made with vanilla vodka and creme de cacao.

Urban Fondue

2118 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97210

Most people think olives are the natural pairing for martinis but the date-night duos dining at this stylish eatery learn otherwise: Martinis and fondue make perfect partners. Order a brie and gorgonzola fondue from the kitchen, then request a champagne-laced white elderflower martini from Bartini next door.

The Gilt Club

306 NW Broadway, Portland, OR 97209

The martini-meets-Mary-behind-the-curvy-bar at this Old Town cocktail laboratory where the cocktail cognoscenti can order a reinterpreted Bloody Martini one of two ways: with the house cucumber and Serrano pepper vodka, fresh tomato and a garlic and herb consomme or with a Vidalia onion and cracked pepper-infused gin. Served either way, the housemade horseradish salt packs a punch.

Sapphire Hotel

5008 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

This seedy hotel-turned-seductive-lounge encourages imbibers to move away from the dirty martini with The Lobby (starring lemon vodka, cranberry, mango and lime) and a pear-ginger-pineapple martini known as the Trophy Wife. These sophisticated sips will provide just the liquid courage you need to chat up that handsome twenty something you've been making eyes at all night.

Equinox Restaurant & Bar

830 N Shaver St, Portland, OR 97227

The martini goes local in a rustic-meets-urbane setting at this Mississippi hangout. Whereas sips like the PPI--a spicy, Serrano pepper-infused cocktail--might rouse curiosity among neighborhood bar hoppers, it's the sweet, berry-forward Farmer's Market Martini that attracts attention from the ?eat local? crowd.