Restaurateurs Joshua McFadden and Luke Dirks are shaking up Portland’s restaurant scene in both aesthetic and cuisine, with Tusk, one of the city’s most anticipated restaurant openings.

Friendly and informal, the eatery slots right into its buzzing East Burnside location with a modern feminine aesthetic by designer Jessica Helgerson, who moved away from the area’s characteristically urban, exposed timber look with a bright space, awash with deliciously saturated confectionary hues. A 12-seat, marble-topped bar, behind which a portrait of Keith Richards hangs, takes centre stage while above, a timber trellis creates delicate streams of light, further enhanced the large French windows and open patio.

Chef and co-partner Sam Smith – best known for defining Israeli fare in the US with Philadelphia’s Zahav – has continued his focus on Middle Eastern flavours, while nurturing his intimate relationship with local farmers. Expect uniquely composed skewers such as the ground beef and lamb with cumin and fermented hot pepper, served with a selection of inventive vegetarian creations, highlighted with Moroccan spices.