Foodies Favorite Finds: Savanna Ray, Wine Director for RingSide Steakhouse
Monday, August 24, 2015
RingSide Steakhouse is Portland’s premier classic Downtown steakhouse featuring Certified Angus Beef Natural and Prime steaks. Dedicated to serving only the best, RingSide has an on-site dry-aging room, where steaks are aged for 28-60 days and hand cut to perfection. The quality of the meat is complemented by RingSide’s impeccable service and extensive wine list.
Over the past 70 years, RingSide has been recognized on America’s Top Ten Steakhouse Hall of Fame list and by DiRōNA for high quality service, and has been awarded a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence since 2002.
Before joining RingSide Steakhouse, Savanna Ray, a native Oregonian, began her career in 1997 as a busser at the historic Besaw's Café in Northwest Portland. Her love affair with wine began with a bottle of 2002 Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang. That wine evoked so much emotion from her, Ray felt she must know more. She decided to enroll in classes with the International Sommelier Guild and received her pin in May of 2007.
Ray has held the Sommelier position at several notable Portland restaurants including Wildwood, Mother's Bistro, Lucier, Tabla, and ten 01. She has been an instructor for the International Sommelier Guild, leading the next generation of Sommeliers and wine enthusiasts and on the Board of Directors of the International Pinot Noir Celebration, taking on the role of service captain. Since 2008, she has coordinated the Sommeliers and wine service professionals at ¡Salud! A Benefit for Tuality Healthcare, which provides healthcare to Oregon's vineyard workers.
Even with having a busy schedule, though, Ray still finds time to discover new places to eat and relax. One of Ray’s favorite places to eat is Cassidy’s.
"When you work late hours like we do in the restaurant biz, it's often that you end up going to a dive bar. Mostly it's because that's the only thing open at that hour. It's great for a shot and a beer and some tater tots but I'm not always in the mood. Just because it's after 1AM doesn't mean that fried foods and cheap whiskey from a warm glass is imminent. That's why I love going to Cassidy's. The bartenders are smart--they know how to mix a proper cocktail--and there is a nice selection of affordable wines by the glass. There is a ton of happy hour food, and you can get anything from a salad to a burger to composed dishes. Plus, the service is great and it's a dark, old-school Portland hang out for service industry to run into people you know. And if you don't want to see anyone, plenty of dark corners in which to hide,” said Savanna Ray.
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