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click to enlarge From the menu to the interior, nothing is ever boring at L’Opossum.

Scott Elmquist

From the menu to the interior, nothing is ever boring at L’Opossum.

Like L’Opossum owner and chef David Shannon’s extravagant names for dishes — Fabergé egg bèdazzled with caviar or hot black bottom à la mode — the interior of his restaurant makes you think of choices a louche Pee Wee Herman might make when he finally grew up. “I love blending really good things with the stuff that I find in alleys or yard sales,” says Shannon. He started collecting and storing things for L’Opossum long before he seriously began looking for a place. Here are few of his favorite things. “I could easily make five more lists,” he says.

1. Twenty-six statue of David figurines — they’re cheap Chinese knockoffs of Michelangelo’s version. I’m making serious fun of the stereotype of the chef’s ego by having nude Davids — me — everywhere.

2. A portrait of Andy Warhol by my friend Louis Briel — Louis just had his third painting selected to hang at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

3. All of my collector plates: The mass-produced “Star Wars” ones, the harder-to-find “Dark Shadows” plates, John Waters’ Barbie series, Liberace plates, Robert Mapplethorpe’s flowers and Michael Jackson with his chimp, Bubbles, by artist Jeff Koons.

4. Donnie Corker, aka Dirt Woman, a portrait by Jen Rockwell. It was a welcome-to-Oregon-Hill gift from Ed Vasaio and the Mamma ’Zu crew.

5. Artist Jennifer Holloway’s portrait of Nick Cave next to the albino possum taxidermy. She is a dear friend since we worked together at Helen’s. I have four of her paintings. I’m a huge Nick Cave fan, and she painted this back in our Helen’s days. It has hung at Helen’s, Dogwood Grille and now with my possum, Lola.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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