From Portland Monthly, Chef Thomas Boyce “Leaves” Bluehour. Actually, it sounds more like he was shown the door.
As of Tuesday, Boyce was out and Dolan Lane, chef at Clarklewis on SE Water Avenue, was in. Bluehour’s Bruce Carey and Joe Rogers own both restaurants. Boyce says he was taken completely by surprise.
“He’s a fabulous chef. Amazing food,” says Carey of Boyce. “But Bluehour was becoming too special occasion under his direction. Dolan has had tremendous success at Clarklewis. He wants more.”
I am annoyed, because I was just finishing up a review of Bluehour that will now have to be canned. I am also annoyed because I was going to say that Boyce was making some of the best food in Portland; that he’d taken a has-been restaurant from a group of has-been restaurants, and actually made something out of it. Some of the food was at the point where I’d call it exceptional. I suppose with Dolan Lane on board, we are back to predictably boring food, that, like clarklewis, will be loved by the ladies who lunch from the local high-end retirement homes. That’s just sad. Word on the street is, there are other reasons behind Lane’s move, but I’d better not go into those.
According to PM, it sounds like Boyce wants to stay in the area – “Thinking about my own place, doing my own thing. The food I want to eat.” Good.
Remember the old days when Bruce Carey Restaurants (BCR) actually got some respect? Bluehour was once highly thought of. The same thing could be said of Saucebox, and clarklewis (though before the BCR days). Balvo, of course, was a failure from the beginning, becoming 23hoyt, which has never been anything special. Now, with the exception of Bluehour, no one takes them seriously. It’s too bad BCR never sticks with anyone/anything long enough to let it thrive.
<stepping off of box>