Review: Grüner

Gruner Portland

Note: this review was extensively updated 10/2012. Grüner isn’t a "German" restaurant, nor does it bill itself as such; rather it is Alpine. This is a vast region that includes pieces of France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary, and even a bit of Balkan and Mediterranean influences. All of this is … [Read more...]

Review: Biwa

Biwa

Reader Survey Best Restaurants in Portland 2012 #16. New review 10/15/12 A lot has changed about Portland since my review of Biwa in 2008. Sure, Portland still isn't much of a sushi town as compared to Seattle, Vancouver BC, or San Francisco. Yet good ramen and izakaya style dining were still a rarity in Portland in … [Read more...]

Review: Nuestra Cocina

Nuestra Cocina Sopes

[This review is originally from 2006, but many parts have been rewritten for 2012, including some new dishes, great photos, updated prices, etc. This is the Reader Choice for Best Mexican Restaurant 2012.] There are few places in Portland that really call to me. I can only take so many steaks, so much saucy … [Read more...]

Review: Genoa Restaurant

Genoa Dessert

I’m going to assume that you know the history of Genoa, and its status as a Portland institution slowly sliding over the years as the restaurant began to be seen as a staid, old-fashioned relic of a time gone by. It closed in November 2008, changed owners, was completely remodeled, and reopened exactly a year … [Read more...]

Review: Back to Ringside Steakhouse

Ringside-seakhouse-table

In the early 90's, I had my first dinner at Ringside, yet I remember the night like it was yesterday. It was a cool, crisp winter evening. I wanted to impress a date, and knowing nothing about the Portland food scene, was told it would be a safe bet. Going inside was like stepping into a steakhouse circa 1960. It was … [Read more...]

Review: Gilda’s

steak

You hear all the time that one of the lamentable gaps in Portland’s culinary scene is the absence of great Chinese restaurants. Understandably there is little here to compare with the Chinese food palaces of San Francisco or Vancouver, B.C., but sadly we fall down in that department relative to Seattle as well. But a … [Read more...]

Review: Thistle

thistle-thumb

I promised myself I wouldn’t allude in this review to Eric Bechard’s incident this spring involving a defiant defense of local animals, a stance provoked by a rival chef who, in his eyes, had heretically championed a Midwest over an Oregon pig. The great porcine passion probably put Bechard’s name on wider public … [Read more...]

Review: Andina – Restaurant of the Year 2009

Causa at Andina Portland

(minor updates 3/2013) With the myriad of restaurants opening in Portland every year, it is easy to forget some of the older ones, which often are better than the latest gastronomic trend-setters. In my opinion, Andina is one of these, a restaurant that rarely disappoints, always intrigues and provides a great … [Read more...]