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: Ned Ludd

Ned Ludd Portland - Ling Cod

The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans, who violently protested against the machinery introduced during the Industrial Revolution. Chef Jason French pays homage to their mascot, Ned Ludd, for whom the movement was named, and cooks everything from a wood-fired oven. No other source of heat is used; it's … [Read more...]

Review: Ox Restaurant

Clams at Ox Restaurant in Portland Oregon

OX restaurant is a temple to “the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, and with it, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy”. Opened in early 2012 by Quiñónez and Greg Denton, Ox has shot to the top of  Portland's “must visit” restaurants, and placed number one on my 2012 Best New Restaurant … [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: Olympic Provisions – Westside

Olympic Provisions

Like impatient readers who sneak a look at the last page of a novel, I have a tendency to scan the dessert selections on a menu before checking out anything else. It’s probably because I want to gage my appetitive capacity to decide if I’ll save room for a sweet, or simply wish to plan my dinner with the tastes lined … [Read more...]

Review: Bar Avignon

Washington mussels, white wine, cream, tarragon

From the moment you walk into Bar Avignon the atmosphere wraps its arms around you. A long bar stretches the length of the restaurant, an easy place to feel comfortable if you are dining alone.  In the front, a small group of tables holds about 20, and a few raised booths make up the back. If you are in a group, a … [Read more...]

Review: St. Jack

St. Jack Restaurant

Liberté, Egalité, Gastromie! The French Revolution has come to town, and the only guillotine in sight is a chef’s cleaver hacking at a pig. Within a month of each other two French bistros have opened in Portland—Little Bird downtown and St. Jack, in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, across the street from Vindaloo. … [Read more...]

Review: Gilda’s

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...]