Review: Aviary

Aviary Portland - Pana Cotta

Redolent of the sea, oysters at Aviary come five to a plate on a sparkling bed of ice. They hit the tongue like silk, sliding back, the tiny summer tang of tomato granite, building to the barest hint of horseradish, and then as they go down, a whisper of salty ocean air, like you are standing on a beach in a warm … [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: Ate-Oh-Ate

ate-oh-ate

Nostalgia can do odd things to people. It can turn strong men weepy, and make normally sensible folks act with puzzlingly sentimental yearnings. The word “nostalgia” literally means a sickness for home, and when Ben Dyer set out to re-create the food (no one ever accused it of being a “cuisine”) of his native … [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...]

Review: Tasty n Sons

Tasty n Sons Pork Cutlets

[updates 4.11 - prices, pictures, content] Owned by John Gorham of Toro Bravo, Tasty & Sons is in the old Anju/Nutshell space on north Williams. A group of us dropped to give it a try. The restaurant space has changed quite a bit. The back third of the room is now partitioned off, making it more manageable, … [Read more...]

Review: Higgins

On the way home from dinner at Nel Centro one evening, I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t had a good meal since I reviewed Tabla. At that moment, we drove past Higgins, which looked completely full. It had been at least five years since my last dinner there, but it used to be one of my favorite restaurants, so I … [Read more...]

Review: Nel Centro

Nel Centro

On a cool evening a few months ago, I sat with friends on the patio at Nel Centro. Three fire pits allowed heat to drift across our table. The flames, reflected in window after window of the hotel, were sometimes three layers deep. Sheltered from the transit mall, it was a little oasis. Vines climbed nearby walls, the … [Read more...]