Many of you have probably heard of Kenny (Ken’s Place) and Zuke (ExtraMSG.com). Now they are finally going a bit more upscale and opening a full time restaurant on the same block as The ACE Hotel at Stark and 10th, called Kenny & Zuke’s. It is on the same block where Nate Tilden from Castagna is opening the gastropub, Clyde Common, and Stumptown is opening a new branch.
Food from both restaurants will be available from room service in the hotel. About time someone opens a decent deli in this town; let’s hope they can pull if off.
Nostrana seems to be winning a lot of good press lately. First from Details November 2006 Magazine which lists their pizza as #11 under one of the “Nation’s finest works of coal-fired, mozzarella-slathered, crisp-doughed art“. Then Gayot comes along and lists the restaurant as “one of the top ten new restaurants in the nation“.
“Chef Cathy Whims, formerly of Genoa, has created a neighborhood spot that transports diners to an authentic Italian experience. The large, arched-ceiling dining room is generally filled with families, couples and large parties seated at well-spaced tables. The wood-fire is the heart of the place; the pizzas and most entrées are cooked by hardwood. Meat dishes are particularly successful, such as the rotisserie pork steak and Tuscan ribs served with borlotti beans, collards, and a sweet-and-sour onion relish. The affordable menu changes often to reflect local ingredients. The mostly Italian wine list offers an interesting and well-priced selection. The service is helpful, though sometimes slow. It’s best to just sit back and enjoy the ride.”
Interesting that they also mention the problems with service. When will someone stop by and deliver the FOH a clue.. Anyway, what’s next, will they be on Esquire’s top 10 list this year?
I usually avoid Portland Monthly, but after noticing November is their restaurant review 2006 issue, I picked it up. I have to say, I’m shocked. Unlike the rest of the magazine with its regrettable in/out/top 10 lists, and its tendency to fawn over advertisers,
It’s • Actually • Good.
Obviously this is due to the new dining editor, Camas Davis, most recently from Saveur Magazine.
“Whenever she’s eating out, she’s on the job, which means typically ordering Pellegrino instead of pinot to maintain focus, taking notes in the restroom so as not to attract attention (in an effort to preserve anonymity, she uses a pseudonym when making reservations and often pays with borrowed credit cars), coming home and writing about the meal while the details are still fresh instead of relaxing in front of the tube with a tumbler of whiskey.”
Catch me, I feel faint! I always said the reason I do this site is because there weren’t any good, anonymous reviewers in this town. Does this mean I can finally close the website? Does this mean I’m in love? Is Camas single? All these questions need to be answered. As if this isn’t enough, Portland Magazine had a real photographer, Susan Seubert take pictures of the food, and the results are excellent. Camas starts out naming “15 Restaurants That Are Changing the Way We Eat”, listing Alberta Oyster Bar & Grill, Giorgio’s, Murata, Park Kitchen, Hurley’s, Pix, APizza Scholls, Le Pigeon, Wong’s King Seafood, Navarre, Pok Pok, Alba Osteria, Ken’s Artisan Pizza, and Simpatica. This is a GREAT list, and there are only a few I would have left off. She gives Chef of the Year to Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, someone I think will probably be a great choice in a few years, but isn’t close to it now. Overall, she gets the scene here, and her commentary on each restaurant is worth the $5.00 cost of the magazine. I haven’t had a chance to check her old reviews, but I’d love to see a complete one, rather than these capsule reviews. So far, I haven’t found one on the web.
I was hoping to link to their website, but it seems to be a sad little thing with no content. Kind of embarrassing actually.
I’ve been hearing around town that food bloggers are starting to be a real pain in the ass for restaurants. Not because they write about food, but because they are throwing their weight around with the old “do you know who I am” routine. It’s too bad, because they give all bloggers a bad name. I can’t imagine a real critic even saying who they are, let alone rubbing it in the face of an overworked maître d’. In my opinion, a good critic is as unmemorable as possible, doing nothing special to draw attention to themselves, except for maybe being extraordinarily polite (there is nothing like eating out every night to demonstrate what a hard job FOH people have). For those throwing their weight around, cut it out; no one is impressed. Your job is to write about food, not use your (very limited) power to get special treatment. To the person who has been going to restaurants saying he is Food Dude – I’ve told restaurants to take your picture. I will catch up with you, and I will kick your sorry ass.
For the record, Food Dude NEVER leaves a wake. A ghost in the night.