by Nina Lary - 21 Reviews - 50 List
In choosing Portland's best restaurants of 2010, we looked back at a year of very good dining. Rustic customs refined. Comfort food with global influences. Handmade pretzels, red pork stew for brunch and big-eye tuna rich with lardo illustrate the decadent comfort that diners craved and raved about in 2010. (Photo: Flickr user telepathicgeorge).
Updated: March 11, 2011
John Gorham (of Toro Bravo fame) opened his sleek brunch spot to foodie clamoring early this year and it's packed every morning. With soulful dishes like Shaksuka (a red pepper and tomato stew with baked eggs), Burmese red pork with eggs two ways and chocolate potato doughnuts, it's certainly easy to understand the instant popularity.
Though Portland is only an hour from the ocean, we are seriously lacking in seafood culture. Enter Fin, the new venture from former Sel Gris sous chef Trent Pierce. The dishes include raw and cooked preparations infused with flavors from around the world, from Thai-inspired ceviche of bird chili, dried shrimp, mint and cilantro to Big-eye Tuna made lush with lardo and truffle ponzu.
Word had spread that this Northern Chinese eatery dishes up some of the most unique, authentic Chinese food west of 82nd. In a city not known for exceptional Chinese food, Shandong offers a fine execution on dishes such as Tan Tan noodles and true Mu Shu Pork.
This new venture between Upright Brewing head brew master Alex Ganum and former Ned Ludd chef Ben Meyer opened to raves. Homey grub includes handcrafted Fressen pretzels, mussel frites and meatloaf--and it all stands up well to Upright's Belgian farmhouse ales.
This rustic and chic eatery opened to big noise last spring, in the location formerly housed by Bay 13. Meaty Southern-influenced plates such as roasted trout atop butternut puree or rabbit cassoulet with roasted turnips are highlights.
Global fusion takes a detour at this tucked away eatery occupying Holden's Bistro former space. Entrees range from a homey duck confit and spinach ramen to esoteric pairings like seared emu with grilled apples and celery root. Under the radar, far above par.
Sparse in design, selection and pretense, Roost seems to live and die by the adage of offering proof in the pudding. The proof is in the meltingly delicious skirt steak with big red wine sauce, in the savory flash fried brussel sprouts and in the Sicilian Sunday supper classic, charred escarole salad.