Revelry best restaurants 2 stu oantna

Revelry was one of Portland Monthly's Rising Star Restaurants in 2016.

Opened

Bar Casa Vale

While Honky Tonk Taco was flailing, owner Nate Tilden was busy building his Spanish tapas and sherry bar, tailor-made for smoky eats, crushed ice highballs, and vivacious crowds.

Biwa Izakaya/Parasol Bar

Life and business partners Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz marked the 10-year anniversary of Biwa by transforming their 600-square-foot office down the hall from the original restaurant (inside the Pine Street Studios Building) into the candle-lit, Toyko-cute Biwa Izakaya. Meanwhile, the former Biwa space was reborn as Bar Parasol, a casual Japanese gastropub with a DJ station for turntable music.

Chesa & 180

The second act from Ataula’s modernist star is a wonder of paella and xurros. Chesa and 180 are two of our Best Restaurants 2016

Dame

Portland’s first restaurant dedicated to natural wine comes courtesy of nationally celebrated expert Dana Frank (formerly of Ava Gene’s) and co-owner Jane Smith (the Knock Back). The well-versed staff and light, vegetable-focused dishes from Seattle chef Eli Dahlin (Walrus and the Carpenter, Damn the Weather) made this one of the best spots to eat and drink in 2016.

Han Oak

Perhaps the coolest restaurant of the moment, and one of our Best Restaurants 2016, Han Oak is a casual Korean hodgepodge (and culinary incubator) from New York player Peter Cho.

Hat Yai

This was the year that Langbaan’s Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom introduced us to Southern Thai cooking. If Langbaan is the Thai master class, Hat Yai is a short, breezy elective. Another of our Best Restaurants 2016, the long, counter-service bunker on NE Killingsworth is a study of its namesake city near the Malaysian border, where a large Muslim population and tropical climate make their own Southeast Asian gallimaufry. 

Headwaters (and Vitaly Paley’s Russian Tea Experience)

James Beard-medaled chef Vitaly Paley and executive chef Ken Norris reimagined the nearly century-old dining room and bar at the Heathman, with a huge, ambitious, seafood-obsessed menu. That, and the Heathman’s Tea Court Lounge, now a Russian tea service replete with towers of traditional pierogi, Kiev tortes, and fragrant tea served in heirloom samovars. 

Nodoguro

It takes chutzpah and chops to flip the script on formal Japanese cuisine and sushi art. Former pop-up Nodoguro did just that, adding a chatterbox dinner-party vibe, maverick dishes, and zany pop culture muses from Twin Peaks to computer games. In 2016, chef Ryan Roadhouse and his wife, Elena, jumped from a jerry-rigged Hawthorne kitchen to Belmont’s storied Genoa space, which they recast as an intimate, Zen-vintage stage for their Michelin-caliber meals.

Marukin Ramen

This year we were finally graced with real, bona fide ramen. Gaggles of Japanese tourists now line up outside Marukin Ramen’s narrow, crimson-hued dining room on SE Ankeny Street alongside the rest of us to try the celebrated Tokyo chain’s first stateside outpost. One of our 2016 Best Restaurants, Marukin’s opening quickly preceded another ramen great…

Afuri Ramen

Tokyo legend Afuri ramen passed up London, New York and Dubai for their first foreign outpost. Afuri’s main requirement? A city with pure, ramen-worthy water. Lucky for us, Portland was at the top of the list. Read our first impressions of their signature yuzu shio broth here

Pine Street Market

The long-awaited downtown food hall concept finally opened this year with nine local food titans throwing their hats into the ring, from slices of Ken Forkish’s acclaimed pizza at Trifecta Annex to soft serve at Wiz Bang, Salt & Straw’s topping-driven experiment. 

Revelry

Every aspect of this high-style, vintage clubhouse reflects a determination to combine great food with a verve found in Portland design and music but often lacking in our dining scene. One of our Rising Stars 2016, Revelry bumps with great music, street art murals, and Asian eats from kimchi pancakes to noodles—nominally Korean, but open to global beats, courtesy Seattle chef-restaurateurs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi. 

Superbite

Star chefs Greg Denton and Gabi Quiñónez Denton’s new downtown dining room aims to spotlight wild microplates. Instead, it excels at bright, balanced cocktails and anything grilled—the things that already make the duo’s Ox a sexy dinner date. 

Tastebud

Farmers market vendor-hero and seasonal pizza pioneer Mark Doxtader planted firm roots in the heart of Multnomah Village this year. The tiny dining room is cozy and surprisingly spiffy given Doxtader’s outdoorsy aesthetic, with a rustic open kitchen, soft lighting, and an appealing menu that goes beyond pizza with bruschetta, an addictive kale Caesar, homey roast chicken, homemade spätzle, oven-fresh fruit crisps, well-picked wines, and fun cocktails. 

Tusk

Tusk blasted into Portland in August like a shot of vitamin D, a breezy, glass-walled, feel-good-rocking California dream even a shaggy-sweatered Portlander could embrace. The mode at our second Rising Star 2016 is spiritually Middle Eastern, freethinking in form, and deep in Oregon farm connections. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are the stars.

Smallwaresbrookebass xscndz

Beloved "inauthentic Asian" restaurant Smallwares closed in 2016.

Image: Brooke Bass

Closed

The Bent Brick

Restaurateur Scott Dolich’s the Bent Brick shuttered after five rocky years. The restaurant was perhaps best known for fostering chef Will Preisch, who went on to open Holdfast, one of Portland’s great pop-ups-turned-brick-and-mortar fine-dining experiences. The Bent Brick was also slated to be one of the earliest adopters of the no-tipping model, though it closed before the new policy could be realized.

B&T Oyster Bar

The casual front for Trent Pierce’s prix fixe stunner Roe never made much sense to us. Now it’s closed permanently (replaced by Rockin’ Crab and Boiling Pot), while Roe heads across the river to an undisclosed Westside location.

Bombay Cricket Club

One of Portland’s most established Indian eateries (Portland Monthly’s Best Indian Restaurant 2004!) shuttered in August. Bombay turned 21 in 2016, maintaining its reputation (and long lines) through several food revolutions—including the rise of Bollywood Theater

Din Din

Per food critic Karen Brooks: “[Din Din’s Courtney] Sproule found a home for her elaborate Francophile parties and intricate French-meets-farm fresh tasting menus at 920 NE Glisan St, with a chandelier-lit kitchen, wall-projected movies, and changing menus choreographed to tempt and amuse. The longtime acolyte of Portland’s French food godfather, the late Robert Reynolds, reimagined what a restaurant could be. If Julia Child had joined the riot grrrl movement, America’s food revolution might have looked like this.” Din Din closed in February 2016.

Natural Selection

The all vegetarian-vegan tasting menus at Aaron Woo’s Alberta Street eatery helped move the needle forward for plant-based diners and chefs in Portland over the course of five years. It’s now home to Basque Supper Club. 

Oso Market

The much-loved Grand Avenue wine shop and brunch spot shuttered in September. In three years, the specialty market and wine/beer/cider shop wore a few different hats, including a long-running “adventure brunch” that traveled the world for inspiration. The location is now home to Vietnamese drinking spot, Lantern.

P.R.E.A.M

The pizza pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar from former Ned Luddites Nicholas Ford and Brandon Gomez, closed in July. P.R.E.A.M, run by two headstrong twenty-somethings who designed the space as an homage to ’80s hip-hop, built the entire place (from deep-fryer to drywall) themselves, and masterminded a dough recipe good enough to stand up to the Portland’s raging pie scene. Ford remained, teaming up with Lightning Bar Collective (Century, Bye and Bye, etc.) for a pizza and taco concept called Associated.   

Sen Yai

Three years in, Andy Ricker’s sixth restaurant faced grumbles about portion sizes and prices (despite the quality of ingredients and labor-intensive techniques). By the beginning of 2016 it was clear to Ricker that Sen Yai was not Pok Pok. “As much as I love Sen Yai, it never made money,” Ricker said at the time. He added that the restaurant’s situation would not have improved with Portland’s soaring rents, the rising minimum wage, and stereotypical ideas about “ethnic food” as “cheap food.” It closed in the spring to make way for…

Honky Tonk Taco

The counter-service taco and tequila joint from Nate Tilden (Olympia ProvisionsSpirit of ’77, etc.) and Clyde Common chef Carlo Lamagna closed suddenly October 18 after less than three turbulent months in the former Sen Yai space.

Smallwares

Smallwares opened in February 2012 to critical acclaim. Chef-owner Johanna Ware faced the uncool and besmirched genre of Asian fusion, declaring her own style “inauthentic Asian.” Playlists ran from blistering Sichuan pepper-pocked mapo tofu to oysters on the half shell in a brine of fish sauce, cilantro, and lime. “I am not sure what is next for me and really I just need to get part of me back,” she announced on Facebook in August. “Hopefully Smallwares will rise again…”

Veritable Quandary

The 45-year-old Portland mainstay closed its doors to make way for a new Multnomah County courthouse. Luckily, the entire restaurant staff (including longtime chef Annie Cuggino) have rebuilt the restaurant with “Q,” at 828 SW 2nd Avenue, just a few blocks away. 

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Editor’s Pick

Clyde Common

$$$ New American, Pacific Northwest 1014 SW Stark St

Set in the ground floor of the Ace Hotel, Clyde Common has a tastefully informal chic vibe—and the bar serves the best negroni in town, barrel-aged into some...

Editor’s Pick

Olympia Provisions

$$ Mediterranean, Pacific Northwest, Sandwiches 107 SE Washington St.

Since 2009, salumist Elias Cairo has been forging the resurgence of American charcuterie, spreading his pork-proud gospel to the epicurean edges of the count...

Honky Tonk Taco Closed

$ Mexican 3384 SE Division St Portland

From serial restaurateur Nate Tilden comes a taco shop designed with Portlanders in mind: everything is made in-house, from scratch (except the tortillas, fr...

Oso Market & Bar Closed

$ 726 SE Grand Ave

A shining star on the east end of the Morrison Bridge, Oso Market & Bar delivers a soulful menu of internationally-inspired small plates from chef Jason ...

Editor’s Pick

Bollywood Theater

$$ Indian Multiple Locations

Chef Troy MacLarty directs an edible journey through India complete with collaged ephemera, Gandhi shrines, and real-deal flavors. The MO is casual, and the ...

Editor’s Pick

Holdfast

$$$$ Modern, Pacific Northwest 537 SE Ash St, Unit #102

Will Preisch and Joel Stocks deliver a fresh vision of what fine dining in Portland can be: high-quality, highly personal, and casually ceremonial. The forme...

Editor’s Pick

Tusk

$$ Middle Eastern, Pacific Northwest 2448 E Burnside St

A farm-fresh Mideast remix beckons Portland into the light.

Editor’s Pick

Tastebud

$$ Pacific Northwest, Pizza 7783 SW Capitol Hwy

After months (OK, years) of delays, farmers market hero Tastebud has taken its wood-oven talents and stripped-down seasonality to the heart of Multnomah Vill...

SuperBite Closed

$$$ Modern, New American 527 SW 12th Ave

Star chefs Greg Denton and Gabi Quiñónez Denton’s downtown dining room turns a spotlight on wild microplates.

Editor’s Pick

Revelry

$$ Korean 210 SE MLK Jr. Blvd

At Revelry, the house bumps with great music, street art murals, and Asian eats from kimchi pancakes to noodles—nominally Korean, but open to global beats.

Editor’s Pick

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

$ Dessert Multiple Locations

Cousins Kim and Tyler Malek tapped the local spirit of craft, collaboration, and crazy flavors to challenge expectations of what an ice cream parlor might lo...

Trifecta Annex

$ Bakery, Pizza SW 2nd Avenue & SW Pine Street

Veteran baker Ken Forkish reconsiders the croissant, splendidly, with nutty spelt tones to match regal butter notes; watch for warm, oven-fresh batches throu...

Editor’s Pick

Pine Street Market

$$ Dessert, Japanese, Sandwiches 126 SW 2nd Ave.

Nine local food titans join forces to launch a highbrow downtown food court. Eaters can cobble together an epic lunch sampler of PDX’s culinary standard bear...

Editor’s Pick

Afuri Ramen

$$ Ramen 923 SE 7th Ave.

One slurp of Afuri’s signature yuzu shio broth and you get what the fuss is about.

Editor’s Pick

Marukin Ramen

$ Ramen Multiple Locations

Portland is quickly becoming a battleground for Tokyo’s own top noodle soup players, like midsize chain Marukin Ramen, with their first stateside location ne...

Editor’s Pick

Nodoguro

$$$$ Japanese, Sushi 2832 SE Belmont St.

Formal Japanese feasts goosed with pop culture flair and hardcore omakase sushi nights—this is Nodoguru.

Editor’s Pick

Headwaters

$$$ Seafood 1001 SW Broadway St.

The Heathman Hotel's nearly century-old dining room and bar received a seriously modern makeover in 2016. Even more impressive is the huge, ambitious, seafoo...

Editor’s Pick

Hat Yai

$$ Thai 1605 NE Killingsworth St

Hat Yai, a spin-off of celebrated Langbaan, brings Southern Thai fried chicken to Northeast Killingsworth. Hat Yai's version isn't all that different from So...

Editor’s Pick

Han Oak

$$ Korean 511 NE 24th Ave

An unmarked door at the end of a tiny parking lot in Northeast leads to a hidden restaurant space that doubles as chef/owner Peter Cho’s home, charming front...

Editor’s Pick

Ava Gene's

$$$ Italian 3377 SE Division St

In the neighborhood that birthed Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Duane Sorenson’s ode to Italy, Brooklyn, and the People’s Republic of Portland swings like an ind...

Editor’s Pick

Dame

$$ Pacific Northwest 2930 NE Killingsworth St

At this NE Killingsworth restaurant and wine bar, au naturel is the only way to go. Originally built by rising-star sommelier Dana Frank (she’s since departe...

Editor’s Pick

Chesa Closed

$$$ Spanish 2218 NE Broadway

In a city of pop-ups and counter service, Chesa is a real-deal restaurant. The Northeast PDX dining room, from the team behind tapas hot spot Ataula, is alre...

Editor’s Pick

Bar Casa Vale

$$ Spanish 215 SE 9th Ave

BCV is Clyde Common restaurateur Nate Tilden’s take on an authentic sherry and tapas bar. Wood smoke permeates the menu, from crispy game hen in tangy mojo s...