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Every year, Oregon takes a few steps closer to total Northwest domination, as evidenced by our state's 18 James Beard Award semi-finalists, announced February 17. No surprises here, with Portland Monthly’s Best Restaurants from 2015 and years past topping out the short list for the nation's biggest food awards. But this year’s nominations also bring some well-deserved attention to Portland’s behind-the-scenes talent, from restaurateurs like Nate Tilden (Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions) to super-talented bakers, like Bakeshop’s Kim Boyce. James Beard finalists will be announced March 15, with the final awards ceremony taking place May 2 in Chicago. Stay tuned to Eat Beat for the next round of finalists! 

Best Chef: Northwest

Jose Chesa, Ataula

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox

Trent Pierce, Roe

Sarah Pliner, Aviary

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro

Justin Woodward, Castagna

Allen Routt, Painted Lady (Newberg, OR)

Joe Kim, 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar (Bend, OR)

Best New Restaurant

Coquine

Rising Star of the Year

Doug Adams, Imperial

Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis, Nomad

Outstanding Baker

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop

Outstanding Bar Program

Clyde Common

Outstanding Chef

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Kristen Murray, Maurice

Outstanding Restaurateur

Nate Tilden, Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions, Spirit of 77, The Richmond

Outstanding Wine Program

Jory Restaurant at the Allison Inn & Spa (Newberg, OR)

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery

For the full list of semi-finalists, visit jamesbeard.org.

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The Richmond Bar

Recommended Beer Selection, Recommended Menu, Specialty Cocktails 3203 SE Division St

This bar packs Portland's greatest hits collection into a tiny space on SE Division St, featuring smashing cocktails from Nick Gusikoff and tasty eats from Nate Tilden.

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...

Editor’s Pick

Måurice

$$ Bakery, Scandinavian 921 SW Oak St

Kristen Murray curates every molecule of flavor at her strange and delightful French-Scandinavian “pastry luncheonette,” where the experience veers from twee...

Editor’s Pick

Le Pigeon

$$$ French, New American 738 E Burnside St

Gabriel Rucker is a Portland original whose ideas have crackled into something electric. Working off-the-cuff in his own world of complex flavor combinations...

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

Bakeshop

$ Bakery 5351 NE Sandy Blvd

Northeast Portland's Bakeshop turns out addictive, seasonal handpies, tarts, and croissants.

Editor’s Pick

Nomad.PDX

$$$$ Modern 575 NE 24th St.

After years spent in borrowed kitchens, Nomad.PDX finally has a home sandwiched between Providore Fine Foods and Tails & Trotters. Visit the main, 25-sea...

Editor’s Pick

Imperial

$$$ New American 410 SW Broadway

At last, Vitaly Paley’s Imperial has found some swagger thanks to a surge of energy from newly promoted chef de cuisine Doug Adams, who emerged out of nowher...

Editor’s Pick

Coquine

$$$ New American, Pacific Northwest 6839 SE Belmont Street

Coquine's talented young Katy Millard crafts thoughtful, everyday food and drink, day and night. Vegetables get top billing: a salad that digs into squash (w...

Editor’s Pick

Castagna

$$$$ Dessert, Modern, Pacific Northwest 1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd

A culinary poet and dessert artist, chef Justin Woodward splices seasonal high points, technical feats, and concentrated sauces into spare compositions of st...

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

Aviary

$$ Asian 1733 NE Alberta St

At the always eclectic Aviary on NE Alberta Street in the Alberta Arts neighborhood, chef Sarah Pliner fuses Asian and western ingredients with style and whimsy.

Editor’s Pick

Ox

$$$ Latin American, Steakhouse 2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton’s meaty love story is told over flames erupting from a hand-cranked grill. Don’t miss their Uruguayan beef rib eye ...

Editor’s Pick

Ataula

$$$ Spanish 1818 NW 23rd Pl

Ataula brings the best of Catalan and Spanish cuisine with to the Alphabet District in Portland with chef Jose Chesa's creative takes on Iberian classics like paella and wine-friendly tapas.