t isn’t your imagination: the suburbs are starting to look more like Portland every day. Last year, restaurant group ChefStable plopped new locations of several restaurants—Oven and Shaker, Grassa, Lardo—into a tony apartment complex in Lake Oswego. Could Canard’s second location in Oregon City in July portend big changes even farther south?
Based on the stream of customers piling into the new Canard, it sure is looking that way. While chef-owner Gabriel Rucker’s flagship Le Pigeon serves a witty but formal French- and American-inspired tasting menu, the original Canard on E Burnside leans casual, with snacks that have become Rucker classics: oeufs en mayonnaise with trout roe, mini steam burger sliders, and duck stack pancakes topped with duck gravy, a fried duck egg, and foie gras. Canard Oregon City doubles down on those favorites while adding new dishes that give retro home-dinner-party vibes with modern twists and global flavors. The deviled crab dip looks like something from an upgraded ’70s cookbook, complete with crackly fried saltines and crudités on ice including white cucumbers and jewel-like mini bell peppers. Meanwhile, “Hawaiian Hawaiian” rolls are cloud-like, yeasty delights boasting aggressive shoyu glaze and a torrent of furikake. Depending on the season, the duck flauta ranges from excellent (garnished with cherries) to just good (paired with cabbage-carrot slaw). The smoked pork rib eye glows with nectarines, a crisp scallion crepe, and fishy-sweet XO sauce glaze good enough to scrape every drop—though the star protein lacks smokiness and succulence.
It all adds up to a family-friendly experience, where you’ll see toddlers munching steam burgers next to parents slicing seared scallops in vadouvan curry. Oregon City’s Canard may still be finding its footing, but when topped off with a tropical Dole Whip sundae or playful soft serve with Midori syrup, melon, and popping boba, it’s a suburban commute worth taking. 1500 Washington St, Oregon City, canardrestaurant.com