Reader Survey 2013: The Best Restaurants in Portland

Reader Survey 2013: The Best Restaurants in Portland

Photo of Margot Mazur

Once again, Portland Food and Drink readers pick the best restaurants in Portland. As normal for this survey, I’m only listing the restaurants that stand out from the others by a large margin.

18 Places
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    The food is described as “American, centered around a charcoal oven, using local ingredients”. Try the thin American ham with bread, butter and pickled collard greens, or the pork loin chop with baked beans and stone-fruit BBQ sauce.
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    Laurelhurst Market is a temple to all things meat. Unusual for a restaurant, a meat case at the entry allows you to purchase various cuts to take home if you’d rather cook them yourself.
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    I think Nostrana is one of the most exciting restaurants to come along in a long time, but even after all these years, they haven’t worked out the bugs in service.
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    Smallwares describes itself as “Inauthentic Asian cuisine meant to be shared, and eclectic wine, sake and cocktails”. The menu is composed of small plates featuring seasonal ingredients.
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    St. Jack is the best restaurant to open in Portland in the past year. Its kitchen is turning out dish after dish with wonderful care and intelligence.
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    The dishes are a dazzling parade of colors, from deep purple potatoes to the brilliant yellows of passion fruit, all dancing across the plates like an artists’ palette.
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    The cuisine has been called French fusion and modern French – I think the latter best describes it, though there are some dishes that are true to the classic cuisine, such as crispy sweetbreads, cassoulet, and roasted marrow.
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    Grüner isn’t a “German” restaurant, nor does it bill itself as such, rather it is Alpine. This makes Grüner a bit more complicated than just schnitzel and wursts, although they have those too.
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    For the most part, Aviary avoids that cliché, and only dips into those areas when they contribute flavor or texture to a meal.
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    Though the prices are a bit high, you are paying for more than dinner – your ticket includes meeting new people and watching the kitchen.
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