We wondered which Kevin Gibson would show up when he opened his new Davenport restaurant on East Burnside. Would it taste like Evoe (his last post), where Northwest trappings were prepared minimally, seared on his plug-in Panini press or shaved raw on a communal wooden table? Or would it lean towards Gibson’s first restaurant, the country European-rooted Castagna from the 1990’s?
Just a few weeks in, Gibson is delivering something akin to a “best of” playbook of dishes from his past, from clean, bright slices of scallop crudo drizzled with Meyer lemon olive oil to buttery, crisped egg noodles (his grandmother’s recipe) soaked in meat juices from a fist of slow-cooked goulash. The 14-item menu comes with no delineation: everything runs between appetizer and entrée size—but Gibson insists, “not small plates.” The wine list is plenty geeky for those looking, affordable (several bottles priced near $20), and—most important—dictated by the food. As for cocktails, Davenport only shakes the classics, no tinctures allowed.
As of last week, a new player is in the mix: Jimmy Albee, longtime pizza and ice cream lord at Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty (and briefly, Trigger), has joined the Davenport crew part time. Early tastes from his scoopable menu include a subtle, pink-tinged quince ice cream, a bold, citrusy tangerine sorbet, and a rich butter pecan.
With some time to branch out (and an ice-cream savant on hand) Davenport could shape up to be one of the city’s top dining destinations. Click on the slideshow above to get a taste for yourself.
2215 E Burnside