Gruner

Editor’s Pick

$$$ Alpine

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Grüner exemplifies the Portland food dream: find a style you love, and make it your own. In this, his Alpine fantasy, chef Christopher Israel makes art of Mitteleuropa in a jewel-box revamp of the leaden and the uncool. Snag a bench at the beech-wood stammtisch (family table) and begin your climb to the mountaintop with two unworldly visions: beet-pickled deviled eggs and a plate of thin-cut radishes displayed like an Indian mandala. Braised rabbit or chicken is a must, blushing with savory juice and paired with tender spätzle, as is the cider-poached calves’ liver. Grab one smoky, bacon-topped burger for the table, and throw in a side of smashed potatoes—even your thighs will forgive you. Close with homemade doughnuts, with a warm bath of chocolate ganache for dunking—a foretaste of heaven. Curated wines and oddball digestifs should not be overlooked. Or head next door for inventive sipping at the adorable Israel-designed Kask (1215 SW Alder St). Three years ago, Portlanders wondered if Israel could really pull off his vision for schnitzel cuisine. Who’s yodeling now?

Last updated: 02/19/2013