Veritable Quandary

$$$ Pacific Northwest

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It’s difficult to ignore the inviting bar at the front of this four-decade-old Portland institution—especially when you spy diners huddled in booths, feasting on bacon-wrapped dates as they sip superb manhattans. But the dining room in back, as well as the patio outside, make the bar worth forgoing. Exuding both casual opulence and Old Portland charm, this waterfront bastion of Continental and Northwest cuisine churns out some surprisingly impressive dishes given the simplicity of the menu. A special appetizer of chorizo-stuffed squid set atop a potato, apple, and leek hash offers a delightful combination of flavors, while a salad of roasted wild mushrooms, baby spinach, buttermilk blue cheese, and pancetta vinaigrette qualifies as full-on comfort food. In fact, nearly everything here achieves just the right level of comfort and class.

Last updated: 08/30/2012