Tim (littlebluedog) wrote,

restaurant reviews, 2012

Giving this concept another try. This post will (hopefully) be updated with new reviews throughout the year. This is mainly for my personal reference, since I love going out to eat but am notoriously forgetful as to where I've been or what I thought about it.

Grüner (Jan. 6):

Having heard great things about this place for the last year or so, including a Best New Restaurant nod from PFD, I was eager to visit, and got a chance last night for a friend's birthday gathering. The place was lively and merrily loud at 8:30, but we sat immediately -- I like that this place takes reservations, a comparatively rare feature for popular spots in Portland. The menu is "Alpine," not that it makes much difference to an omnivorous palate like mine, and everything I tried was tasty. I won "best looking dinner" among our foursome, having opted for the choucroute garnie, a selection of really well-flavored sausage and other tasty bits of pork smothered in a small mountain of fresh sauerkraut, accompanied with by a little cup of awesome-tasting mustard. A couple forkfuls of the spaetzle off Nic's plate made me feel like I was at my German grandmother's house (even though I haven't got a German grandmother).

Service was super friendly and very attentive, but oddly forgetful (a dropped fork wasn't replaced, despite assurances, until several minutes after the entrees were set down, a request for checking a type of liquor was never heeded, etc.). And despite the good flavors, I and my tablemates couldn't shake the irritating feeling that this place smirkingly knew it was "all that." I dunno. It wasn't any attitude on the part of other diners there, who all seemed to be having a great time. Just little cues. My whiskey sour was served up, with some kind of foamy top layer upon which was adorned three delicate syrup hearts. An artistic touch, I guess, but ... why? One of the servers randomly slipped into and out of a European accent. The bill was delivered, bookmark-like, in a hardbound edition of Brecht essays, in German (were we supposed to read it? had anyone working here read it?).

All in all, I could certainly see what some of the fuss is about, but I won't be rushing back here. B-
Tags: restaurants, reviews

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