What began as a tradition of backyard seafood boils for the formerly Texan Nguyen Family has grown into My Brother’s Crawfish, a restaurant that serves up classic Southern seafood seven days a week. According to Douglas Perry at The Oregonian, two brothers oversee the kitchen, where crawfish, crab, shrimp, clam, and mussels swirl around in oversize pots of boiling water and homemade seasonings. They also craft classics such as jambalaya and gumbo and serve blackened and fried chicken and shrimp solo or stuffed inside a po' boy or standard-size envelope. The Louisiana theme extends to the dining room’s decor, where paintings of jazz musicians and colorful Mardi Gras masks line the long, burgundy walls.
Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, a 104-year-old Portland landmark handed down from fish-loving father to sea-faring son for five generations, boasts extensive menus of locally sourced seafood, a full bar, and an inviting, authentic atmosphere adorned with historical artifacts. Ancient ship wheels, old-timey nautical articles, fading photos, and sexy fishing photos from Davy Jones's high school locker surround diners as they munch on myriad undersea selections.
Cabezon dishes out a constantly metamorphosing menu of locally and regionally procured fish fares that vary based on season, availability, and the position of Orion as viewed through an astrolabe. The most recent menu leapt from the starting block with chive blinis with trout caviar and crème fraiche ($4) and Hood Canal oysters with champagne mignonette ($2). Heartier bites include the basil-wrapped gulf shrimp (apricot-almond chutney and tangerines, $11), wild king salmon (beets, salsa verde, fennel, and frisee, $20), and Mediterranean mussels ($12). Desserts such as Callebaut Belgian chocolate pot de crème ($7) and lavender and honey crème brûlée ($6) are just a few of the treats that have recently humbled sweet teeth. A list of West Coast and European wines accentuates the fresh bites the same way a top hat really brings out a magician's eyes.
The cooks at China Town Restaurant carefully pick fresh ingredients to use in their traditional Chinese entrees, striving to create healthy yet flavorful cuisine. Hot pots of stewed meats emerge from the kitchen alongside steamed spareribs and entrees with incendiary doses of sichuan sauce. Throughout each meal, servers also ply guests with small dim sum plates—including barbecue pork pies, deep-fried lobster balls, and stuffed jalapeños—from carts that navigate the dining room's red vinyl booths and warp tunnels dug all the way to China.
Constructed with wood milled from trees that once stood on the same soil, Riverview Restaurant?s sunlit space boasts high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a stone-front fireplace, all which helped nab it a spot on OpenTable?s list of top 100 romantic restaurants in the country. Walls hung with original artwork surround linen-topped tables where diners savor plated steaks and seafood dishes tinged with miso, sesame, and other fusion flavors. An extensive wine list serves wine by the glass, bottle, or surreptitiously emptied flower vase, and bartenders swirl signature drinks such as pear martinis and pomegranate mojitos. Massive, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views onto manicured grounds, complete with a gazebo where patrons can reenact the scene in The Sound of Music where Rolf and Liesl cleverly disguise themselves as trees.
Stanford's Restaurant & Bar stays close to home, even as it explores and combines the diverse flavors of the US. In addition to buying fish from the Columbia River, its chefs obtain as many ingredients as possible from Washington and Oregon producers such as Inaba Farms, Ralph?s Greenhouse, and Dungeness Farm. The results: fresh grilled salmon with lemon-chive cream and a rib-eye steak that spends 48 hours marinating in pineapple and soy. As for their combinations, the chefs don't believe land and sea need to remain separate?just look at their Surf & Turf Kobe burger with dungeness crab, b?arnaise sauce, and roasted mushrooms. And both surf and turf tend spend a lot of time together atop the kitchen's wood-fired grill, too, soaking up the smokey flavor of the smoldering logs while coming to realize there aren't so many differences between them after all.