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Willamette Week's Best New Restaurant: Beaker + Flask (?!)

Local free paper the Willamette Week's Restaurant Guide 2009 dropped today, with the startling announcement that 7th and Sandy brand-newbie Beaker & Flask had been named Best Restaurant. A runner-up for Portland Monthly's Best Restaurants issue and, inside word has it, a runner-up because it just opened and still has a whole lot of kinks to work out, service- and style-wise, Beaker & Flask is the brainchild of bartender Kevin Ludwig (formerly of Monthly winner Park Kitchen) and his band of merry Portland restaurant-world alumni. Don't get us wrong: former NW stronghold Paley's Place sous chef Ben Bettinger (right) has been working true Pacific Northwest magic in the kitchen--mac and cheese comes with a little square of blood sausage, and the pork rillette tater tots are a microcosm of everything that is good and trendy about this city--but, to be fair, it's only been open since July. It's a lot of pressure for a just-out-the gate place, so we'll be paying close attention to just how the cocktails are shaking out over on Sandy. In the meantime, stay tuned for a thorough parsing of the rest of the Guide.
· Restaurant of the Year: Beaker & Flask [Willamette Week]

Paley's Place

1204 NW 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97209

720 SE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

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