ZOMG the Oregonian's Diner 2012 hits newsstands today, and in a surprise to exactly no one who's been following the slow-leak of "clues" on Twitter over the past few days, downtown's Little Bird Bistro has been crowned the paper's Restaurant of the Year. Per the write-up by restaurant reporter/critic Michael Russell, the bistro — opened by the Le Pigeon team of Gabe Rucker, Erik Van Kley, and Andrew Fortgang in December 2010 — has eclipsed its parent restaurant: "though less than two years old, [it] already feels as if it could be Le Pigeon's older brother." The reason? A distinct experience that's "more refined, more accessible, even more mature."
Meanwhile, SE Division's Woodsman Tavern was named the guide's 2012 "Rising Star of the Year," with the first five grafs of the story focusing on the influence of owner (and Stumptown founder) Duane Sorenson. (Chef Jason Barwikowski gets a shoutout as once being "the most sought-after (non-NBA) free agent in Portland.") And the Pearl District's Bluehour gets a feature as the 2012 spot "Back in the Spotlight" (a category formerly named "Comeback of the Year") thanks to the recent arrival of chef Thomas Boyce.
· Diner 2012 [OregonLive]
· All Previous Little Bird Coverage [Eater PDX]
· All Previous Oregonian Coverage [Eater PDX]
Image of Little Bird courtesy Facebook