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Readers Toast Their Favorite Front-of-House Staffers

Welcome to Front & Center, a series highlighting front-of-the-house professionals in Portland restaurants. Right now: Eater readers offer their tributes to the top FOH personnel around town.


Earlier this week, Eater asked you to nominate your favorite front-of-house restaurant folks, to an overwhelming response — highlighting servers, sommeliers, and bartenders ranging from the "old school style, witty conversation, no bullshit"-type (holla to Higgins' Matt Silvernale) to folks that can "palm a medicine ball" (shoutout to Paddy's bartender Brad).

Now we're reprinting the best of your e-mails and comments to spread the love around. After the jump, you'll find praise for restaurants large and small, high-end and old-school and everything between — including shoutouts to some restaurant staffers that are apparently really, really good-looking.

Praise for Le Pigeon server Gabriella:

"Gabriella at Le Pigeon (formerly of Laurelhurst Market and Toro Bravo) is the best server in PDX. She is knowledgeable about food and wine, remembers the likes and dislikes of regular customers, is attentive but not obtrusive, and is great to chat with. We "lost" her for awhile when she left Toro Bravo and were thrilled when we found her again at Laurelhurst." — sws
"True that! Gabriella rocks!" — Dianne Hosford

Love for the entire staff at SE Italian spot Three Doors Down:

"All of the FOH staff at 3 Doors Down has been consistently fantastic over the 9 years we have been going there! But if I had to name just 1, Rachel has been consistently aweome. She is always bright and cheerful and makes you feel like you are her only customer even of the house is packed." — Bud

Some inter-office appreciation for Heathman sommelier Anthony Garcia:

"Anthony Garcia is one of the best people i have ever had the opportunity to work with. His knowledge, talent and warmth are only surpassed by his constant drive to help everyone arround him feel and do better at their job." — Anonymous

A few words of praise for Laurelhurst Market GM Melissa Ratdke:

"Melissa at Laurelhurst Market is also fabulous, the best front end manager. Always gracious and does a great job of handling the restaurant." — sms

Praise for a dynamic duo at the Bent Brick:

"Anna of Park Kitchen and Bent Brick, is extra gracious and friendly. Always make us feel welcome and at home." — Mary Ann
"Sarah at Bent Brick is also a fave. She's so on it — she's there before you even think you need something. Also always super pleasant and sweet." — chip, dip and mingle

A smattering of love notes to a variety of FOH who are apparently extremely attractive and/or adorable:

"The full FOH at the Woodsman! knowledgeable and good looking :)" — Anonymous
"Nick at Park Kitchen. His recommendations are always the right blend of listening to what you want and pushing you to try something new. Oh, and he's funny and cute." — chip, dip, and mingle
"Christine at Podnahs, hottest BBQ slinger there is" — Anonymous
"Phil at Brasserie Montmartre. He's cheery and cute." — Anonymous

And finally, the unofficial "most popular" awards go to two folks: Interurban's Jon Green:

"Jon Green at Interurban — charming, gregarious, informative and always ready to entertain with a joke so bad you have to chuckle." — MissMollyPearl
"Jon Green at Interurban..... There needs to be clones of him being sold to restaurant owners across the country, but really, he is living proof that what is in the foh can make a spot worth going back to." — Anonymous
"Jon Green at Interurban makes a room buzz with energy more than any bar man I have ever seen. Creates chaos, harnesses it, and drives the party." — Anonymous

... and DOC sommelier Austin Morris Bridges:

"Austin at DOC - absolutely flawless, class act. He has an unnatural ability to make one feel familiar yet elite, even when mispronouncing one of his unparalleled wine picks :)" — Anonymous

Image courtesy Old Sarge via Flickr