The Oregonian's Michael Russell is enamored with E. Burnside's French Arabesque spot Levant, calling chef Scott Snyder's spot "one of the most intriguing new restaurant openings of the year." Russell acts as restaurant sherpa, as his conversational review instructs its reader how-to "start," "move," and then "add" to their dining experience: "Close your eyes and take a bite. This is East Burnside Street, but as a warm breeze blows through Levant's sliding windows, you could be in the Middle East."
Russell praises the deep-fried lamb "cigars," "buttery soft" Dungeness crab legs, and an arugula salad that "cradles" its contents: dates, fluffy goat cheese, and dukka-dusted hazelnuts. Although "there are misses alongside the hits" (like a mint-topped omelet and grilled marlin), Russell concedes such things happen at "any new restaurant." The spot and its stunning desserts merit a rare "A-" grade — the only other "A-" in recent memory being Russell's review for Roe. Ultimately: "Snyder's research is appealing, alluring and often delicious." [OregonLive]
WWeek revisits downtown breakfast stalwart Bijou Cafe, the 35-year-old institution that's apparently served as the "site of so many fateful handshakes and kingmaking coffees." Perhaps surprisingly, most of the classic breakfast dishes disappoint, but "wonderful surprises" are found in dishes like achiote braised pork, roasted yam and beet salad, and a cowboy-style steak and eggs with chimichurri. [WWeek]
· All Previous Weeks in Review [Eater PDX]
Image of Levant courtesy Avila/EPDX