Hurray, the Oregonian's annual restaurant guide Diner 2013 hit newsstands today (after a slow leak online), and perhaps unsurprisingly, NE MLK's Argentine grill Ox has been crowned Restaurant of the Year. In the official Diner write-up, critic David Sarasohn praises chefs Greg and Gabrielle Denton's "rich and vivid" grilled dishes and lively atmosphere. Even higher praise is saved for a separate online announcement written by critic Michael Russell: "to be honest, it wasn't a very difficult call. ... Ox has been my go-to restaurant recommendation for both locals and out-of-towners for more than a year, and it has yet to disappoint."
And a new addition to this year's Diner: an award for "Visionary of the Year," bestowed to chef Trent Pierce's backroom seafood restaurant Roe. In a Diner introduction, editor Jillian Martin describes the "Visionary" distinction as going to a restaurant with "some of the most inventive dishes we've seen in years, and offers a potential model for Portland's fine-dining future." Says Russell: "Pierce and Schultz, heads bowed over their work, serve two dozen of Portland's luckiest diners in Roe's tranquil back room."