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Sarasohn on Quartet's Opulence; Roughness at Redwood

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Image of Quartet courtesy Avila/EPDX

The Oregonian's David Sarasohn ventures to the much-maligned waterfront restaurant Quartet and makes an economic assessment: "Forget the GDP. We can get our economic news from the RRI (Riverside Restaurant Index). After all, at this price point, you need to approach the meal as an investment." Have you heard? The restaurant is expensive — couples lean "toward each other on their wallets" — and in Sarasohn's "B-" review, he ultimately dubs the value "uncertain."

The restaurant serves up "high-quality ingredients and mixed outcomes," with "respectfully treated" steaks, a "lively" duck, and "lovely" slab of salmon that's since disappeared from the menu. But things get repetitive: despite the tastiness level of hush puppies, blackened ahi tuna, and a Creole lobster bisque, "everything the menu labels Cajun or Creole has a very similar flavor." (The $12 bowl of soup, Sarasohn notes, also arrives to the table with a skin formed on top.) Ultimately, "You can easily assemble a satisfying meal, and the kitchen does get considerable help from its surroundings and the bar." [OregonLive]

The Mercury's Chris Onstad visits Montavilla neighborhood spot Redwood, finding an "unfinished picture" where "nearly all [dishes] needed more careful execution." First, the successes: a "truly excellent" burger, a tender braised pork shank sandwich, and crisp corn fritters that "should be on every table." Most other dishes fall into the "nearly there" category. A braised tongue sandwich gets props with the exception of a "roll-sogging" bun; breading falls off the otherwise "nice" pickled onion rings; radicchio salad arrives haphazardly with "refrigerator-cold pork, unforkable bread, [and] a thin dressing." Onstad emphasizes that stumbles are "minor," and the kitchen capable of "so many good elements." All Redwood needs: a little polish. [Mercury]

WWeek has fallen in love with Sok Sab Bai's pork cracklings, which won over reviewer Martin Cizmar "in only 10 minutes and $3." Other dishes shine, too, like the steamed catfish known as amok trey, beef ceviche, and Nyno's chicken plate, which arrives doused in a house sauce deemed "damn good." Writes Cizmar, "It punches sweet, hot and salty buttons in a way that leaves you eyeing everything on the table, scrambling to find another suitable receptacle." [WW]
· All Previous Weeks in Review [Eater PDX]

Quartet

1910 SW River Road, Portland, OR 97201 Visit Website

Sok Sab Bai

2625 SE 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97202 971-255-0292

Redwood

7915 Southeast Stark Street, , OR 97215 (503) 841-5118 Visit Website

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