Photo of Clyde Common courtesy Avila/EPDX
After a weeks-long review drought, the Oregonian's Michael Russell returns with a sparkling two-star review for the recent revamp at Clyde Common, a spot he credits with helping to "forge the template for almost every subsequent restaurant opening in America" back in 2007. These days, chef Johnny Leach, famously a Momofuku alum, is in the kitchen, and Russell praises his "flair for the dramatic, though he still seems to be figuring out how hard he wants to rock the boat."
Leach's new, porky dishes cause the most excitement: There's a "painterly plate" of white sturgeon "ham," chicharrones, fideos with clams and pork cheek, and a "playful" pastrami short rib that's deemed "probably the best thing I've eaten in seven years of visiting the restaurant." However, "impatient" and "haughty" service issues were particularly frustrating, and Russell identifies sausage as a weak spot: a chorizo is described as "insipid," while a lamb version is "dry." But ultimately, the final grade is a positive "good" rating, with a call for chef Leach to be fully "unleashed." [OregonLive]
The Mercury's Andrea Damewood really wishes SE Hawthorne's Fado Portuguese Kitchen was a food cart, or at least, had started off that way. If so, "it would have had the chance to do a soft launch, honing and whittling recipes... into surefire winners worthy of cult followings." Instead, Damewood argues that the menu, while showing "ambitious" promise, is a little all over the place.
Winners included a grill-your-own linguica sausage ("More tableside flambé, please!"), seared scallops, and a amêijoas and linguica dish that "went down great." Presumably left off the cart menu: the salt cod fritters (which lack "oomph") and cocktails, which led the reviewer to conclude that "someone is deliberately messing with me." Ultimately, it's tepidly recommended: "Stick to the Portuguese wines or the microbrews and the pork or fish dishes, and you'll have a meal that's worth stamping your culinary passport." [Portland Mercury]
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