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Renard? Meh. But Nachos Get Their Day in The Oregonian Sun

Plus, the Merc visits Coquine, and Willamette Week investigates Burrasca's double-edged simplicity.

The bar at Coquine
The bar at Coquine
Dina Avila

RENARD -- This week, Portland Monthly's Benjamin Tepler called Renard, which opened in the former St. Jack location on SE Clinton, "a solid neighborhood option" that offers "pleasantly superficial French cooking." But the waiters are "slow and unshakably Portland-casual," and the menu "looks suspiciously like a Cordon Bleu student manual." In short, Renard is "unintimidating local" but does not go "beyond modest ambition."

NACHOS -- The Oregonian's Michael Russell knows that it's "hard out there for a nacho fan," so he combed through the "wreckage of a half-dozen abandoned nacho blogs" with mostly "disappointing" recommendations and then hit the streets. His resulting list of the 10 best "classic nachos and 'not' chos" is:

Bollywood Theater Chaat and 'cho

Breakside Nacho classic

Bunk Alberta "Not"cho

Expatriate Snackpacker

La Bonita Con huevos

La Panza Cafe Southeast meets Southwest

La Taq Tex-Mex 'cho

Liberty Glass Delicious Triscuit crackers

Robo Taco Original Recipe

Xico Proto 'cho

BURRASCA -- One of the hottest restaurants in Portland right now got a visit from Willamette Week's Matthew Korfhage, who called it "no gimmick," "a true Tuscan restaurant of simple spice and humble presentation." His favorite plate was "housemade tagliatelle in lovely beef ragu," and the sformato di piselli appetizer was "another simple masterpiece." That simplicity however, sometimes "goes a little far," as with the "underspiced" and "soft" white-wine pork leg appetizer, whose "white wine less accentuated the flavors of the pork than tamed them." But "such problems are rare."

COQUINE -- After demolishing Broth Bar, the Mercury's Andrea Damewood headed to Coquine, where she got called out by the "guy at the next table" "for staring too hard at his food." "Roasted organic chicken to share" was the star, and "red and yellow heirloom tomatoes and arugula on a slice of French bread with chèvre" was "a study in simplicity and restraint." The restaurant had "some of the friendliest service" she'd "had in years," and soon, Damewood was "double fisting" cider and French rosé. The only distractions were that the duck wings were "a bit light on actual meat" and "black pepper molasses-lacquered pork short ribs" were "just a shade too sugary."

Coquine

6839 Southeast Belmont Street, , OR 97215 (503) 384-2483 Visit Website

Burrasca

2032 Southeast Clinton Street, , OR 97202 (503) 236-7791 Visit Website

Renard

2039 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202 (503) 719-7529

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