“Really exuberant, zigzagging American cooking” — that’s how former Eater critic Bill Addison described Burnside’s Canard back in 2018, when he named it one of the country’s best new restaurants. Since it opened its doors, Canard has been a sensation, with its soft serve sundaes and foie gras dumplings. Like Eater, Thrillist called it one of the best new restaurants of 2018. It nabbed the top slot on the Oregonian’s best restaurants list — the full, city-wide list, not just the best new restaurants. Portland Monthly critic Karen Brooks said she could “eat (t)here every day.”
Soon, Oregon City residents will be able to do just that. The Oregonian reports (and the restaurant’s Instagram confirms) that owners Gabriel Rucker and Andy Fortgang are heading to the suburbs, opening a new Canard on Washington Street. Canard’s Oregon City location will serve all the greatest hits: steam burgers, duck-fat pancakes, and soft-serve, plus the restaurant’s beloved Paris-Brest.
According to the Oregonian, the Oregon City Canard will double the seats of its Portland location, with a burger-and-ice-cream window accessible from the restaurant’s patio. The restaurant’s culinary team — Rucker, business partner Taylor Daugherty, and chef de cuisine Jacob Boliba Soule — also shared a few new ideas for the menu with the daily, including duck confit quesadillas and Salisbury steak frites made with dry-aged Kobe beef. In place of the original Canard’s chicken wings, the Oregon City location will dunk chicken tenders in a togarashi oil, topped with bonito flakes and koji honey; visitors will dip those tenders in miso gribiche, on the side. Another dish Rucker is excited about: shrimp with a fish-sauce-laden cocktail sauce, served with greens for DIY lettuce cups.
The team is still finding a bartender for the restaurant, but Canard’s Oregon City location will have a full bar. And, of course, Fortgang will bring his top-tier wines down south as well.
“We were really looking at fast-casual stuff, you know, how do we take Canard and make it fast-casual?” Rucker says. “When we walked into the Grano bakery space, we realized, this space had this perfect place to have a bar front and center. We wanted to give people a full-service restaurant... We want people to walk in to this beautiful bar, this warm hub of a restaurant.”
Over the last five years, some of Portland’s most talented restaurateurs have expanded into the cities and towns surrounding Portland — Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group opened a Big’s Chicken in Beaverton before many of the city’s chefs thought to do so, Chefstable has planted several of its restaurants in Lake Oswego, and Top Burmese has been eyeing a number of new spots in the western suburbs.
But this would be Rucker and Fortgang’s first foray outside Portland, into an area with far fewer Portland restaurant carbon copies: In general, when restaurateurs plan expansion projects, they don’t consider the areas east of Lake Oswego, drawn to the disposable income of Intel and Nike employees. But Rucker lives nearby, and the location is in a sweet spot between a number of different communities south of Portland. “Oregon City has such great character, such a great feel to it,” he says. “The minute I moved out of the city limits of Portland, it opened my eyes to everything else that’s out there.”
The restaurant is expected to open at 1500 Washington Street this summer. The team is actively hiring for the new restaurant; those interested can send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 3:49 p.m.: This story was updated to include comment from Gabriel Rucker.