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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
9.1
8.0
$50
Modern, Steakhouse, Sandwiches
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 11:00am–11:00pm

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.laurelhurstmarket.com

Northeast Portland
3155 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR
(503) 206-3097
Laurelhurst Market
A promising new shout-out to the nose-to-tail crowd

Laurelhurst Market has some serious foodie cred: it’s run by the same folks who’ve created a stir with Simpatica Dining Hall and Viande Meats. This butcher shop and casual steakhouse might look totally informal, but it’s serious about food. At lunchtime, the only seating is outdoors; otherwise, the dining room is closed and the service is counter and take-out only (from 10am-7pm daily). For dinner (5-11pm daily), you’ll enjoy a nice open space with a butcher in the front, wood beams, modern lighting, and a long bar that’s kind of right in everyone’s way. Expect long waits, even on a Sunday, thanks to some glowing press.

Service is gracious and efficient, if a bit harried in the storm. Homemade charcuterie steals the show here, with a venison country pâté whose mild flavor works great with the toothsome pistachios. Sopressata is also excellent, and rabbit rillettes are aptly paired, one time with pickled strawberries.

At lunch, there’s an assortment of sandwiches, of which the best include a very smoky turkey; juicy porchetta; and very rare roast beef. Some have unexpected condiments like harissa and preserved lemon. The bread is impeccable. In fact, with the exception of useless iceberg lettuce, everything about these sandwiches is fantastic.

At dinner, meat is definitely the point. Steaks vary daily; the day’s cut might include a “bavette” (or “flap”), whose intensely meaty flavor and across-the-grain tenderness put it somewhere in the area of a flank. Steaks are seasoned just right and overshadow their fries, which are thick and can come a bit lukewarm. Brussels sprouts have come overcooked and oversalted, but that problem doesn’t seem to extend to many of the other sides.

Try not to stray too much: large, sweet shrimp have come unevenly cooked, served on grits with artichokes, mussels, and pancetta. A simpler chicken seared under a brick gets an ideally crisp skin while the meat retains all its moisture.

A wine list is totally appropriate to the steak aspect of the cuisine, if a little short on exciting options; the beer is especially dismal for such a food-forward endeavor. But most details are accounted for, like Stumptown coffee and a very solid, if somewhat derivative dulce de leche cheesecake. It melts in the mouth and is, refreshingly, not too sweet—a successful throwback to vintage steakhouse desserts that doesn’t lose Laurelhurst’s modern sense of restraint. Continuing in that vein—and keeping the prices refreshingly low compared with the more pretentious steakhouses—will certainly keep the accolades coming.

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