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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
5.6
6.5
$60
American
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 6:30am–11:00am
Mon–Thu 11:30am–2:00pm
Mon–Thu 5:00pm–10:00pm
Fri 6:30am–11:00am
Fri 11:30am–2:00pm
Fri 5:00pm–11:00pm
Sat 7:00am–2:00pm
Sat 5:00pm–11:00pm
Sun 7:00am–2:00pm
Sun 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Live music, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Website

Downtown
1001 SW Broadway Ave.
Portland, OR
(503) 790-7752
The Heathman Restaurant & Bar
If it walks like a hotel restaurant and quacks like a hotel restaurant...

The Marble Bar. The Tea Court. The Mezzanine Gallery. We’re not sure which has more rooms, the Heathman Hotel or its very typical restaurant. In the latter half of the week, the mahogany-paneled tea room and lounge hosts live jazz, and is a much cooler place to spend the later-night happy hour. The other dining areas are generic and stuffy, and the crowd is, ahem, distinguished—the sort of folks who like their soup reheated beyond all reason and flavor. Its bread and butter also seems to be business luncheons. Everyone seems to enjoy the blazing, unflattering lighting (in the main room), white tablecloths, and somewhat haughty service.

Hotel restaurant kitchens are notoriously plagued with excessive turnover—talented cooks and chefs grow bored quickly, their hands tied by the vitriolic attitude that hotels seem to have toward the avant-garde and risky. We’re not sure if that’s the case here, but the food follows a familiar pattern. The menu reads like a greatest hits album: it pleases the accountants, but it has no art.

The only time the Heathman isn’t overpriced and overrated is during its daily happy hour, when it offers over two dozen of its dishes at a sizeable discount. The bistro fare, like Dungeness crab deviled eggs, is best here. Salads are decent, and brunch is just what you would expect from a hotel: classy-looking, classy-sounding, and pretty forgettable. Oysters are well shucked, and meats are cooked to proper temperatures, but platings are generally boring and overwrought, with a copious amount of creamy sauce and butter. Not that there’s anything wrong with butter, but with little balance of flavors, it just tastes heavy and monotonous.

Bring Aunt Gladys for a high tea from local microroaster Fonté. She’ll love the tiny cucumber sandwiches and pâté, the buttery scones and moist opera cake. Or enjoy some free live jazz with apéritifs and sherries, both of which are better chosen than the rest of the wine list, which is overpriced and boring. And having this many dessert wines by the glass guarantees a high rate of oxidized, stale pours, so don’t get too excited. In fact, it’s best not to get excited at all; it might upset the rest of the crowd.

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