Laurelhurst Market Restaurant Review Portland OR
A week before our trip to Portland the newest Bon Appetit magazine arrived at our house with an article on their 10 best new restaurants in America. The Laurelhurst Market made their list, their specialty is beef and we were going to Portland so it made our list. Sunday night we arrived at the restaurant to see what all the buzz was about.
Our arrival time was 6pm on a Sunday night and we may have been about 20 minutes later than we wished. You can get reservations for 6 or more, but we were a party of 4. If we were 2 it may not have delayed us. We were told 45 minutes and the hostess was right about that so she gets high marks for time management. When you enter the restaurant the butcher counter is right there reminding you that your here for the beef and it is going to be fresh.
We decide to head to the bar where the staff is friendly and efficient. A shoulder high wall separates the bar from the restaurant in a smart and efficient layout. Many at the bar are there for dinner which gave us a great opportunity to see some of the entrees being served. The delay helped me decide on my choice from the menu; brisket. The atmosphere here is open, airy and a bit like a Chipotle look and feel. This was actually a former food market converted to butcher shop and restaurant.
Once seated, our wait staff was attentive enough throughout. We selected the House Charcuterie Plate and Fleur de Lis Breads to start. The sampling of meats presented was very good which is what I would have expected. We ordered the following entrees and sides:
Piedmontese Skirt Steak — Basil-Chili Butter, Cherry Tomato, Grilled Scallion
Chicken “Under A Brick” — Gnocchi, Summer Squash, Roasted Cherry Tomato, Brown Butter, Smoked Balsamic
Grilled Niman Prime Ribeye — Blue Cheese Butter, Fried Sweet Onion Rings
12 Hour-Smoked Wagyu Brisket — Ozark BBQ Sauce
Grilled Romaine with Romesco
It took some time to get the food to the table which may have been due to our ordering the appetizer plate or based on other reviews I have read, it may be the norm and needs improvement. The entrees were presented classy, without a lot of extra flair which is the way you would want it in a steakhouse. The skirt steak was tender and flavorful. The chicken was moist and cooked to perfection with savory sides. Many places that focus on beef overcook the chicken, but not here. The ribeye was featured in bon appetit with the walla walla stacked onion rings. The steak was flavorful and cooked perfectly. The onion rings were amazing. Our only disappointment was finding the blue cheese butter to be a bit overwhelming. If you love your blue cheese you may find it acceptable, but why overpower a wonderful cut of beef. Finally to my brisket choice. How could I go wrong with something slow cooked for 12 hours. Well I was not only not disappointed but amazed by this fall apart chunk of meat glazed with a sensational barbecue sauce. The garnish of baked beans was also something I wish I had ordered as a side.
We only ordered the two sides and wish our budget was unlimited so we could buy them all and taste each one. The grilled romaine lettuce had an excellent smoke flavor and accompanying sauce. I had never thought about trying this before, but it will be a new barbecue experiment for me. The pomme frites were good (regular cut not shoestring) with a surprisingly refreshing sauce on the side.
Overall our experience was favorable with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I believe this will continue to be a great restaurant in Portland although I am not sure I agree that is is one of the top ten newest restaurants in America. The ingredients are there for it, however, there are some rough spots around the edges to smooth out for the whole experience to be five stars.