Now in its seventh year, Bluehour is still perfect for the pretty Pearl District: pretty décor, pretty dishes, pretty servers—and pretty expensive. Actually, it’s two restaurants. By day it’s a sunny power-lunch lair. By night, it’s one of the few Portland settings where Paris (or Perez) Hilton would fit right in. Chef Kenny Giambalvo knows both audiences, serving up Mediterranean-tinged bistro fare at lunch, and heartier, hautier Northwest-cum-French cuisine by evening. Come sundown, Bluehour’s bar oozes the voguish vibe locals claim to loathe, but they pack in nonetheless for an ever-changing menu of local meat, produce and well-selected cheeses and wines in a sometimes-snooty, glossy-magazine atmosphere. Not surprisingly, the price for this art direction can be steep (the $49 prix fixe is a bargain), though the separate bar menu caters to all but PBR budgets, and includes one of the city’s best froufrou burgers.
Signature dish: The menu changes, but look for Northwest meats and fish with well-chosen sides.
Standouts: A beautiful “20 greens” salad; the bar-menu hamburger; housemade desserts, including granita and cookies.
Regrets: Occasionally airheaded service, exemplified by the young man who responded to a request for a coffee spoon with an iced-tea spoon served on a roast-sized silver platter.