The oh-so-humbly-lowercased [not here! -Ed.] remnant of the Ripe conglomerate is named for a duplex of pioneers, and along with its now-defunct sister restaurants it was indeed one of the granddaddies of the modern regime of Northwest dining: local, organic, seasonal ingredients; casual-industrial decor; open kitchen; self-righteously catholic taste; sloppy accounting, you know the drill—the stuff that has The New York Times sticking its tongue in our ear almost every other week (it tickles, thanks). The restaurant now has a new owner and its third chef in two years (Dolan Lane of Bluehour), so you wonder: How’s it going over there? Well, the menu changes every day, so it’s rare you’d eat the same thing twice, but the salads—especially a recent orchid watermelon dish served sliced in the rind with goat cheese, mint and sea salts—are often refreshingly complex, effectively pairing sharply bitter or salty notes with sweet fruits, and the housemade pasta is consistently well-textured. The wine list has been wholly rehabilitated since last year, and while the entrees are much less exciting than in days of yore, they remain satisfying and approachable; still, they don’t always keep pace with the ambitious pricing.
IDEAL MEAL: Roll the dice with the chef’s dinner (chef’s choice), and treat yourself to half the menu.