When a restaurant has been consistently good, it’s easy to take it for granted. Don’t fall into that trap with Chef Greg Higgins’ eponymous eatery kitty-corner from The Oregonian . When Higgins upscaled the location of what had been a string of less-than-stellar eateries more than a decade ago to focus on really local food (and charge big bucks for it), he was on the far end of the cutting edge. He has stayed as true to that all-Northwest mission as a Chinook salmon swimming upstream to spawn. During a recent visit, the Niçoise salad was a crisp, tasty mix of Oregon albacore tuna, potatoes and beans. The cassoulet of clams, mussels and salmon sausage would have been satisfying enough as an entrée, but the addition of bacon provided an even bitier bite. Also inviting on a cool night: the risotto of golden chanterelles, sweet corn and chiles with chèvre. (HS)
Signature dish: The charcuterie plate with Higgins’ pickles is a meal in itself.
Standouts: The pecan baklava is a splittable, goopy dessert to finish off the evening; the bar has one of the best “broiled, freshly ground and spiced sirloin on a toasted, hearth-baked roll” (a.k.a. “burger”) in town.
Regrets: Dark wood and tiny table lamps aside, Higgins isn’t a quiet spot. Take out a few of the chairs to allow us enough room to feel as free-range as the chickens.