What a difference a new chef makes! After languishing through almost constant rehab (remember Lucere?), the restaurant at the RiverPlace Hotel has become one of the most pleasant places in town. Most tables face east toward the Willamette and a bustling moorage, with views of the mountains in the distance on clear days. The appetizers are usually interesting, though some soups, like a recent saffron clam bisque, can be rich. The kitchen does well with all manner of local mains—from Painted Hills beef to Draper Valley chicken and line-caught seafood. All this newfound glory originates in the kitchen, where chef Vincent Albiez (from the Benson) has, since April, worked his wonders with a classic Northwest touch. Fine wine list. Good coffee. To top it all off, valet parking is free. (RHM)