One of Portland's most perplexingly under-hyped restaurants, Gilt Club is a quietly glamorous lounge that happens also to serve amazing food. It may not be one of Portland's culinary media darlings, but it deserves to be. The flavors are true, the preparations inspired, and the staff professional without trying too hard. The French-influenced, contemporary American menu emphasizes dramatic juxtaposition of flavor and texture: foie gras torchon with baked apples, or crisp chocolate-meringue cookies with savory-sweet pistachio gelato. Linger late with playful cocktails starring house-infused spirits. New chef Chris Carriker is thinking big—like whole-goat big. Keep an eye on this one.
Order this: The charred bavette steak with smoked-onion relish is one of the tastiest in town.
Best deal: The cowboy-sized "petite" pork loin (which also comes with greens and a juicy grilled peach) makes us afraid to see the "regular."
I'll pass: The roast chicken, while generous, is less exciting than other items.