With one of the most breathtaking verandas in the city, Rocket’s fourth-floor view is an oasis of romance above the grit and grime of East Burnside Street. Chef Leather Storr’s innovative cuisine aims high, with inventive (OK, maybe downright weird) combinations like carrot pancakes floating on a sea of saucy ground lamb and topped with carrot-fennel salad, or pierogi with catfish, caraway and fried beets. Even the cocktails are creative—the Q Kompressor puts the essence of cukes front and center. And while items like tongue hotdogs seem to be on the menu more to create buzz than induce pleasure, one of Rocket’s innovations has resulted in amazing dishes: the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Sublimely fresh herbs and baby lettuces elevate the slightly overpriced Rocket Roof Salad; that said, the freshly picked vegetables that come as sides often outshine the center-of-the-plate proteins. There’s local, and then there’s local. (MW)
Signature Dish: Broasted pork shoulder is worth every bite.
Standouts: Rocket Roof Salad, onion rings, eggplant and tomato timbale.
Regrets: Sometimes the execution doesn’t match the creative conception, as with the too-sweet “Cherry Pop-Tart” dessert.