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October 15th, 2008 Mike Thelin | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Restaurant Guide 2008

     
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What owner Nate Tilden humbly refers to as an 80-seat tavern manages to be all things to all people. The Ace Hotel’s resident eatery boasts a lively bar where the stylish and hip gather, a convivial dining hall for friends and colleagues who linger over communal tables under Clyde’s tall ceiling, and a romantic mezzanine enclave whose two-tops are among the most intimate dining real estate in Portland. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better lunch than the house burger with pickled onions, or the ploughman’s platter: a rotating assortment of cheese, flatbread and charcuterie that’s nearly enough for two and $13 well spent. An appetizer of soft scrambled eggs and thin slices of cured pork loin in an olive-oil bath is a case study in simplicity, as is the grilled whole fish, handmade tagliatelle braided with spring onions, morels, chard and grana Padano, or a side helping of seasonal vegetables, repeatedly excellent, often simply broiled and drizzled with olive oil. Cocktails excel.

IDEAL MEAL: Chicken-fried chicken livers, housemade pasta, grilled whole fish, summer berry shortcake with lemon-verbena ice cream.

 
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