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April 17th, 2002 12:00 am Caryn B. Brooks | z-Miss Dish

Organics, glamour and shine

Hi, I'm Jennifer Barr. I'm into organics, vegan soup and long walks on the beach.
IMAGE: basil childers
Quicker than you can suck a tapioca ball through a straw comes the food news of the day, such as...

A new restaurant called Aesop's Tables, trafficking in organic fare, has opened at 314 NW 6th Ave. Owner Jennifer Barr says this little place--down the street from rock club Satyricon and offering up fresh-made soups, salads and sandwiches (mostly veggie and vegan selections)--intends to go up from 9 am to 9 pm, and to midnight once late-night grazers start making it a habit. Barr also wants to start curating videos to be shown. Call 241-8622.


Wild Abandon Restaurant has opened a new attached bar called the Red Velvet Lounge. Seek it out for sink-into booths, cocktails and a bar menu with delights such as margarita prawns, goat-cheese torta and what they're calling the "glamour burger." Swing by 2411 SE Belmont Ave., or call 232-4458.


May 3 is it. On this bright (hopefully) spring day, the RiverPlace Hotel restaurant, under the stewardship of chef Pascal Sauton, opens with a new look and a new name. The look promises to be less stodgy and more sunny, and the new name, Lucere, which means "to shine" in Latin (and a seemingly close relation to "lucre"--meaning money, as in lots spent for this redo), latches onto this ideal. Sauton has re-worked the menu into what he calls "French bistro with a Northwest emphasis." Check it out--1510 SW Harbor Way, 295-6166.


There's a new 24-hour coffeehouse in town called the Fireside Coffee Lodge, serving insomniacs from its ski resortish accommodations at 1223 SE Powell Blvd. (537-7800). Cozy up to the stone fireplace as you mainline a triple espresso and a slice of chocolate cake.


The Couch Street Fish House crashed and burned, leaving more than a few people with their beaks open when it closed in late 2000. Does that turn its location at 105 NW 3rd Ave. into a cursed locale? Hopefully not for the folks at Ashoka Palace, an international Indian chain that took over the space last month. They offer a lunch buffet seven days a week that costs $6.95 (the price charged by just about every other Indian buffet in town? Why all the harmony? Why no undercutting or price wars? Is this some sort of collusion? Does anyone know? You wanna clue in Miss D?). Call Ashoka at 226-6660.


Second Story Bistro, the spunky restaurant that took over the former La Patisserie spot at 208 NW Couch St. above Jazz de Opus, is now open for dinner. Look for dishes such as coq au vin, pan-fried oysters, bouillabaisse and razor clams to make you feel proud to be in Portland. Ring their bell at 827-5113.

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