Ah, GQ . It seems like only six months ago that the magazine's food writer Alan Richman suddenly decided, five years after seemingly every other food critic in the country, that Portland was an amazing fresh-local-organic-seasonal-idiosyncratic food mecca deserving of pilgrimage by the heavily bankrolled East Coast foodie set bored of tablecloths and good service.
GQ's abstention had at first seemed a principled stance, a silent commentary on the novelty-hungry commentariat that had anointed our city ringleader of a gastronomic revolution.
But no: Consider GQ's Kool-Aid officially drunk.
Portland Monthly's recently effusive Karen Brooks (formerly also of WW, formerly also of The Oregonian) was Richman's guide to Portland last year, and so it was perhaps little surprise when in February GQ named Woodsman Tavern one of the top 10 new restaurants in the United States.
Now, apparently, the magazine already considers the Woodsman one of the top 10 whiskey bars in the country.
In a citywide sense we're sort of blushing and all, but we're somewhere between a shrug and a furrowed brow on this one. Aside from the liver-ruining, almost impossible-seeming Scotch selection at the Highland Stillhouse in Oregon City, Portland's really kind of a neophyte and dilettante at the whiskey game—a Branch here, a Pope House there—so we presume that the editors were simply enamored of the feeling in the room and of Evan Zimmerman's smattering of lovely, sophisticated whiskey cocktails and just couldn't contain themselves. It is, after all, a damn good Hunting Vest.
Well, OK. Fine. It feels like the Gray Lady's attention is waning a bit, that NPR isn't talking about us in tones nearly as fawning, that the sharks are perhaps circling beneath our mid-jump motorcycle.
So we won't question it: We'll take GQ on the rebound. We like the way it's looking at us.