There are restaurants with open kitchens, and then there's Trifecta. With a dining room sandwiched between an operational bakery and a bustling kitchen, you feel like you've stepped into a Georgetown dinner party set on a production floor.

Located in a former auto shop, Trifecta offers a tavern-style menu of seeming working-class fare—wood-grilled steaks, pasta, and seasonal vegetable plates—amped up to 11.

Start with a something from the cocktail menu, which features everything from the classics to a selection of yacht cocktails that amount to high-end tiki drinks. At a restaurant owned by baker Ken Forkish, always get the bread plate ($3 with fresh-churned butter). The pimento double-cheeseburger ($15) is one of the most memorable burgers in town—two juicy patties slathered in sharp pimento cheese and creamy aioli and tucked into one of Ken's perfect buns.

The deviled eggs are highly recommended, on our visit topped with either poblano relish or smoked trout. But make sure to try a few of the seasonal vegetable dishes that are executed with impressive finesse. A watermelon salad ($13) sprinkled with feta and arugula and topped with shaved, pickled melon rind was vibrant and refreshing, while the roasted beets glowed like uncut rubies.

Eat: Get the steak frites ($24), along with deviled eggs ($5), and don't miss the bread ($3 with butter).

Drink: Definitely go with a cocktail, like a Perfect Manhattan or Mai Tai from the "Yacht Drinks" list.

Most popular dish: The pimento double-cheeseburger.

Noise level: 62/100

Expected wait: Trifecta offers a few reservations, but some of the seating is reserved for walk-ins, so waits are usually minimal in the bar.

Who you'll eat with: Mid-30s professionals, young families, strident recyclers, the health-insured.

Year opened: 2013

726 SE 6th Ave., 503-841-6675, trifectapdx.com, 5-9 pm Monday, 5-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 4-9 pm Sunday. $$-$$$.

(Leah Nash)
(Leah Nash)