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Restaurant Guide 2007

You wouldn't think you could miss a restaurant that features men dressed in English Beefeater costumes out front, but this Broadway hotel stalwart's been on the scene so long it's easy to overlook its Northwest bistro charms. Chef Philippe Boulot—James Beard winner, No Reservations segment star and owner of a bona fide French accent—is an avid outdoorsman and his love of Oregon's bounty, from woody mushrooms to local fish and greens, is apparent in every course. Don't miss a towering starter of lump Dungeness crabmeat, sweet mango and oozy avocado ringed with tart balsamic and peppery curls of arugula. A stellar petrale sole, paired with clams and plump prawns, swims in a sea of sweet, creamy sauce. And, according to the chef, the restaurant has recently upped its meat offerings due to Portland's inexplicable hunger for flesh. It's a good thing, too: They do a big, juicy ribeye right. The biggest surprise from this old dog? Pastry chef John Gayer and crew are creating a lovely dessert menu. The delight of a crusty-edged almond cake sitting in a pool of tart huckleberry sauce was exceeded only by the thick wedge of truffled triple crème on the cheese menu. Everything old is new again. (KNC)

Signature dish: It's all about the seafood.

Standouts: Behemoth brunches, great cheese service and a high-end cocktail menu straight outta the 1920s.

Regrets: The stolid hotel décor is colder than the mushrooms on the bland goat-cheese salad.