Restaurant Guide 2013: Navarre

10 NE 28th Ave., 232-3555,

[SIPS AND SMALL PLATES] Navarre wowed Portland when it opened in 2001, serving Italian-, French- and Spanish-inspired small plates with food so fresh it tasted yanked straight from some mystical pan-European garden only owner John Taboada was privy to visiting. That it's somewhat faded into the background of the local restaurant scene is less a statement on its quality than how far local foodie culture has come in the last decade, thanks in large part to the innovations this little wood-paneled, open-kitchen Laurelhurst eatery brought to the city. And still, few dishes impress quite the same way as the signature baked trout, served in a wrap of parchment paper, or the crabcakes, which refreshingly taste more of crab than cake. There are more than 50 wines on the list, and while the dinner selections—which shift almost on a whim—can be overwhelming, the $32 chef's choice fixed meal takes the pressure off and yields little you'll regret. 

Ideal meal: About five plates per person should do you right.

Best deal: Glasses of wine are $5 to $10.

Pro tip: Let the kitchen choose for you. The menu will make you cross-eyed.

4:30-10:30 pm Monday-Thursday, 4:30-11:30 pm Friday, 9:30 am-11:30 pm Saturday, 9:30 am-10:30 pm Sunday. $$-$$$.


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