Roe: Restaurant Guide 2014

3113 SE Division St., 232-1566,

[BIG-LEAGUE DINING] Don't let Roe intimidate you. Sure, our 2013 Restaurant of the Year creates tightly curated tasting menus expensive enough most diners could only afford them once a year, within a hallowed sanctum hidden in the rear of an entirely different restaurant. But at its heart, Roe remains a wholehearted invitation by chefs Trent Pierce and Patrick Schultz to share in their enthusiasm for the ingredients they've gathered personally and to expand your perception of how they can be handled. The guest's choice tasting menu ($75) lets you choose of one dish from each of four sections, raw fish, shellfish, fin fish and dessert—and frankly you'll want them all, so bring adventurous, well-heeled friends. A recent seating opened up with a ceviche of ono bathed in a nuoc mam nestled into ingenious lime sugar wafers that dissolved on the tongue and lent an acid-sweet pop to the whole bite. A gorgeous fillet of Chinook salmon was the highlight of the fin fish, cooked so gently that it retained its natural color but had a bite like a salty, smoky custard, buoyed by sweet elote corn. The evening was capped with a humble goat cheese served with a quenelle of sour cherry sorbet on a preternaturally crispy hazelnut crumble. When taken as a single bite, the array is pretty much the best cherry cheesecake you'll ever eat. Which pretty much summarizes the Roe experience: a series of perfect bites that you will reflect on for quite awhile. BRIAN PANGANIBAN.

Pro tip:

Bring a friend. Both of you order the four-course menu. Have that friend order whatever you don't. Enjoy. Also, Roe tends to hold a few reservations back for phone callers—so if the online system boxes you out on a birthday, try that.

5:15-9:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday. Reservations required. $$$$