PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK.
NOW WILLAMETTE WEEK NEEDS YOU.

The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

Noble Rot

2724 SE Ankeny St., 233-1999. Dinner Monday-Saturday $$ Moderate.

Noble Rot is the type of dining oasis you'd expect to find tucked away on the side streets of Lyon or Barcelona. At this convivial spot with a long bar that fronts the open kitchen, a solo patron can linger over a small plate and a glass of wine, or grab a table and some friends and make an evening of it. It's a neighborhood place, but it also remains one of the worthiest destinations in the city, especially on a summer evening when its string of outdoor tables breathe life into Southeast Ankeny Street. Here, wine is treated as food, and it's paired well with a banquet of intensely seasonal small plates, including a salad of beets, endives, hazelnuts and blue cheese or the slightly sweet carrot soup with fava beans. The onion tart is always a sure bet, as is the tender duck confit slightly sweetened by roasted turnips with swiss chard and a briny duck jus. Do not skip dessert, especially if the spongy olive-oil cake with seasonal fruit is on the roster. (MT)

Signature dish: The benchmark

mac 'n' cheese.

Standouts: Crème brûlée and a truly thoughtful wine list.

Regrets: That Noble Rot runs out of choice outdoor tables on warm summer evenings.