Barroom Blitz

The Oregonian A&E - October 27, 2006

This year-old spot on the streetcar line captures the essence of the new Pearl District, with plenty of attention to the space's physical details. The banquette seats are covered in lush tan leather and the white marble bar seems to go on for miles. There's a refreshing quiet to the proceedings - a nice alternative to so many noisy bars - with the still only broken up by soft jazz and the rattle of ice cubes in cocktail shakers.

Mixology: This place takes traditional cocktails seriously, emphasizing such classics as Gibsons, Gimlets, and crisply dry martinis. For a walk on the exotic side there's a Rose City martini: cucumber-flavored gin given extra complexity from a splash of rose water. Think of it as a garden in a glass.

Bar bites: A half-dozen starters emphasize seafood and cheese, which are more interesting taste partners for wine. A main dish of smoked-salmon carbonara sounds promising, but the glutinous pasta tastes overcooked.

A sobering point: For all the attention that's been paid to the look of the space, it's a pity the food doesn't aim higher.

Find it: 925 N.W. 11th Ave.; 503-546-2900

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