Bluehour

I will rarely eat somewhere if the Yelp rating isn’t above 3 stars, but for Blue Hour I made an exception.  I think I read somewhere that they got a new executive chef, and the menu looked really tasty.  It didn’t hurt that it’s walking distance from my apartment too.  It made for a nice date night dinner.  It’s a pretty large restaurant for Portland standards, like over 50 seats? and the space just feels large and elegant.  Portland restaurants tend to feel more homey and comforting.

Tuna Tartare

When you’ve had one, you’ve had ’em all right?  This was actually a pretty nice bite, albeit a taaaaaad fishy, but it had a bit of ponzu sweet soy asuce which was nice.

Hamachi Sashimi ginger, serrano chili, wasabi, hijiki seaweed salad

We wavered on the appetizers because there were many choices that looked good.  I like deferring to the servers when this happens because they usually know better than us what’s special or delicious that day.  He said this was kind of a specialty of the chef, so it was an easy decision after that.  It looked like it was drenched in sauce, but it was actually a good balance of flavors.  The seaweed salad was actually really tasty and had Chinese inspired flavors.  I wished there were more of it!

Iced Pacific Oysters champagne mignonette

When I met Dumpling Man, he wouldn’t eat oysters, and now he shares the whole lot with me!  Ah, how I’ve changed him so, made him a real man of the world!  The food world anyways, hehe.  These were fresh and briny, but it wouldn’t have hurt for them to be plumper.  The mignonette was a nice contrast, but I usually find oysters to taste best with just a light squeeze of lemon.

Seared Maine Scallops walnut-apple brown butter, fennel puree, herb broth

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaang, these were TASTY!  I’ve had many a scallop in my life, many that I thought were well caramelized, but these were booooooooooooomb.  Yes, I said “bomb” without “da” and it’s just cooler that way, so NO judging.  No wonder those Top Chef judges always harp on the caramelization, because it makes such a big difference.  It really packs a punch of flavor, brings out that natural sweetness you never know could exist in a bivalve.  You would have thought the walnuts was a strange addition but it somehow worked.  The fennel puree turned out to to be on the runny side, maybe from the herb brother.  What resulted was some delicious sauce I was using my bread to sop up.  Overall, a winning dish in my book.

Grilled Sudan Farms Lamb Leg caramelized cauliflower, romanesco, black-olive feta tapenade

Really well prepared lamb leg, not too gamey.  The crust was flavorful and the meat was a good medium rare.  There was so much added flavor from the roasted cauliflower, the pureed whatever it was sitting on and all that sauce.  Like the previous dish, I tried to sop up the sauce with the bread.

Fleur de Sel Caramel Pot de Creme honeycrisp apples, foie mousse

Sadly, this wasn’t as exciting as it sounded, maybe because it was missing the foie mousse.  The kitchen ran out of it!  Anyways, it just tasted like something that was pre made and taken out of the fridge right before serving. The texture was aite, the taste was aite, but there was no love here and I need dessert made with love.

Bluehour was surprisingly pretty good.  The flavors and execution was spot on.  The only ding is that it is pretty darn pricey, especially for Portland, where you can get really great food at a pretty great price.  I suppose what you’re paying for is ambience because as I said before the dining environment is quite nice.  So come here for a special occasion or maybe just for drinks with friends.  There’s a nice bar area, which I’ve hung out at before.  It’s a shame this place doesn’t get more attention because it’s pretty solid.  If you only have the chance to eat at a few places in Portland, I would put this lower on your list.  It’s good, but probably not worth a trip here just for it.  One thing’s for sure though, they KNOW how to caramelize their scallops!

Bluehour

250 NW 13th Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97210 

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