Restaurant of the Year: Coquine
In opening Coquine, Katy Millard and Ksandek Podbielski brought a new style of cuisine to Portland: upscale neighborhood casual. Through refined French cooking techniques, creative sourcing, and an expert wine list, Coquine has forced even hardcore urbanites to drive to the cozy Mount Tabor location.
Stone Cold Stunner: La Moule
La Moule opened up its dark blue mussel shell-themed spot with Continental swagger, made all the more pronounced by an intimate menu that practically forces diners to brush fingertips, elbows, knees, etc. But at the end of the day, the old-school diner booths and Lou Reed soundtrack take effect: La Moule isn't a mussel and frites restaurant; it's a mussel and frites bar.
Bartender of the Year: Jesse Card
Bar manager Jesse Card played a leading role in creating the pedal-to-the-metal bar program at Bit House Saloon, featuring everything from exclusive barrels of bourbon to boozy Otter Pops. He also attracted a team of veteran bartenders, and his lowbrow-meets-highbrow signature is written across all of the bar's many historic spaces.
So Hot Right Now: Nomad PDX
Nomad.PDX settled into its perch above Shift Drinks to produce some of the most precise and inventive food in the city all year. It was this winning approach developed by chefs Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis that did it: Take weekly adventures in the Oregon countryside and turn them into exclusive multi-course fine-dining meals.