OREGONIAN: Portland's 40 best restaurants, ranked


By Michael Russell | The Oregonian/OregonLive | Posted July 31, 2019 at 05:05 AM | Updated August 01, 2019 at 02:26 PM



Octopus and tripe in a rich tomato stew at Ox. (The Oregonian/file)

2225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Dinner, daily

Crowds come to Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton's Argentine-inspired blockbuster not just for the fish, sausages and mid-rare meats sizzling on its wood-fired grill, but also for the handful of dishes that have become household names for Portland food lovers: the bone-marrow clam chowder, the beef tongue with horseradish, the tripe and octopus. Even if you arrive late, or fail to snag one of Ox’s newly released reservations, you might be able to grab a seat at that grill counter, watch the fireworks and tuck into the mixed Asado Argentino, a platter of short rib, skirt steak, chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, fried potatoes and salad. It’s meant for two, though it’s probably better suited for three, a fact that might diminish any sticker shock from the now $94 price tag. (Still, $27 did feel like too much for a small order of tough, bone-in short rib.) The menu doesn’t change much, but several dishes, including the heirloom hominy with an olive-oil-fried duck egg or the smoked beef tongue with sweetbread croutons, reward revisiting, even when the duck egg is a bit over-fried or the tongue is somewhat dry. And we’re still suckers for Ox's desserts, particularly the hazelnut brown butter torte with delicate chamomile ice cream and stick-to-your-teeth honeycomb candy.

Order: Bone marrow clam chowder, tripe and octopus stew, the Asado Argentino, a pickle-vodka Dirty Grandma Agnes martini or the beet juice and bourbon Ox Blood cocktail, hazelnut brown butter torte.

Insider tip: Yes, you read that right. Ox started taking (limited) reservations this year, though if you want a time earlier than 9:15 p.m., you’re going to have to plan a few weeks in advance.

Daniel Weiner