1014 SW Stark St
Portand, OR: Potions from a master
If you eat at Clyde Common, and you should, you'll find a distinctive Portland vibe: unpretentious, lively, with food that you would be happy to eat on any occasion. That is to say, the food's interesting without spoiling the fun, not overwrought, focusing on excellent ingredients deftly handled. It's hard to pigeonhole the food; the restaurant calls it 'domestic and foreign cooking.' Modern American cuisine, then. Whatever the label, with average entrees about $20, Clyde is the model of a local favorite.
Often in such a place, you'll get the advice 'save room for dessert' and that applies here, too, with oh-my-God things like a chocolate chunk-caramel custard tartlet with peanut butter sauce and praline cream.
What you really, really want to save room for, though, is cocktails. Before, during, after. That's because their bar is run by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, one of the best cocktail-slingers (okay, mixologists) in the country.
Some swear his gin and tonic is the best they've ever had. Others look to the cocktail menu for its many memorable inventions. Good luck finding another Point Lobos on your travels, with its El Tesoro tequila, lemon, egg whites, and homemade orange-rhubarb jam; Or a Negroni, barrel-aged, that could touch this one. Even the ones with funny names like Heavy Petting and Wreck of the Hesperus are nothing to laugh at.
They're all tumbler-sized perfection.