Aug 19, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Is Renata Worth All the Fuss?

Aaron Lee


Don't ever use the word "haters." It has no meaning.
The Oregonian currently is in the hands of a publisher that seems to want to take a paper that wasn't especially good in the first place and ruin it utterly. Surreal editorial choices are the rule of the day over there, and I wondered about it when I saw them falling all over this restaurant, too.
It you said; that there's plenty of other places one could go and have exactly this experience, if not better.
cue the people who work there/friends of the owners coming here to defend it...
Rich, you do realize that the publisher of the O recently decamped to the (poor, doomed, sorry-for-them because they were kinda great) Eugene Register Guard?

This does make me wonder: is there are a reason why the ROY is so often newish? Given ups and downs, it seems there should be more focus on existing restaurants that have upped their game - which is harder to do, and which there is less incentive to do when you have established regulars. (For EG: has Raven & Rose gotten any better since that dismal first chef left? Has Jenn Louis done anything to make Lincoln stand out lately?) I'm just waxing philosophical, but mostly, I'm just tired of NEW restaurants.
I did not, rangerhunter. N. Chris is off to destroy another paper, eh?
And yeah: I keep wondering too why pretty much all restaurant reviews focus on the new ones only, and rarely keep up with how the old venerables are doing, much less how the former flavors-of-the-month are keeping up. Seems like a huge oversight.
To be fair to the O, they also do revisit a lot of old favorites when doing their annual food guide. Unfortunately they tend to be brief, even the top restaurants.

Also to be fair, Michael Russell claims that the "Restaurant of the Year" isn't necessarily the best restaurant (Renata was #11 on that list), but some combination of quality and influence on Portland food. As Andrea points out - Renata doesn't look like other Portland restaurants, and could be a sign of things to come as the city continues to change. And also as Andrea points out - it's been an oddly slow year for "big" openings.

Personally? I think they got their two accolades mixed. If they needed something new and impressive, Kachka should have been restaurant of the year rather than Renata. They're established enough to be a tad more credible, and they're certainly both excellent and original.

It's true that Portland doesn't really have an "LA style restaurant" like Renata, but Portland also didn't have a "Vegas style" restaurant like Lucier (or Quartet, ugh) and we all saw how that worked out. Though Renata at least sounds like it's got the quality to back it up, and maybe in a year it will be a brilliant pick.
I resent the implication that I live under a Himalayan pink salt rock.

I rent a duplex. It's pretty great.

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