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Industrial Chic

BY JACOB PALMER

Power Lunch at Clarklewis Portland

Clarklewis Restaurant
1001 SE Water Ave., Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-2294
clarklewispdx.com

 

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Monday-Saturday, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (happy hour); Monday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; closed Sunday

Owner: Bruce Carey

Atmosphere: Repurposed warehouse setting, dark walls and decor offset by white tablecloths. Hip jams — think English indie rock band Alt-J — play over the speakers. 

Clientele: Neighborhood “makers” and tech workers. Creative types dine en masse, while software executives grab a slow-paced lunch away from the desk.

Most popular: All manner of fish — sturgeon in November, troll-caught salmon. Wood fire-grilled burger with baby greens, pickled red onion, mustard aïoli on brioche bun. Lamb and beef are periodically butchered in-house.

Best seat in the house: Next to the garage-door windows that line the east-facing wall, or near the open-air kitchen. A private room allows diners to pair lunch with business meetings.

Brag factor: Clarklewis dubs itself the “standard bearer” for the farm-to-table movement in Portland. Its website lists nine local providers, and owner Bruce Carey says the chef goes to the farmers market twice a week to source the restaurant’s dishes. “We establish direct relationships with the farmers themselves and invest professionally and personally in the work they do,” says Carey, who operates four establishments in Portland. “Each dish is created with confidence and trust in each ingredient.” Clarklewis is the second-highest producing in Carey’s restaurant group, behind Bluehour in the Pearl District.

Overheard: Co-workers dish on a colleague: “She has so many Post-it notes on her desk, I don’t know how she works, but I love her to death.” An office fashion powwow: “I feel like this just works and strikes the right balance, you know?” Another group discusses Thanksgiving travel plans: “It would benefit us to figure it out to avoid taking two cars to the same place.” Holiday dinners come under scrutiny: “My rule is simple — Absolutely no politics or bullshit.”

Critic’s corner: Daytime parking in the Central Eastside Industrial District can be a headache. 

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