Our friends have been talking about St Jack for a while, so we finally coordinated a date with them to try it out. It’s pretty much as close to a French bistro as you can find in Portland- a charming and comfortable neighborhood place on Clinton Street. For starters we tried the Salad Lyonnaise- frisée, bacon, and poached egg. I love just about anything topped withpoached eggs. Then there was an appetizer of marinated anchovies, beets, and onions on toasts that Mark is still talking about. We had shallot and garlic cheese spread on the best baguette in town. For the main course I has a boneless whole roasted trout with a warm lentil salad. The rest of the table had the most amazing mussels and steak frites (the best frites I have ever eaten). There were enough mussels for everyone. Desserts, including a rhubarb mousse cake (with a candle for Mark’s birthday) and a chocolate parfait layered with cherries and cream were quite good. This is the first restaurant in a long time that I’m looking forward to revisiting. The very attractive staff (including a bartender who was photographed for GQ the night we were there- check out the September 2012 issue) were friendly and helpful. St Jack may be my new favorite restaurant.
St Jack Revisited (Aug 2015)
Our first visit to St Jack was at their original tiny space on Clinton St (Portland). They've moved to a much larger space on 23rd and have lost some of the coziness that made the original special. We started with the butter lettuce salad with herbs, avocado, radish and croutons with a Dijon vinaigrette. Mark had the lamb t-bone with potatoes, peas, tarragon and cognac sauce. I had the fried branzine (fish) served with an interesting Caesar salad that included cherry tomatoes and bacon lardons. We ended with chocolate swan profiteroles- clever, but not sure why they were swans. The food is still amazing but there are two things I'd change about their space: the tables are too close together so it feels like you're sharing your meal with the next tables, and the music was too loud. It is a very live space and the noise level was so high it was even hard for our waiter to hear.
1610 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210