Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Portland Restaurant: Q Restaurant

What: Q Restaurant & Bar
Where: 828 SW 2nd Ave
When: Dinner daily, lunch on weekdays, and brunch on weekends
Honey's Heart: The Quiche

Veritable Quandary, a classic old Portland restaurant and favorite of downtown professionals and travelers alike, recently closed its doors after 45 years. The property that was home to VQ is being turned into a new Portland Courthouse (boring) and so the GM and chef were forced to start a new venture or, in some ways, replicate their previous one.

Q Restaurant, their new spot, does share much of the same vibe as VQ with dark wood, similar menu items, the bar separated from dining space, etc. It is missing VQ's beloved patio, but we have insider news that Q is working with businesses in the building with the hopes of utilizing the rooftop at some point in the future.

Anyway, here's the real question. Is it worth the trek downtown on a weekend morning?

We started our brunch at Q with grapefruit mimosas, which were some much needed hair of the dog for this gal who had indulged in wine, fireball shots, and vodka sodas the night prior.

Katie also ordered a black coffee with cream and sugar (which I shared with her...did I mention the state I was in?) and it was beautifully presented. Perhaps taking up a bit too much table space, but never-the-less an upscale coffee experience.

To amp up our citrus intake, we also enjoyed Grapefruit Slices ($5) with green tea simple syrup and mint. If you're looking for something super light and refreshing, this is a great starter dish to share. One for a group of four would probably be great.

For our savory brunch items, we opted for the quiche special ($16), which we learned Chef Annie only makes occasionally. It was definitely our favorite dish with sweetness from caramelized onions and hearty squash and cheese, and I think probably they should just make it all the time. I would be fairly disappointed if I went there for brunch and didn't get to have this!

We also shared the Chilaquiles ($15) which were tasty and beautifully presented. Our waiter had also recommended the Monte Cristo and I feel like that could have been a good direction for us - apparently it's the real deal.

On the sweet side, we shared the Pugliese French Toast ($14) with bananas, mascarpone, and candied walnuts and Cinnamon & Sugar Churros ($7) with dipping chocolate. Unfortunately, both slightly missed the mark on texture and flavor. The french toast felt bland and a bit dry to us, and the churros weren't quite crispy enough on the outside, leaving the whole bite with a pretty doughy consistency.

We should also mention that the service we received during our visit was impeccable, right down to the thoughtful tour of the kitchen that Q's GM Erin took us on.

So, will Q be around in 40 some years like its predecessor? Will people be up in arms when/if it closes? I'm not sure yet, but I think the new location combined with the strong references to its predecessor is nothing but a good thing.