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1001 SE Water Ave.
Portland, OR, 97214
235-2294 | Website
Neighborhood: Eastside Industrial

1001 SE Water Ave., 235-2294, clarklewispdx.com. 

[BACK-ALLEY BLISS] Unless you’re homeless or unloading a delivery truck full of industrial plumbing parts, there isn’t much reason to visit the extreme inner-eastside block of Water Avenue adjacent to the railroad tracks. Yet Clarklewis—practically an elder statesman of the restaurant scene in its eighth year—continues to persuade white people from the suburbs to park their BMWs in dimly lit alleys and convince guys with shaved heads and neck tats that it’s OK to enjoy an unironic glass of riesling. Progress be damned, Clarklewis appears to be soldiering on as many people’s high-water mark for fine dining in Portland. And why shouldn’t it? A late July menu featured everything from fried Viridian squash blossoms with basil-lime aioli to an arugula salad with burrata and marionberries and grilled lamb with farro and cherry sauce—nothing stodgy or gimmicky or precious or preachy. Just good food with impeccable service in a sleekly converted warehouse. (Keep an eye out for clever honoring-the-neighborhood touches, like the railroad-tie coat racks.) Can’t decide between cavatelli or calamari? Try the four-course family-style tasting menu ($55 per person) to experience the full range of what chef Dolan Lane has to offer. KAT MERCK.

Ideal meal: The house-specialty tagliatelle with braised lamb ragu is always in season.

Best deal: Chef’s tasting menu, $55. 

11:30 am-2 pm Monday-Friday, 4-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 4-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $$$

Features: Dinner
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Clarklewis: Restaurant Guide 2010

Food Reviews & Stories
Lunch 11:30 am-2 pm Monday-Friday; dinner 4:30-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 4:30-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $$$ Expensive.[EARNEST LOCAVORE FARE] “The cheese plate really has my heart,” our server says, upon a request for appetizer recommendations. Chipper, helpful and sporting an excellent haircut   More
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Jonanna Widner

Restaurant Guide 2009

Food Reviews & Stories
Lunch and happy hour—that’s when to frequent the former capital of the fallen Ripe food empire. Sure, you’ll miss seafood starters (scallops with sweet corn and chanterelles), toothsome antipastos (arugula, burrata, yellow beans and grilled peaches) and heartier entrees (roasted po   More
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 LAURA MCCANDLISH

Restaurant Guide 2008

Food Reviews & Stories
The oh-so-humbly-lowercased [not here! -Ed.] remnant of the Ripe conglomerate is named for a duplex of pioneers, and along with its now-defunct sister restaurants it was indeed one of the granddaddies of the modern regime of Northwest dining: local, organic, seasonal ingredients; casual-industrial d   More
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 Matthew Korfhage

Finder 2008

Food Reviews & Stories
Clarklewis has some of the best salads, appetizers and cocktails in town—from bitter chicorypaired with nectarines to a stunningly simple wax-bean salad—even if the entrees don’t alwaysmeasure up. VERY EXPENSIVE.   More
Friday, July 4, 2008

Restaurant Guide 2007

Food Reviews & Stories
Now with a new owner (Bruce Carey has replaced ripe’s Michael Hebb and Naomi Pomeroy) and a new chef (Daniel Mattern in, Morgan Brownlow out), clarklewis has grown past its enfant terrible stage. It has settled into providing Portland with some of the best salads, appetizers and cocktails in t   More
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 Kevin Allman
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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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