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Delivering Big on Delicious
This bistro/bar combo in the Beaumont neighborhood is tearing up the notion of Asian cuisine and using it to light a fire on the Portland food scene. This self-described "inauthentic Asian cuisine" hangout combines local, fresh ingredients with Far East flair to come up with a small plates menu to delight from first bite. We sat in BarWares, the area in the back, for our foray into this NE nightspot. The space is modern and understated; the staff, well-informed and friendly. Bring on the food… Our evening started with beverages from an ample bar menu. Solid selection of regional wines, local beers, saki, and signature cocktails. The fried kale came out first, and it was nothing short of astounding. Dinner could go downhill from here and I would still give this place my highest recommendation. Dinner, of course, did not disappoint. We crushed the clams with chorizo, savored the short ribs along side the somen noodles, then finished up with the flank steak ramen. Everything has an Asian influence with the PDX twist. The Far East flavors mixed with the local bounty add up to a palate-pleasing combo. The hint of mint teamed with traditional fish sauce and rice vinegars work flawlessly. BarWares has a late-night happy hour menu that pulls in the party crowd. The street scene is seasoned with new bars and restaurants—easily an evening destination while visiting Portland. Small is beautiful.
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