Jacqueline Portland


Every now and again I find myself in the downstairs commercial space of an old wooden, west coast apartment block, somewhere in the yupster suburbs of Portland. Okay, so far it has only happened once, but I sought this place out. After a quick scan through the local restaurant scene via blogs and reviews, Jacqueline jumped out at me as the kind of place that I would love to eat for its simple, yet delicate seafood with an Oregonian flair.

Uber has made evenings like this possible for me, while not that much different than a cab, the accessibility and convenience makes it significantly different than a cab — particularly when venturing out into the burbs of Hosford-Abernethy. Normally I might have just stayed downtown. Eureka!

Upon arrival, the place is packed. Even the bar is full to the brim. This is mildly annoying, but also positively reassuring. I take a wander around the neighbourhood, which I would say is worth the field trip from downtown with its collection of bars and quaint eateries.

After a short wander I’m gracefully allowed into Jacqueline…wait…never mind. At the bar I am greeted by a painting of Bill Murray in character as Steve Zissou, and an array of decent, but unpretentious whiskies. The room smells like a more delicious version of the ocean.

Since this is Portland, the beer is great, but I’m getting more of a wine and cocktail vibe from this place, and being that we’re in Oregon I veer away from the Italian and French offerings and stick to the Oregon Pinot.

My meal begins with the Dungeness crab toast, and progresses to the halibut with fresh morel mushrooms in a garlic green tea broth. The menu is such that it is difficult to choose just one entree to eat. I could have easily had an entire tray of oysters, or a lobster roll, but alas the dad life is catching up with me, so I only eat one dinner.

Something about Jacqueline is enchanting. The food is on point, the ambience is a few degrees north of hipster, the staff has an effortlessness about them, and generally speaking I think they just get it. I don’t have a Portland regular yet, but maybe this will be it? See you next time Jacqueline.

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