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“St Jack PDX vs Lyon Bouchon” 5 of 5 stars
Review of St Jack

St Jack
1610 NW 23rd Ave., Portland, OR 97210
503-360-1281
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Ranked #258 of 3,629 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: SE 21st Ave and Clinton
Description: Chef and restaurateur Aaron Barnett's unique menu feature rustic dishes from the countryside of Lyon, the heart and soul of French cooking.
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
“St Jack PDX vs Lyon Bouchon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

If you follow our travels, we recently visited Lyon, France and had a great experience there, including experiencing great Lyon Bouchon food. So we thought it would be fun to do a direct comparison of the food we had in a Lyon Bouchon to that found in Chef Aaron's St Jack in PDX. So here we go . . .

To match the foods we had in the Lyon, at St Jack's we ordered: Tablier de Sapeur (fried tripe), salade Lyonnais, escargots, and pommes frites.

From our perspective, St Jack's clearly has taken the French Bouchon staples and elevated them to Northwest standards.

• The Tablier de Sapeur at St Jack's was more delicate (thinner) and less 'greasy' than we found in Lyon and the 'sauce' at St Jack's was balanced and even added a 'texture' to the dish that was welcomed.

• The salade Lyonnais at St Jack's is made with frisee as opposed to 'greens' in Lyon. At St. Jack's, the bacon was meaty and nicely cooked (fat rendered) while in Lyon, it was mostly fat. Both came with a poached egg on top, where St Jack's was more soft/firm and Lyon was very 'runny'.

• The escargots at St Jack's were braised vs in shell in Lyon, so not a fair comparison - both excellent.

• The pommes frites at St Jack's were excellent - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, thin, seasoned to the point of being addictive with a side of 'sauce'. In Lyon, the frites were more like steak fries in America, very large, be well done, with no seasoning, but a side of mayo.

So there you are - if you are looking for Lyon style Bouchon cuisine in PDX, clearly Chef Aaron has mastered (and in some cases elevated) the Lyon Bouchon food experience.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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76 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toledo
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Burger in Portland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Wait staff was very courteous and helpful. She described a truly gourmet experience. Great attention to detail and waitress described the sauce and reduction technique. Cooked to perfection. No ketchup and mustard needed.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Townsend WA
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“C'est tres francais!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

This is a fun restaurant. Décor is modern and contemporary - but also a bit like a French grandmother's dining room. Although some reviews complain of the noise, we thought the noise level was just enough to create a sense of vibrancy

The menu is unique - a blend of beautiful, fresh NW seafood embellished with a French touch. Oh - and not to forget the craft cocktails. I had the French Pearl - an alchemist's mix of absinthe, lime, mint, and gin - so delicious. After that came the octopus which was brightly flavored with a pleasant crunch - although a tad salty. The butter lettuce salad was divine - and spoke of spring with its radish and avocado accents. Unfortunately the bouillabaisse was sold out by the time we ordered, but the onglet with fries was so classically French and delicious as was the house signature dish - the coquille St. Jacques which we ordered instead - although the latter dish was a bit over-salted as well. Then came dessert - an extravaganza of freshly-baked mini-madeleines served in a French onion soup bowl - with cherries jubilee ice cream. Service was excellent and we never felt rushed. So, despite the few glitches mentioned - this meal was a wonderful experience - we felt transported to a lively French bistro and left with smiles on our faces.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Fabulous food!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

St. Jack recently moved from SE to NW Portland and is bigger, busier, noisier and every bit as fabulous as before. Calling late for a reservation, we were give a seat at the counter overlooking the kitchen which turned out to be the best seat in the house -- like dinner and a theatrical performance. The staff are amazing, and seeing what goes into preparing each meal makes the food even more special. I indulged in their Pied au Couchon --pig's feet with sweetbreads (I think) and mushrooms baked in a savory crust. About as big as a meatloaf, it arrived topped with perfect broccolini but seemed impossibly huge. Still, I ended up eating 2/3 with a bit of help from my dinner companion whose trout was equally delicious. And I'm a slender woman. It's a St. Jack classic and totally memorable. The staff are hard working and delightfully personable too. Highly recommended place!

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
143 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
220 helpful votes 220 helpful votes
“Worth a try”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

St Jack is a busy, noisy bistro with good food and a great wait staff. My steak frites were good solid simple food. The octopus appetizer was salty, and the butter lettuce salad was very good. My wife thought all of her food was over salted. The madelines and cherry ice cream were wonderful. I would come back. She might not.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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