I've been to Brian's many times over the last few years and always enjoyed the atmosphere. The bar scene is almost always alive with energy, yet there's plenty of space for a quiet, romantic dinner inside or outside.
Recently they hired a new executive chef and the food is now the main reason to go. The new chef was the owner of Sophie's in Hood River. Sophie's was the best restaurant in Hood River, unfortunately their non-downtown location didn't allow them to thrive. Luckily for Brian this means he gets the best chef at the best atmosphere/location!
Right now the squash blossoms and salmon can't be beat. I never order something as pedestrian as chicken at a restaurant, but the chicken dish changes often and is always cooked to perfection with amazing flavor/sides.
If you are in the mood for a cocktail Julie or Ben will whip up a pretty damn good drink that will compare well against any of Portland's best mixologists. A recent drink made with fresh strawberries and egg whites might be the best drink I've ever enjoyed.
Also, if you go around back they have a private patio where you can enjoy the Hood River summer and can fit more than the smaller tables that are on the front patio.
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