Friday, July 13, 2012


1001 SE Water Avenue
Happy Hour 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday

I absolutely loved clarklewis!  I loved it so much, in fact, that I went twice in the past two weeks.  The first time I forgot my camera, and the second time I was so excited to eat that I forgot to take pictures (so you will have to settle for phone pictures).

What stands out first about this restaurant is the atmosphere, especially on a beautiful, sunny Portland summer day.  The bar area opens up garage-door style, so you can sit and look outside and feel a nice breeze coming through.  The rest of the restaurant is also beautiful, and the kitchen is open so you can see what is going on behind the scenes.

While the Happy Hour cocktail menu is a bit gin-heavy for my taste (they have a gin martini and gin gimlet, both $5) , they do have glasses of wine and beer as well.  On my first visit I ordered a glass of the white ($5) and really enjoyed it.  The second time I ordered Kolsh beer ($4), which was also refreshing on a summer day.

I ordered the Grand Central bread with fleur de sel ($2), and there was something really special about the butter. It tasted like it had just been churned in the back, and it was lightly salted.  It was pretty incredible for such a simple thing.  My fiance started with the cold cuts ($5), and he enjoyed every bite.  I tried a bite of the pork and thought it was really good. He also got the clams ($6) and said they were good but wished there was more wine sauce.

The real star of the menu, though, was the burger ($6 plain, $9 to add an egg and a side salad--other options to add on include pork belly and blue cheese)  I ordered mine with the egg and salad.  This was my first time experiencing a burger with an egg on it, and it was fantastic, though a little messy.  This was the best burger I can remember having in the past year or so.  I got it medium well, and the beef and egg tasted extremely fresh (farm fresh?!)  The special sauce had a hint of ground mustard, which normally I am not a fan of, but it really worked on this burger.

 On both visits the service was very good.  The first time it was extra good, and on the second visit it was good but it took a while to get the food and then the check.  We were enjoying our drinks and conversation so much that we didn't really mind.  Both visits we were checked on frequently and the servers were very friendly.

I have mixed feelings about the prices here.  I think overall both times we spent a little more than we normally would for Happy Hour, but the food and the atmosphere made me feel like it was worth it.  Also, if you ordered just the cold cuts and clams like my fiance, you would not be able to make Happy Hour dinner.  If you get the burger, though, you will definitely be done for the night.  I would really like to try some other menu items, but on my second visit I ordered the exact same thing because it was so delicious, so I don't know if that will happen anytime soon! This also seems like a perfect place for a romantic date, but the dinner menu is very pricey, so you will have to save up for it!

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Exceeds
Value: Meets


Clarklewis on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on the ambiance. The place is really cool--especially in the summertime.

    I used to LOVE the place. The food was fantastic. The last time I went, however, I was really disappointed. The service was super bad (they forgot an order, screwed another one up, etc) and the food wasn't very good. The burger was overdone. I was so disappointed I didn't go back and haven't been in a year. Maybe they got a new chef. I'll give it another try.