Like so many in Portland say, Ox is a Portland gem and a real treat. This was on my bucket list in my entire time in Portland (a measly 3 months) and I’m so glad I was able to go. It’s quite pricey, so it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to go alone, like my usual restaurant rendezvous. I dragged two girls there with me (well, didn’t have to try to hard to convince them) and here’s a recap of our night:
There were only 3 of us and we still waited over an hour for a table. Waited happily though. They have a neat, rustic bar they own right next door (Whey Bar). There you’ll find a typical bar like atmosphere on crack – there’s a guy shucking fresh oysters for ya, a beautiful bar and a place to take a seat, relax, throw your hands back, and have some drinks before your table is ready. We did so. I had the Pillow Fight with White Rum, Campari, Elderflower syrup, grapefruit and ginger beer. I’m a sucker for grapefruit drinks and Moscow Mules are my jam, so gingerbeer was a lovely addition. My friend had the Ox Blood, made with beet syrup – it was interesting to say the least. Kind of bitter – not my favorite. All this to say they are pretty creative for their cocktails. We also got some oysters to share. They come with three difference sauces and are DELICIOUS.
Once we were seated, we went crazy with deciding on food and wine. They actually have a few pretty delicious wines for $30 to $35, which is quite reasonable. We ended up having two bottles – I believe we had the Spanish Grenache. Very good and delicious with all the meat.
Now for the crux of the meal – we split the Asado Argentino (meat plate with short rib, house chorizo and morcilla sausage, skirt steak, sweetbreads, and the most amazing fried potatoes I’ve ever had). We also split the grilled eggplant plate, the baked house ricotta with grilled bread and the spaghetti squash. I was the fullest I’ve ever been in my life but it was such a happy day.
My favorite was the spaghetti squash, go figure! It was SO GOOD with lots of melted goat cheese, garlic and lemon. Sometimes, the simpler the better. The eggplant was a little more charred than I would prefer – I loved the idea with tahini and pomegranate – genius combination. I would have liked it to be a little softer so I could taste allll the flavors. I still ate them all anyway.
The MEAT – um amazing. I’m more of a veggie connoisseur than a meat one, but they were all so perfectly cooked with SO much flavor. Especially the short rib. And the skirt steak. I died and went to heaven.
We still ordered dessert because it was one of my friend’s birthdays. This was seriously one of the best desserts I’ve ever had, and I’m a sweet fanatic. We got the Tres Leches with vanilla bean cake, roasted banana and cocao nib ice cream with little banana chips on top. I kind of hoarded it because it was so good.
All in all, we spent 3-4 hours at Ox. Make time for it and go for a special occasion because it is truly a dining experience that you don’t want to miss. The service is absolutely impeccable.