Friday, January 25, 2008

The Scene: Terroir Closed

When folks around here heard that a high-end dining establishment called Terroir was going in on the corner of NE Fremont and MLK Jr. Boulevard, the collective "Wha.....?" could be heard echoing through the neighborhood. Not that a restaurant in the former King Food Market (i.e. a Quickie Mart in a lively drug zone) was a bad idea. It's just that no one could imagine going in there for a romantic (and expensive) dinner as cars zoomed in and out of the gas station across the street and the street folk that still stumble up and down the boulevard gazed blearily through the windows.

Interestingly, no one of my acquaintance had tried the place and I'd read but one moderate review of the food. Early on, rumor had it that owner Stu Stein was willing to make a go of it through the end of 2007 after less than six months of being open, which seemed a bit of a tight timeline to get a restaurant up and running smoothly. So it was not a huge surprise today when I heard that it has officially closed.

Nick Zukin of PortlandFood.org, as well as being the Zuke in Kenny & Zuke's, is saying that he got word from Cole Danehower (who'd consulted on the wine list) that Stein had called Danehower to say that the restaurant is closed. If you hear any updates, do tell.

4 comments:

christa said...

portlandfoodanddrink.com has a pretty good rundown of what happened there...

kab said...

Click here for that rundown.

Karl Kesel said...

Yeah, I was on Terroir's email list, so I got a quick notice the other day that they had closed. I hadn't known about Stein's plagarism problems (which are just sad), all I knew was that he had written a cookbook about sustainable eating-- an attitude I heartily endorse-- and so I was hoping things would work out well for him in PDX. But my wife and I could see trouble from the very beginning-- without ever tasting one mouthful of his food. "Terroir" is just flat-out a horrible name for a restaurant! I don't care if it is French for the bond between the land and it's food-- it's a word that means absolutely nothing to most people out there. Worse-- it's a name that's hard to pronounce, even when you know how to say it! And worst of all, the word it brings to mind more than any other is TERROR! In post 9-11 American that is NOT the first connection you want in people's minds! It was like having a death wish...

kab said...

Same thought here...if you can't say it, you can't go there. "Hey, honey, let's go to that Te...Ter...uh, Applebees!"

And if you'd like to forward that e-mail to me, I'd be happy to post it here.