EAT THIS CITY is your weekly tour of the best restaurants in one of our favorite cities, as chosen by top chefs. This week, we visit Portland, Oregon, with husband and wife chef team, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton. Seems Portland is for Lovers, too!
Anyone who’s seen Portlandia has a vision of Portland as a hot bed of coffee snobs, feminists, and obsessive recyclers. A place where people get eggs from the chickens in their backyards, and carry their dogs in harnesses. A Mecca for farmers’ markets, independent bookstores, and sustainable brunch. The stereotypes — expertly exaggerated by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein — aren’t completely fabricated. But who wouldn’t want artisan donuts and single origin sipping chocolate?
The truth is, it sounds pretty great to live in an eco-friendly town that cares about equality and art, and also has lots of awesome places to eat.
Portland is also a great place to move if you’re ready to settle down, but want to hang onto a little bit of urban edge (in a laid back Pacific Northwest kind of way). That’s what Chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton did in 2008 after their “romance was set ablaze” at the grill station in Napa. They opened OX in 2012, honoring the wood-firing traditions of Argentina, and the culinary heritage of Spain, France, and Italy. They were James Beard Finalists for Best Chef’s Pacific Northwest in 2015, and have a new restaurant called SuperBite opening up in March.
Greg Denton says that being a husband and wife team usually means the press wants to put you in your separate boxes (okay, who’s the pastry chef and who’s the executive chef here?), but he insists they are fifty-fifty owners and co-head chefs. They come up with all the dishes together in an environment of complete trust and mutual respect. The dream of the ’90s is alive!