New dining: Pho Viet, Boken, Gatsby’s

Tan Vo at his new restaurant

There’s a lot of action on the Central Oregon dining scene as 2011 begins. Here’s a quick look:

Who’s in

Bend has never, to my knowledge, had a Vietnamese restaurant. The wonderful little Saigon Village in Redmond’s Fred Meyer shopping plaza recently closed, but it’s place is now being taken in Bend by Pho Viet & Cafe.

Tan Vo and his wife Tammy, have moved from Portland to open an authentic Vietnamese restaurant in the old Rico’s Tacos building on Business Highway 97. Tan promises he’ll have it up and running on Monday morning, January 17.

I’m anticipating steaming bowls of the incomparable beef-noodle soup known as pho (and pronounced fuh), along with crispy rice-flour crepes and chicken simmered in coconut milk.

Pho Viet will be open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day; 1326 N.E. 3rd St., Bend, 541-382-2929.

Boken will open by Feb. 9 in the breezeway between Wall and Brooks streets, according to owner and executive chef Justin Cook.

A Japanese izakaya-style drinking-and-eating establishment, Boken will feature small plates from various east and southeast Asian culinary traditions said Cook, who also owns the Kanpai Sushi and Sake Bar on Newport Avenue.

Michael Murphy, a Bend native with extensive Asian culinary experience, will be the chef at the restaurant. It will be open Tuesday through Saturday nights.

Gatsby’s Brasserie Bar, Gavin McMichael’s new venture, is scheduled to open February 11 in the former Marz location in downtown Bend.

McMichael is phasing out the old “global cuisine” menu and transitioning into classic American-style dishes of the 1920s and ’30s, including beef stroganoff and chicken tetrazzine.

New decor will feature red-velvet upholstery with brass trim. 

Meanwhile, Hola!, a well-known Mexican-Peruvian restaurant with two locations in Bend, will be opening a new location in Sunriver in the spring. Executive chef and owner Marcos Rodriguez said Hola! will take over the former Trout House. More to come on that. 

These restaurants opened in Bend in late 2010, many of them replacing former tenants: Letzer’s Deli, Taylor’s Sausage, Common Table, Level 2, Old Mill Brew Werks, M Bar, Brickhouse, Bond Street Grill and Caldera Grille.

Several other restaurants opened earlier in 2010, among them Tart Bistro, Bourbon Street Sea & Soul Food, Amalia’s, Original Kayo’s, Spice Box and Thai Thai.

Who’s out

Of restaurants that have recently departed, I will especially miss Cork, Marz, Giuseppe’s and Tony’s Delicatessen.

Cork was a Bend classic for nine years, a fine-dining restaurant with a superb wine bar. Located at 150 N.W. Oregon Avenue, Cork closed in early June and reopened in September as Common Table.

If nine years was a long time, consider that Peggy Falcaro had Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant for 25 years. She tried some new ideas to stimulate business, but original recipes for lasagna and other Italian classics served her best. Giuseppe’s closed in November and was promptly replaced by the Caldera Grille.

Marz was a pioneer in global cuisine locally, but it had recently lost its edge to other global restaurants, including Level 2 and the Spork mobile kitchen.

Tony’s Deli, in the Safeway Century Plaza complex on Bend’s west side, was hands down my favorite place in Oregon to get a Philly steak sandwich. Alas. I’ll have to find a new location.



Filed under Restaurants

2 responses to “New dining: Pho Viet, Boken, Gatsby’s

  1. J Arcane

    Pho Viet just opened today. We were on our way to the Taj Palace and decided to stop in there instead when we saw the open sign.

    We both had the “special combination” Pho, which was absolutely fantastic.

    I recommend checking it out.

  2. Amy Scott

    NOT WORTH THE HORRIBLE TREATMENT. Ordered a large soup and a lemongrass honey chicken dish that came with white rice. My son ate the rice and the chicken was way too salty. I told the owner when he came by my table that the chicken was too salty for me. He took the dish away then returned from the back and set it on the table next to me. He took a bite of it and a woman worker both tried it. He said, “It is just fine”….I couldn’t believe he wanted to argue with me over this stupid salty chicken. I told him I would go ahead and pay for the rice and my soup. He said fine. When I went to the register the owner said, “You ate my rice so I charge you $3.00” I said, “But the menus says a side of rice is $1.99?” He said “ok, but you wasted our chicken and it was just fine”. I couldn’t believe he wanted to argue with me. I paid my bill and the owner then said “Because you wasted a beautiful plate of our food DON’T COME BACK I HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE AND YOU TOO DIFFICULT”. All I said was the chicken was salty. As far as I knew everything was fine up until I got to the register. I couldn’t believe it. I have never been treated like this EVER and because I didn’t like their dish. Good luck to anyone that says they don’t like something…if you don’t the owner will tell you not to come back. It’s not worth being treated like dirt.

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