Navarre – A Kerns Neighborhood Bistro

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Navarre may be my favorite restaurant on Restaurant Row (NE 28th between Glisan and Burnside). Very European in its presentation – candlelit and cozy, serving creative bistro fare.

The menu is ever changing and all the dishes are offered in small or large portions. The set up is perfect for eating tapas style with a few friends. Which is my favored dining style, hands down. Their bread is from Ken Forkish’s eponymous Ken’s Artisan Bakery.

Navarre will have you eating with and through the seasons

While the food is rustic, the unusual pairings of ingredients keep me coming back, curious as to what’s on the menu tonight.  I like how there are some staples, let’s say duck.  In June, you will find duck with a cherry sauce on the menu.  As the summer moves on, it’s duck with blackberry sauce. 

And eventually that gives way to a spiced apple sauce paired with the same rich cut of duck meat.  Your autumnal dinner can feature things like sunchoke and hedgehog mushroom salad. Rabbit in walnut sauce.  And don’t leave out the housemade pickles – the purple kohlrabi was a winner.

Navarre loads up on veggies from 47th Avenue Farm and preserves the summer goodness.   Honestly, come August, their crew is working around the clock to preserve summer in a jar. And besides delighting our palette, it is a feast for the eyes. Hundreds of colorful, vegetable laden jars line the walls and give the restaurant a unique artistry and a cozy touch.

The sister restaurants Angel Face and Luce are both within blocks. They all share a common thread, which is an extensive wine list, simply yet tasteful decor, and tapas style eating. Navarre is the most developed as far as menu selection. But check them all out next time you are strolling through the Kerns.

  • 10 NE 28th Avenue
  • Portland, 97232

** Also of interest on Portland’s Original Restaurant Row is the less elevated, but undeniably delicious selection of pizzas of many origins.

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