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A Return to Redmond: Chloe's new location is back where it began 

Chloe's new location is back where it began

click to enlarge northredmondstation_crab_cakes2.jpg
Just months after leaving Redmond and settling in at a new location in the FivePine complex in Sisters, Chloe New American Cuisine got an offer in its old hometown it couldn't refuse. A space opened up in the Sleep Inn conference center, formerly occupied by Canyons. With its built-in customer base at the hotel and fully equipped dining room and kitchen ready for action, the opportunity was too good to pass up. This time, though, instead of moving, Chef Jerry Phaisavath and wife Elaine Larson decided to expand, and a new Chloe was born. Though Chloe's loyal Redmond clientele, signature dishes and even Chloe logo are prominent, the new restaurant, named North Redmond Station, has a personality of its own that will likely continue to develop as it adapts to its new surroundings.

The space, from what I can tell, is largely unchanged from its Canyons days. Obviously, a large part of the appeal for taking on the project was that as soon as the new menus were printed it could open for business. That's understandable, however, after seeing the impeccable décor of the Sisters restaurant with every detail carefully considered, I can only lament what could have been if Phaisavath and Larson had started here from scratch. As it stands, they inherited a comfortable, if not a little corporate, space complete with adjacent bar and rock wall fountain befitting a hotel and conference center, but not on a par with what they are capable of.

That said, everything else at North Redmond Station met the high standards of its sister in Sisters. In fact, the menu is identical or nearly so, and the execution is as impressive. The wine list consists of mostly Oregon, Washington and California bottles many of which are quite affordable. Almost purely for the attractive label spotted on the wine rack at the host station on the way in, we chose a $27 Desert Wind Ruah to accompany our meal. It was a nice medium-bodied red and a great value. For starters, I was all set to order the Grilled Sea Scallops with Basil Pesto ($8) in a citrus butter. (I'm a rebel. I always drink red, even with seafood!) But after two different servers offered unsolicited recommendations for the Chloe Crab Cakes ($10), I changed direction. They did not disappoint. Perfectly firm and dressed with a tomato-ginger jam, the blend of crabmeat, whitefish and scallops made for a winning combination. Set on a pool of balsamic reduction and accompanied by a tasty apple-carrot-radicchio slaw, it's no wonder the servers were so enthusiastic.

Entrees were equally strong. Now, I almost never order either pasta or chicken in a restaurant. I consider pasta an interloper that would only be taking up precious stomach space that was meant for greater things like bacon and steak. And, to quote wise friend and fellow food writer Brett Martin, chicken is the "chicken" of food. However, this time I made an exception on both fronts after I read the description of the Cajun Fettuccini with Grilled Breast of Chicken ($16). The fettuccini and chicken both rose above their station, but it was the Cajun spiced cream sauce, smoked bacon, andouille sausage, peppers, onions, spinach and shaved parmesan that made the dish. It was delicious. The Pork Chop ($19), a thick, seared center cut, was excellent in a rosemary-balsamic glace, topped with shredded, battered and fried green onions, and served with a lovely little scoop of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, sautéed broccolini and braised red cabbage.

Service was helpful and solicitous, bordering on giddy. In looking around, other tables seemed to be equally chatty. Perhaps it's just a Redmond thing and I wouldn't understand, but more likely, it's that everyone is just excited to have the folks from Chloe back in town. I can certainly understand why.

North Redmond Station

1857 NW 6th St, Redmond, 316-2029

Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and dinner 5 - 9 p.m. daily


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