2225 NE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BLVD. 503-284-3366

Photo credit: oxpdx

At a steakhouse, you expect the big chunk of meat to be the star of the show. At Greg and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton’s Argentine-inspired Ox, steak is only a player in a meal whose gargantuan flavours present with admirable balance. In the spacious, exposed-brick and wood-table dining room on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, almost everyone orders the chowder. The soup is a masterpiece: rich from milk, cream and the smoked marrow bone that sits atop a pile of fat clams, and heated gently with slivers of jalapeño. Th e chorizo is airy and rounded with warm spice, and the sweetbreads are like umami gumdrops. The taters, even, are terrific. And even if the flatiron is a little blandly beefy, the skirt steak is set off with a masterful chimichurri. Though the ox at Ox feels like it takes a back seat to everything else, the Dentons remain two of the few chefs in Portland who can make a 1,200-pound cow dance.

> Walker Macmurdo

5-10 pm Sunday-Thursday;
5-11 pm Friday-Saturday