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Gilt Club

Name: Gilt Club
Location: 306 NW Broadway Portland, OR
Contact information: 503.222.4458
Web address: www.giltclub.com
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 5 p.m.-12 a.m., Closed Monday
Reservations Recommended: Yes, especially if you want late grub
Good for: Late-night wooing
Insider tip: They’re not supposed to seat small parties in booths, but if they’re slow, servers are willing to accommodate.

Review: Dining at the Gilt Club is a guilty pleasure I’ll have to indulge in more often. I’ve yet to read a bad review of this place and after the attentive service and excellent, innovative food I had last night, I’m not surprised.

The club opened late this summer, with little fanfare. However, it’s gained some notoriety for being one of the few restaurants in town that serves food after 11 p.m. (that doesn’t come with strippers or watery eggs).

For starters, I had a dish featuring tomatoes: crostini with tomato tapenade and basil; red, yellow and green onions with drizzled oil; and a creamer-sized cup of tomato gazpacho that had just enough kick to make it worthwhile (approx. $9).

My drink was a cold Spanish coffee, complete with Kaluha, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and 151 ($8). A great choice for anyone who wants to get their night started on a sugar/caffeine/alcohol rush, but not necessarily the best selection if you want to fall asleep before midnight.

For a main course I ordered the salmon, sans applewood bacon ($24). Now, to be honest, I find that in most cases, salmon is salmon. It’s good, I like it, but it’s nothing to rave about. Although I’m sure my 151-laced drink made me slightly more excited about the fish, there is no denying that this piece of salmon, even without the bacon for embellishment, was fantastic.

The salmon was served on a bed of Yukon potatoes with asparagus (again, nothing unfamiliar there) but also with pieces of corn and tomato. What pleased me the most was that the fish could stand alone, without the accompaniments – the true test when it comes to fish.

My friend ordered the risotto that Richard Speer of Willamette Week raved about in his review ($17) . Except for the extra large piece of blue cheese I always seemed to snag when I stole a bite, I have to agree with Speer’s flattering comments.

One downside to the Gilt Club is the lack of lighting. I’m in my 20s, I’m young, I still have my sight and I couldn’t even read the menu without careening my neck and holding up the candle in an obnoxious fashion.

Service was prompt and attentive – the waitress was genuinely friendly and continued to fill up water glasses long after we’d paid. Her recommendations were spot on.

The ambiance hearkens back to the 50s with deep red high-backed seat cushions and artisan chandeliers. The throw pillows seem slightly out of place, however.

Gilt Club is one to watch, as I expect it to soon be high up in the ranks of the pretty people, who are always in search of the next Oba.