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Rich Table or AQ?

averilpdx Oct 9, 2012 08:34 PM

Hi SF folks. My husband and I have a rare kid-free weekend coming up in early November (we live in Portland, OR). Saturday night I have reservations at both Rich Table and AQ. I need to cancel one of them (soon... I don't want to take up a reservation unnecessarily). I am having a hard time deciding between the two. I eat vegetarian + fish, and my husband is an omnivore. Benu seemed appealing, but tasting menus are usually full of lots of meaty things that I don't want.Rich Table seems a bit more like places we have in Portland, but it's hard to tell. We are staying in SOMA, so AQ is closer to our hotel, but I don't know where we'll be pre-dinner, so that may not play into it. We want a great, memorable meal, but nothing too formal or stuffy. Looking for more unusual flavors and a more "modern" experience, food that offers a bit of a surprise, but nothing too cerebral or "trying too hard." Food that is prepared in more of a "clean" style- vibrant flavors, not crazy heavy is preferable. I know that AQ has been around longer than RIch Table, and it seems like RT is getting a lot of buzz right now, but don't know how many people have actually had a chance to eat there. Any insight or more detailed description of the food/experience at these two places would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: averilpdx Oct 10, 2012 09:02 AM

    I haven't been to Rich Table to compare, but AQ does really good and original things with vegetables and grains.

    1. pane RE: averilpdx Oct 10, 2012 10:43 AM

      I've been to both in the last month and would highly recommend....both of them. Really excellent dining experiences, and I think both are creative without that "try too hard" air that can make fine dining a drag.

      Dining room at AQ is much larger and airier--I'd give it the nod atmosphere wise. Both menus have excellent fish options--I think I ate primarily fish or grains at both. Both have full bars if that factors in: I preferred my cocktail at Rich Table and had great wine recommendations at AQ.

      Sorry if that's not a helpful, forceful answer. If I were you, I'd make it a gut-feeling question based on scanning their online menus. Which appeals more?

      2 Replies
      1. re: pane
        grayelf RE: pane Oct 10, 2012 01:49 PM

        I am also trying to decide between AQ and RT for early November. Sounds like maybe we should hit both!

        1. re: grayelf
          pane RE: grayelf Oct 10, 2012 05:09 PM


      2. t
        tjinsf RE: averilpdx Oct 12, 2012 03:39 AM

        I've only eaten once at Rich Table and eat at AQ every month so it's not a fair comparison but I would still pick AQ. Rich Table is still working out kinks I think.

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