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Bend's Blacksmith Restaurant named best in Northwest by Conde Nast!
One of only in sixteen in the United States!


Blacksmith Restaurant makes Conde Nast List

The Bulletin
By Cathy Carroll and Kevin Max
Published April 30, 2004

The Blacksmith Restaurant on Greenwood Avenue earned worldwide acclaim this month when it was named to Conde Nast Traveler’s annual Hot List of the best new restaurants.

The tiny restaurant in a former blacksmith shop built in 1923 was rated as one of the world’s 66 top new restaurants, of which 18, are in the U.S. The year-old restaurant, co-owned by executive chef Gavin McMichael, joins the ranks of Cafe Boulud by the renowned chef Daniel Boulud and Per Se in New York City, whose chef is known for one of the country’s top restaurants, French Laundry.

“This definitely puts us on the map and puts a spotlight on Bend,” McMichael, said. “It also put us in some very good company.

Conde Nast Traveler has a circulation of more than 750,000. The Blacksmith is the only restaurant from the Pacific Northwest to make the list, according to Tabatha Simmonds, president of Bend - Based Define Public Relations which represents The Blacksmth.

McMichael has trained under some of the worlds top gourmet chefs in the south of France and America’s Southwest. He was the executive sous chef for Stephan Pyles, who specializes in Southwestern cuisine, and Mark Kiffen, the corporate executive chef of Star Canyon in Dallas.

McMichael said his years as a chef on yachts for “the rich and shameless” pushed his culinary creativity.

Buying exotic food and spices in different island ports forced him to learn on the fly. “Being the chef on a yacht makes a guy somewhat creative in a way you wouldn’t be if you were working in a regular kitchen,” he said.

The Blacksmith menu offers comfort food dressed in spices and the haute couture of creative presentations. “Its signature dishes include “Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf” with house-made ketchup, and a cider-brined pork rib chop with two-year-old smoked cheddar macaroni and cheese, slow braised greens and apple chutney.

McMichael said he was completely surprised by Conde Nast Traveler’s attention. He didn’t learn of the honor a magazine fact-checker called from Conde Nast Traveler to verify a few details.

‘Like many publications of its kind, the food critic operates in anonymity and restaurateurs seldom know when they are being rated.

Conde Nast Traveler’s designation has caused local and national ripples, McMichael said. Saturday night was already booked solid; by Thursday and national food publications Zagat and will be visiting in the future, he said.

McMichael moved here on the advice of his brother and after doing his own research. “When I came out here, it validated the research I had done,” he said. “Bend will eventually be on par with Aspen and Vail with the amount of money that’s coming in here.”

He added that Blacksmith is hoping to expand its existing restaurant on Greenwood soon.
--Cathy Carroll and Kevin Max

You really should subscribe to this local newspaper!

Four of us had dinner at The Blacksmith Restaurant on a recent Friday in May.
We had a great dinner and a fine evening. While we "dressed up" for the occasion, folks came in regular spiffy Bend attire. We were seated by our host; the servers were very skilled as befits a world class restaurant. Here are some photos of our group only. (We shared the desert!)  --Bob Speik

Copyright© 2004 by Robert Speik. All Rights Reserved.





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