“When one of Portland's best new restaurants opens across from one of its best dive bars, strange things happen,” The Oregonian critic Michael Russell noted in his 2012 “A” review of Ox (the paper’s restaurant of the year in 2013). One such thing was the sight, in Billy Ray’s Neighborhood Dive, of men in sports coats sipping drinks while waiting for a table at the no-reservations, Argentine-inspired Portland steakhouse on the other side of the street. Husband-and-wife chef team Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton (Food & Wine’s 2014 Best New Chefs, and nominees for a 2015 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest) seem to have done everything right, melding inspiration from Argentina’s wood-fired grilling tradition with the culinary heritage of France, Spain, and Italy.
The menu is broken up into Entradas (starters), Asados (grilled items), Del Huerto (“from the garden”), and Braises and Roasts. Entradas include empanadas, bruschetta, and, for the more adventurous, spicy braised beef tripe and octopus or grilled lamb heart with charred leek purée. There are 11 grilled items, including rib-eye, short rib, lamb shoulder, and maple-brined pork loin; we could go on, but you should probably just order the asado Argentino for two, which includes short rib, chorizo, morcilla, skirt steak, and sweetbreads. “From the garden” is a fun menu heading for a list of dishes that includes hominy stew with braised pork belly, chiles, cilantro, and olive oil-fried duck egg, but that kind of gives you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into at Ox. How do you say no to Brussels sprouts "everything"-style with bagel seasoning, chive mascarpone, and smoked salmon roe, anyway?
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015