BRICKHOUSE STEAKHOUSE

Food: () Top-quality beef and fresh seafood highlight the traditional menu.

Service: () Exquisitely professional: Friendly, efficient and knowledgeable.

Atmosphere: () Urban elegance amid red-brick walls in a 1921 butchery.

More Info

Location: 412 SW Sixth St., Redmond (also at 5 NW Minnesota Ave., Bend)

Hours: Daily 4 p.m. to close in Redmond (4:30 p.m. to close in Bend)

Cuisine: Steak and seafood

Price range: Small plates $8 to $22, entrees $17 to $49.

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa

Kids’ menu: $8 meal choices

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Salads and vegetables; meat-free pastas on request

Alcoholic beverages: Full bar

Outdoor seating: No in Redmond; Bend restaurant has seasonal sidewalk seating

Reservations: Highly recommended

Contact: brickhousesteakhouse.com, 541-526-1782 (Redmond), 541-728-0334 (Bend)

For more area restaurant reviews, visit bendbulletin.com/restaurants

More than a decade after its early 2008 opening in a historic building in downtown Redmond, the original Brickhouse Steakhouse is still going strong.

Lodged in the 1921 Davidson Meat Market building on Sixth Street — the structure was an insurance agency before it became a restaurant — Brickhouse is one of the most reliable choices for quality beef or fresh seafood in Central Oregon.

Handsome red-brick walls and arches, the only elements of the interior to survive a thorough five-month renovation by owner Jeff Porad, inspired the Brickhouse name. It also suits a second, larger restaurant, which Porad opened in 2010 and moved to the old Firehall in the heart of downtown Bend in 2013.

This review focuses on the first establishment, with its subtle track lighting, a marble bar and an elegant wine cellar. Giclée paintings of schooling salmon by Annie O’Mohondro accent the decor.

Service is exquisitely professional, beginning with the hostess who greets diners at the front door and walks them to their table. On my most recent visit, with my regular dining companion and another friend, our particular server was outstanding; friendly, efficient and knowledgeable; she was attentive without being cloying.

Brickhouse is an annual recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” for its vintage list. When Porad or his wife, Jodi, are in house, they’re always pleased to recommend a classic European red.

Superb dining

My group began our recent Brickhouse dinner with a basket of warm bread — a sliced baguette served with butter.

My companion and I shared a salad of local organic greens ($9) that the restaurant split at no extra charge. Made primarily with green-leaf and butter lettuces, it featured candied pecans and ripe pear tomatoes, and was topped with microgreens. A dressing of balsamic vinaigrette finished the starter.

A 16-ounce ribeye steak ($49) — a heavily marbled cut of top-quality, prime-rated beef — was my companion’s entree choice. Brickhouse sources its meat (“hormone-free and custom-aged,” Porad said) from Snake River Farms and the Double R Ranch, just across the Snake River in Idaho.

I chose fresh, pan-seared halibut ($35) from a selection of daily specials. Peppered and served in a masala-style sauce with white wine and sauteed mushrooms, the flaky white fish was perfectly cooked and delicious.

Every entree comes with a vegetable of the day and a choice of potato. Both of us enjoyed the creamy, mashed red potatoes with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. My halibut came with several spears of asparagus; the ribeye was offered with green beans and sliced red bell peppers.

The out-of-town friend who joined us for dinner started his meal with a wedge salad ($12) of iceberg lettuce. The traditional preparation had bacon and heirloom pear tomatoes, along with Rogue River Bleu cheese from the Rogue Creamery in Southern Oregon.

Our friend told us he’d never had better fish tacos ($18) — and this is a man who spends four months every winter and spring on a sailboat in the Caribbean. Grilled rockfish was folded into a trio of corn tortillas with a savory pico de gallo that featured minced onion, tomato and cucumber. Cilantro and lime wedges added considerably more flavor than would have been offered by white cabbage, a vegetable favored by some other restaurants — but not this one.

A tangy chipotle dressing was offered on the side, along with a portion of rice pilaf incorporating shredded carrot.

Casual elegance

The emphasis in Redmond, as well as in Bend, is on casual fine dining. That’s certainly reflected by the decor in the Bend restaurant, which sits across Minnesota Street from The Oxford Hotel.

Bend’s front room, including the bar (incorporating a brass pole down which old-time firemen once slid), has shuttered doors that open to spacious seasonal sidewalk dining. A back room is more formal: Large plush booths enable more privacy for family gatherings or romantic rendezvous.

The menu varies only slightly between the two restaurants, Bend offering a few additional items such as pork osso bucco ($28) and seafood pancetta orzo ($29). Some of our favorite dishes from past visits to the Bend restaurant have been the heirloom Caprese salad ($12); the filet Oscar ($49), heaped with Dungeness crab meat and Bearnaise sauce; and fresh seared sea scallops ($36) in sorrel beurre blanc with citrus peel.

Executive chef Sharon Fabiana and her team of sous chefs work at both restaurants to assure consistency.

“Running two restaurants keeps us plenty busy,” said Jeff Porad, who said he has no plans for further expansion. “In order to maintain our atmosphere of a family business, we’re holding steady. With my wife, Jodi, and son, Taylor, we like to be hands-on to show people a great time. If you get too big and have too many restaurants, that just gets lost.”

— John Gottberg Anderson can be reached at janderson@bendbulletin.com .

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