Portland, OR 97209
As you walk into the rustic house turned entertainment hall, you are greeted by a velvet red curtain and a winding banister staircase. A neon sign reading “billiards” was positioned on the wall above the staircase which was promising for later, but as it was our stomachs would not hear of any more delays of fulfillment at that time (parking ended up being a little difficult for a driver who was on the wrong side of town) into the restaurant we go. Brushing aside the heavily draped curtain we walked to the hostess stand where we proceeded to be seated almost instantaneously. The walls were a muted orange and red, accented by an equally muted green. There were oversized dipper-esque chandeliers lining the ceiling and a very out of place disco ball near the semi open kitchen. Exotic plants and other décor littered the room. All in all, the design and ambiance was very fitting, and very enjoyable to be a part of at that moment.
While the menu boasted Mediterranean and Italian fare, Latin music, which went from a comfortable volume to almost blaring at times, played in the background.
After hearing the specials and a variable discussion we placed our order. From the menu, or order looked like this:
WARM FETA CHEESE
Imported from Greece, wood fired and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and fresh oregano. 8 (this also came with a side of warmed pita)
ZAREH'S FATOUSH SALAD
Grilled spiced chicken breast topping a salad of tomato, romaine lettuce and grilled bread tossed in a special yogurt and tahini dressing. 10.5
PIZZA FOUR SEASONS
Four separate sections of artichoke hearts, mushroom, pepperoni and prosciutto, with mozzarella. 14
(also accompanied by drinks of course)
This was when the experience went a little downhill. As we waited for our appetizer, the people at the bar which was situated approximately 15 feet on our left (and we were sitting next to the windows in the dining room) started to get quite rowdy and obnoxious. The music, for some reason, was turned up to an almost unbearable level and it started to become a little difficult to hold a conversation. All the while time is ticking and we are starting to wonder where our food is. Approximately five minutes later our server, who was very attentive and was filling my water constantly, came over and told us there was a mix up with our cheese dish, and that it would be up momentarily. He also informed us that due to this it was going to be on the house. Ok, that does make it a little better, but explain the mix-up to our already grumpy stomachs.
Once the dish arrived it was definitely worth the wait and it didn’t take long before the small bowl didn’t show any signs of cheese nor pita. Things quieted down, but we again, started to wonder why our main dished had yet to arrive. We waited for so long that the appetizer actually started to settle in and we thought about asking for the check for the drinks and calling it a night.
It wasn’t busy, there were plenty of open tables. I saw servers standing around and honestly, I didn’t see an explainable reason as to why we ended up there for an hour and a half for one meal which consisted of a chicken salad and a pizza.
Eventually our dishes were served to us, and they were both very good. A person couldn’t have asked for better; it’s a shame that a place that has such good food can be overshadowed by a bad experience service wise. I think Touché does deserve a second chance, but next time I will stop by for lunch on a day when time is not an issue.
After dinner we did wander up to the Billiards room to possibly play, but moreover just to explore. This crowd was very different from the crowd in the dining room and was more reminiscent of the rundown club scene than any of what was boasted downstairs. There were not that many tables and I believe that during the week it would be an enjoyable experience, but on the weekends, it’s much too crowded.