Fire damages Ox, one of Portland’s best restaurants

Firefighters were forced to cut into the roof of Northeast Portland’s Ox Wednesday evening after flames rose above the Argentine restaurant’s grill, Portland Fire & Rescue reported.

Crews were finishing up work on the fire just before 7 p.m., according to the fire bureau.

The fire broke out during the start of service, according to James Beard award-winning chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, who stayed at the restaurant at 2225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. late into the night cleaning up a “pretty big mess.”

Insurers will assess the issue this morning.

“We are very proud of our team that got our guests and themselves out of the building without any issues,” the Dentons wrote in a text. “Hopefully we can open sooner than later.”

The Dentons, who previously cooked in Maui, moved to Portland in the mid 2000s, working at restaurants including Lucier and Metrovino. They opened Ox, which draws inspiration from South America for its signature empanadas, beef tongua a la vinagreta and steaks charred on a centralpiece grill, in 2012.

Ox was The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year in 2013, while the Dentons took home their James Beard Awards as best chefs in the Northwest in 2017. Earlier this year, Ox was ranked as the 7th best restaurant in Portland.

— Michael Russell;

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