10 NW Minnesota Ave. 541-382-8436. www.oxfordhotelbend.com $$-$$$. New American. If you're looking to get off the beaten path, look no father than this subterranean enclave of modern fine dining. The restaurant recently hired chef Brad Wood, formerly of the Bend Athletic Club, to lead its kitchen. Wood's experience and familiarity with the Bend dining scene should pay dividends for 10 Below, which is blessed with a great downtown location and ultra urban chic design aesthetic that's a welcome contrast to the myriad of steak houses and brewpubs that often define the local restaurant scene. While changes are no doubt afoot for the restaurant's menu under Wood's guidance, the menu currently leans on a combination of Northwest staples served with a local touch, such as the grass-fed Borlen beef filet with red wine demi glace and blue cheese crema. But don't skip over the appetizers, which include bacon-topped scallops with mushroom pancakes or the spicy seared ahi tuna with pickled ginger and cucumbers and wasabi. The Dish: Breakfast and lunch daily. Happy Hour 2-6 pm, 9pm-close. Dinner 5pm-close.
2763 NW Crossing Dr. 541-647-1624. www.larosabend.com $-$$
With warm colors and a festive atmosphere, La Rosa specializes in dishes from Mexico's Jalisco region. Come summer - yes, it will arrive - La Rosa is the place to be for patio dining on the west side of town. Whether it's a Northwest Crossing event or just an afternoon out with friends, there's no better place to soak up the sunshine and a margarita on an August afternoon than the La Rosa. The casual atmosphere means it's acceptable to show up in your office clothes as well as your post-bike ride gear. Try the Ensalada de Pescado, Mole Poblano, the Carnitas de Puerco or any of the specials, along with a margarita made from one of their 30-plus tequilas. The Dish: Patio seating with heaters. Banquet space for private parties; "Amigo" hour 1-6pm and 8:30 pm-close, featuring $3 margs, $5 appetizers. Lunch 11am-4pm. Dinner 4pm-close.
900 Wall St. 541-323-6295 www.900wall.com $$-$$$. Through the ups and downs of the local restaurant industry, 900 Wall has proven itself to be a survivor, and there's a reason for that. The experienced kitchen crew led by head chef Cliff Eslinger and the well-trained and attentive front-of-the-house staff, headed by Mike Millette, understand what it takes to create a memorable experience for diners. The restaurant offers a creative, but not overly ambitious, menu that has something for just about every taste and puts emphasis on execution over needless experimentation. 900 Wall serves it all up in an atmosphere that is at once urban and bustling, yet intimate enough for a special occasion. The restaurant recently revived its excellent lunch menu that offers diners a chance to sample some of the kitchen's offerings without committing to a full diner. Of course, 900 remains one of the most popular happy hour destinations with its creative small-plates menu and drink specials. The Dish: Lunch 11:30am-3pm, Dinner 5pm-close daily. Happy hour specials 3-6 pm daily, including $1 oysters on the half shell and $3 pork sliders. Bar menu.