Walking into Ned Ludd is a little like walking into someone’s super-tricked-out barn. There are high exposed-wood ceilings, funky old brass chandeliers, and earthy colors everywhere. Except, that is, for the lime green wall where the heart of the restaurant resides: a wood-burning oven in which Jason French cooks all the food on the menu. Really, all the food: They don’t have a stove, just a couple of portable burners in the back that they use to do a few things like boil water.
The menu fits the cozy-barn-and-fire vibe too. It’s simple, rustic, and accessible, with stuff like hot flatbread brushed with olive oil, meat pies, mussels cooked with garlic and wine, and crunchy butter lettuce salad with Dijon dressing. A highlight: whole ruby trout that had been stuffed with fennel, lemon, and herbs, and that showed up at the table looking at us, and looking delicious.
3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Portland