Casey, sommelier of The Pearl Wine Shop, owned by Andina
Restaurant, checks bottle samples before opening time.
Photo by Martha Wright
- 1303 NE Fremont Street
Andina - 1314 NW Glisan
Carafe - 200 SW Market
clarklewis - 1001
SE Water Avenue
Noble Rot - 1111 E. Burnside
Paley's Place - 1204 NW
Park Kitchen - 422 NW 8th
St. Honoré Boulangerie
- 2335 NW Thurman Street
Sinju Sushi - 1022 NW
Wright, and her husband Scott, own Scott Paul Wines,
one of Oregon's premier artisanal pinot noir producers.
She is a food columnist for Portland's Northwest Examiner,
and a regular contributor to Northwest Palate Magazine
and other regional publications. She was raised on the
good eats of New Orleans, Louisiana.
for Portland Dining
do we send our friends?
Take a look at these culinary recommendations
news is that you will eat well in Portland. The even better news is that
it may be difficult to decide where. The city's dining scene continues
to explode, and in this city of neighborhoods, several "restaurant rows"
have emerged, on both sides of the river.
this isn't necessarily a "Top 10," but the recommendations that I would
give my best friends. OK, even better than that; these are the recommendations
that I would give my chef friends visiting from out of town. An emphasis
on seasonal and local ingredients continues to be the mantra for our best
restaurants. But now, a new emphasis is placed on flexibility for the
customer. Put together a meal the way you like it, with big portions,
or lots of smaller plates. Graze or dig in. Either way, enjoy!
1303 NE Fremont
Dinner Monday - Saturday; lunch Wednesday
understand seasoning! Imagine a girl from Louisiana, such as myself, actually
giving a thumb's up to a displaced Cajun restaurant. But I'll say here
on the record that Acadia's version of Barbequed Shrimp rivals my favorite
version of the dish at Mr. B's Restaurant in New Orleans.
It's a large
serving of already shelled (head on) shrimp, cooked in a finger-licking
sauce of butter, white wine, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. It's
served with plenty of French bread and a small mound of rice, both vehicles
for dredging the wonderful, albeit filling, sauce.
has enjoyed the steak, served with potatoes laced with Morbier cheese.
The pecan pie and bread pudding are both excellent. Portions are large.
at this very attractive little Cajun bistro is both romantic and lively
as the space inevitably fills up.
1314 NW Glisan
Lunch Monday - Saturday, dinner daily, happy hour 4-6 p.m. daily
I just love
this Peruvian place for a fun, sexy, eating adventure. Full disclosure:
I've never eaten in the main dining room. I can't get past the bar. The
lengthy tapas menu is so reasonably priced, and the cocktails are exciting
and delicious. Some of my favorite items are the cebiches, the Serrano
ham, the stuffed yucca, the crispy shrimp or chicken crusted with quinoa
and the mussels. I like to try as many things as possible and Andina's
tapas pricing ($4.50 for small plates; $8.00 for large ones) allows me
to do that.
schedule for live music. Andina also owns a very unique wine shop, The
Pearl Wine Shop located on a lower level, where you can actually try any
bottle before you buy. After dinner, take a stroll around the Pearl neighborhood
for some art gallery-window shopping.
200 SW Market Street
Lunch Monday -Friday, dinner Monday - Saturday. Free valet or validated
… Finally, Portland has a quintessential French bistro, and its right
in the heart of downtown's performing arts district. Owned by Chef Pascal
Sauton and his wife, Julie, Carafe soothes the ache experienced by forlorn
Francophiles with its authentic décor and sublime dishes such as Steak
Tartare, house-made pâté, Moules-Frîtes, Skate with Capers, Coq au Vin,
Onion Soup, or Steak Frîtes.
1001 SE Water Avenue
Lunch Monday - Friday, dinner Monday - Saturday
young, they're hip and they're building a food empire in Portland. Owned
by Naomi and Michael Pommeroy and their rising star chef, Morgan Brownlow,
clarklewis restaurant defies convention (just as the restaurant name challenges
the way we normally refer to the famous explorers).
you might not expect from these young restaurateurs such reverence for
ingredients and time-honored, slow-cooking methods. While the crowd might
be hip at this former loading dock/warehouse space in industrial southeast
Portland, the food is anything but. It is, in fact, honest and even soulful.
roots are rustic-Italian, with a special touch with the braised meats
and handmade pastas. If ordering à la carte, it becomes an interactive
experience: you define your portion size and whether or not you want it
served family style. (Clearly, this is one area where the restaurant defies
convention; when I lived in Italy, the Italian restaurateurs were charming
and helpful, but never this flexible!)
quite simply too much decision making for me which is why I highly recommend
the chef's menu - a decision-free dining nirvana with a different dish
for each person in the party for each of three to four courses. Hands-down,
it is the best meal and best bargain ($35 per person) I've had in Portland.
The atmosphere is a very casual minimalist chic, with dim lighting, and
can be loud.
1111 E. Burnside
upscale comfort foods go together at Noble Rot. The restaurant has an
industrial garage door exterior, but the inside is warm and cozy, featuring
a long bar made of wood salvaged from a ship wreck, and a vaulted wine
cave in the back, with additional seating. I love the chef's soulful approach
(as much as his cool name, Leather Storrs).
is also a wine retailer, so pick something off the shelf to go with your
dinner (for a modest $7 corkage fee), or choose a bottle or glass from
their interesting, eclectic list.
changes regularly and is not long, but always inviting. Try a not-your-usual
panini such as Leek, Wild Mushroom and Baked Parmesan, or Tandoori Chicken,
Saag Paneer and Mango Mustard. Entrées might be a Braised Pork Spare Ribs
with Rapini ($10), or Quail Breast with Cippolini Onions and Warm Bread
and Pancetta Salad ($12), or Cod with Bacon and Sautéed Greens with Veal
the schedule of wine classes.
1204 NW 21st Avenue
husband and wife, Kimberly and Vitaly Paley, the restaurant is housed
in a quaint Victorian cottage in Northwest Portland. He mans the stoves
while she graciously runs the front of the house. The cuisine is partly
Northwest, partly French, but solidly rooted in classic French technique.
are pioneers of Portland's sustainable agriculture campaign. They are
passionate about wine and wine pairings, and there is an intimate bar
and bar menu. The atmosphere is traditional, romantic, but unfussy.
inclined to want to wear a sport jacket or a dress to dinner, this is
one of a few places in the city that you won't feel out of place (though
it is positively not required).
favorites include Moules Frîtes, Sweetbreads, Dungeness Crab Salad, and
422 NW 8th Avenue
Lunch Tuesday-Friday, dinner Tuesday - Saturday, brunch Saturday and Sunday
visited one of Downtown Portland's three weekly farmer's markets, you've
no doubt inadvertently rubbed elbows with Park Kitchen chef/owner Scott
is devoted to all things seasonal and local. Naturally, the menu changes
daily, so it is difficult to make recommendations, but don't miss one
of his signature appetizers, a cone of tempura fried green beans with
ham, and a tarragon aioli. A salmon filet served with sautéed sea beans,
and lobster mushrooms are excellent, as is a flank steak salad with blue
cheese. The desserts by Ellen Jackson shine.
is small, so make a reservation. If not, go early or prepare to bone up
on your Bocce skills (the court is just outside, and the staff will happily
supply the balls). The atmosphere is stylish-casual.
menu gives an upscale and seasonal application to simple fare, such as
a "Reuben" sandwich with duck confit; mushrooms on toast; or a house-made
2335 NW Thurman Street
Open daily, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
popular French bakery is a mini-trip to Europe with its warm stone and
wood interior and street-side café tables, for the ultimate in sipping,
chatting, reading and people watching. The pastries, coffee and salads
are wonderful. Portland boasts a few other excellent bakeries, but none
with such beautiful atmosphere. Don't miss the wine shop, Square Deal
Wine Co., two doors down, and the brand-new tapas restaurant, patanegra,
around the corner.
1022 NW Johnson Street
Lunch Monday - Friday, dinner daily
a lot of sushi bars, even crossing the river and standing in line for what
was promised as the city's best sushi (it was big, and it was cheap, as
promised, but it was not good).
Sinju Sushi is great. Perfectly fresh, the fish is silky and buttery,
and the chefs are masterful. The traditional design is beautiful with
gorgeous woodwork and lovely tatami rooms. Judging from the conversations
between the sushi chefs and customers at the bar, the crowd is loyal.
Aside from the sushi there is a full Japanese menu. After dining, cross
the street to Jamison Fountain, a neighborhood gathering spot.