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Looking for Portland OR restaurant
September 21, 2006 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Recommendation for a nice Portland Oregon restaurant? (Both an immediate need and future wish list)

Driving from Seattle to a family funeral tomorrow in Portland. Will be hitting Portland at around 10pm tonight and would love to pull off I-5 and have a nice meal. Any suggestions?

Apart from our urgent dining needs tonight, I'm also interested in excellent restaurants in Portland for the future. I've loved Wildwood for years, enjoyed The Heathman . . . heard good things about clarklewis. Anyone have an opinion on that and other suggestions?

Thanks! I'm getting hungry!
posted by donovan to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you like Meat (tm), you can't go wrong with El Gaucho.

I thought Castagna has trailed off a bit last time I was there.

The ultimate guide, as always, is Portland Monthly's "Where to Eat".

If you like The Heathman, Jake's Grill at the Governor (note: NOT Jake's Seafood!!!) has always been excellent. In the same vein, Henry's Tavern is starbucksish-commercialized, but eating happy hour dishes in the bar has *always* been fun.

Note: I left Portland six months ago, so take with a grain of salt. I miss eating in that city, but Austin is almost as good.
posted by SpecialK at 8:35 PM on September 21, 2006


Thanks SpecialK--thogh I'm a Seattlite I didn't know about the Portland Monthly.
posted by donovan at 8:43 PM on September 21, 2006


I don't know that many people that live in Portland know about Portland Monthly. ;) It's kind of Willamette Week's suburban, churchgoing big sister...
posted by SpecialK at 8:55 PM on September 21, 2006


I just visited Portland and had two lovely meals there, one at a Korean restaurant named BeWon and at the other at an upscale but cozy place called Lucy's Table, both off of 23rd in what I believe is called the Nob Hill region of town.
posted by macinchik at 9:29 PM on September 21, 2006


heard good things about clarklewis.

Clarklewis, though expensive, has absolutely spectacular food. I moved back to Portland a year ago after five years in New York, and I can say without qualification that the food at clarklewis equals or exceeds any I had in New York.

Although they've had some shakeups in management recently (the couple that owned both clarklewis and the gotham building tavern divorced) the same chef (Morgan Brownlow) is still there.

If you're willing to shell out the cash ($48 / person, last time I was there), I highly, highly recommend the chef's menu. You'll get 3 - 5 courses (usually, but not always, the fritto of the day, plus a salad or appetizer, plus a pasta, plus an entree), and each one will be different for everyone at the table. The spit roasted meats are superb, and the chef is a fucking wizard with pork.
posted by dersins at 9:35 PM on September 21, 2006


Oh, I almost forgot ... you won't find it in many restaurant guides, but up on NW 23rd there's a place called Marrakesh. It's an upper scale arabian restaurant, or at least was the last time I was there. Eat with your hands, sit on cushions, entertainment is a belly dancer, and the food is pretty darned good if you're into that kind of thing!
posted by SpecialK at 10:25 PM on September 21, 2006


I'll second clarklewis and note that it is right off I-5.
posted by turbodog at 10:49 PM on September 21, 2006


Thanks for the advice. clarklewis is in our future plans to be sure. Tonight we aimed for Jake's as SpecialK suggested but were distracted by saucebox, which I recalled reading good things about years ago. It was just what we were looking for.

I have to say that everytime I'm in Portland I just love the place. It feels like Seattle's more relaxed, yet edgier, female cousin.
posted by donovan at 11:17 PM on September 21, 2006


It feels like Seattle's more relaxed, yet edgier, female cousin.

I know exactly what you mean. She smokes, she's not afraid to drink whiskey, her jeans are levis instead of diesel, and she drives a 1973 plymouth scamp instead of a 3-series BMW, she prefers bukowksi and palahniuk to whatever chick-lit is on the display table at the entrance to Barnes and Noble, and if she feels like putting out she just will, without worrying what people might think.

or have i said too much?
posted by dersins at 11:50 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Heh. My problem with Portland is that after the wonderful courtship and marriage, you find that while she IS beautiful, all of her personality is kept at the surface and shifts rapidly as trends do, she's a weepy mess during the winter, and the frequency with which she puts out gets lower and lower. She's concerned about her looks and the way other people perceive her, and she spends way too much time coolhunting so that she can stay ahead of trends and congratulating herself for her navel-gazing. So you start drinking too much PBR and sleeping around a bit yourself, and eventually you meet her sister, who lives in another state, and move away from Portland.
posted by SpecialK at 6:07 AM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


As a life long Portlander, thanks for leaving!
posted by chrisroberts at 7:55 AM on September 22, 2006


You're welcome! If you could get everyone else to leave as well, I'll come back.
posted by SpecialK at 8:26 AM on September 22, 2006


Ya Hala is one of my fav restaurants in Portland. It's Lebanese food done simply. Just awesome flavors. Not super pricey either.

http://www.yahalarestaurant.com/

Coming from Seattle, taking 205 to Stark would be the way to get there.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2006


My problem with Portland is that after the wonderful courtship and marriage, you find that while she IS beautiful, all of her personality is kept at the surface and shifts rapidly as trends do etc....

That's not real Portland. That's her irritating friend the Pearl District. Portland just keep HER around because she's used to hanging out with her, even though over the last seven years, she's changed into someone Portland barely even knows any more.
posted by dersins at 2:34 PM on September 23, 2006


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