You won’t be disappointed with the growing food scene in Portland Oregon. I tried, and enjoyed, the following:
Andina: A local’s favorite in the Pearle District, known for its Peruvian specialties. Here you will find cebiches (ceviches), anticuchos or skewers, causitas or whipped Peruvian potatoes with various toppings, Peruvian style sashimi, and traditional Peruvian dishes and other fish entrees. It is a great spot to eat while you are exploring the First Thursdays Art Walk in the Pearl District. 1314 NW Gilsen.
Ava Genes: At 3377 SE Division, this is a really wonderful restaurant featuring a Roman inspired menu with an emphasis on local produce and meats grown and raised by Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers. It also features a regional Italian wine list. The Pane were outstanding. Try the one with eggplant, mint and ricotta as well as the roasted cherry tomatoes with whipped ricotta served on a hearty bread. The Chinook salmon with cauliflower, grapes, and a zucchini custard was also wonderful and the Tre Scelete Dai Giardini (or three salad choices) were a big hit. In September 2013, it was named by Bon Appetit Magazine as the #5 Best New Restaurant in the US in 2013. I can definitely see why!
Smallwares: 4605 NE Freemont St. This is a popular Asian fusion restaurant in the Beaumont neighborhood that has been featured in several articles in the New York Times. Johanna Ware, who once cooked at Momofuku Ssam Bar in NYC, has created a menu that she describes as “inauthentic Asian cuisine”. I had a great meal with friends and family.
Little Bird: Located in a casual yet elegant space in downtown Portland, this is one of the top restaurants in town. Opened in 2010, it features French-influenced classic bistro dishes and French wines plus French-inspired local wines. Chef Gabriel Rucker received the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Northwest. 219 SW 6th Ave. His brick-walled first and popular Eastside restaurant/bistro, Le Pigeon, opened in 2006 near the Jupiter Hotel at 738 E Burnside. His signature burger is featured at both restaurants.
Other restaurants that come highly recommended include:
Pok Pok: Andy Ricker’s Division St. restaurant that opened in 2005. It is considered to be one of America’s best Thai restaurants with outdoor as well as indoor seating. It is always crowded and they don’t take reservations. Ricker received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Northwest in 2011. 3226 SE Division.
Olympic Provisions: Known for its charcuterie and cheeses, you can find other starters and entrees from oysters and shrimp to tuna and lamb. The Northwest location in in a warehouse district, at 1632 NW Thurman, and is in a contemporary, industrial looking space. There is also a second location at 107 SE Washington.
Raven & Rose: At 1331 SW Broadway in downtown, this is Portland’s historic Ladd Carriage House from 1883, that has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant and bar upstairs. The art and the architectural details have been meticulously done to create a warm and inviting space. It is known for its farmhouse cookery and fine cocktails.