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Portland


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My son and his family are moving to Portland after 14 years in Seattle. My wife and I have been visiting them 4/5 times a year and pretty well know and have gone to the best restaurants Seattle has to offer and I must say that they have quite a few excellent ones. We will dearly miss a number of them.

So, would someone please make some suggestions of the better Portland restaurants. My wife and I will eat anything as long as it is properly prepared and presented since good food has always been very important for us. We have traveled all over the world and we have never not liked a cuisine. After all, it's up to the chef and the ingredients and not the style. Many thanks in advance for your comments.

Hank

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You will shortly read about Portland from some of its best spokespeople, namely one "extra MSG" who posts here frequently ... his personal website has some detail about the local restaurants as well ... :biggrin:

or you can look through the eGullet threads which mention Portland specifically .. but it is a long thread: oooops, slight edit .. use Portland, Oregon as your search words ... sorry!!

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=Se...tland%2C+oregon

Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Try these 10 in this order: Wildwood, Caprial's, Hurley's, Paley's, Park Kitchen, William's, Heathman, Pazzo, Tabla, Lauro or Fife (these last two are examples of good quality neighborhood places, so pick one). Hurley's is the only place in town, I think, that consistently does SF/NY/Chicago quality presentations, but the food at many of these is extremely good, comparable to **** restaurants throughout the country. Some dishes may even exceed that on occasion, if I understand what you're looking for. (I am assuming you're looking for fine dining where the pinnacles in the US would be places like The French Laundry which combine the highest quality ingredients with impeccable and creative preparations and artistic presentations.) There are other places that have great food that doesn't pretend to be fine dining -- often ethnic places -- but I haven't included those. There are lots of great bistro level places in PDX as well.

Here are a couple threads to get you started as well:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=34996

http://www.chowhound.com/pacificnw/boards/...ages/15840.html

http://www.chowhound.com/pacificnw/boards/...ages/14837.html

Here are some guides:

http://198.107.45.113/restguide2003/

http://www.wweek.com/Special_Sections/2004_Cheap_Eats/

http://www.realgoodfood.com

http://www.extramsg.com

http://www.portlandtribune.com/entree/index.html

PS Thanks Gifted.

Edited by ExtraMSG (log)
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I have to add one more contender, Higgins. When Higgins is in its groove, its is one of the best restaurants in the United States. However, I have had a few merely great meals there in the last year. It has a fabulous wine list and a strong emphasis on local cuisine. A visit to their bar for lunch is worth it, as the pastrami sandwich is out of this world good.

Higgins, after all, was called the best restaurant in the US by Ruth Reichl, the editor of Gourmet. :wink: Despite the hype, I eat there everytime my family hits town and can say that the food is always incredibly creative, fresh, and real. The desserts are always better that what your grandmother could make on her best day, the service is attentive and professional, and the food is always wonderful. I believe a gastronomic tour of Portland would be incomplete without Higgins.

For some ethnic places, I would have to recommend staying away from PDX Chinese unless you are desperate because it is way below the quality of Seattle or San Francisco, but Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Southern/Louisiana, and Italian are ably represented in Portland. I've actually think the Southeast Asian food found in PDX is better than that found in San Francisco. Indian is also weaker than the Bay Area (especially Silicon Valley) standard. For specifics, check out the WWeek guides.

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Hank PM'd me that they are looking for more than high end dining, so I'm going to add 10 more varied suggestions:

Pambiche (Cuban), Esparza's (Tex-Mex), Pho Van Bistro (Vietnamese), Taqueria Nueve (Regional Mexican), Buckman Bistro (French/NW small plates), Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon (Mexican "deli"), Escape from New York (Pizza), Good Dog/Bad Dog (Hot Dogs), Pix (Desserts), St Honore, Ken's, or Pearl Bakery (all bakeries, each with their advantages, so choose one or all)

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Nick and other interested folks,

I read this weekend that Williams/Buckman's is closing. I think the owner wants to travel or some such thing. It was in A&E on Friday. They'll be open for a couple more weeks - I think.

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This is all it says:

THIS JUST IN -- It's curtains down for Buckman Bistro and William's on 12th, William Henry's twin gems on the inner eastside. Henry says he wants to spend some time in France. You have until May 8 to get in on Buckman's suave little plates and its more grown-up sister spot's Alsace-inspired dishes. Details later.

(William's: 207 S.E. 12th Ave.; 503-963-9226. Buckman: 213 S.E. 12th Ave.; 503-230-2381.)

http://oregonlive.com/dining/oregonian/index.ssf

I'll try to remember to call tonight and see if it's permanent or temporary. I tried to call today, but no one was answering the phones.

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Nick and other interested folks,

I read this weekend that Williams/Buckman's is closing. I think the owner wants to travel or some such thing. It was in A&E on Friday. They'll be open for a couple more weeks - I think.

That really sucks. Buckman is my goto place where I know I won't be disappointed and I don't have to break the bank.

Rodney

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Many thanks to everyone who took the time to answer my post about Portland restaurants. With that list I am sure that we will be very happy for many trips to come and hopefully we'll find some pearls on our own.

Hank

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Sorry to make my first post negative, but please don't support Hurley's. The food is mediocre and he is a pompous ass, just about everyone in the industry here in town can't stand him (there's been constant turnover since he opened.) Yes, the food is very precisely presented, but that just means every component on the plate has been touched several times. There are so many other outstanding restaurants in town to choose from. Try Paley's Place (Vito was just nominated for a Beard award) Park Kitchen, Clark Lewis, Wildwood to name a few.

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Hmm. Mediocre? He may be a pompous ass, that I don't know. (Though I don't really care, either. If I paid attention to the character of most artists and people who provide me with services, I'd have to stay home and entertain myself.) But the food is certainly not mediocre and there really isn't anything like it in Portland. No one else is making an effort to do luxurious small plates. And the savory custards rock.

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I think the pizza is much tastier at Hot Lips and you don't get that fake New York attitude from the owner. Plus, they use local, seasonal stuff on their specials pizze and have some really good homemade soups.

I had dinner at Buckman Bistro this weekend, and I have to say that I think their breakfasts are better, not that the dinner was horrible. I had a really savory and solid duck confit hash with farm eggs and the partner had the best eggs benedict in town when we went for breakfast. If I was going to make a special trip before they closed I'd go for breakfast/brunch not dinner.

Dinner this weekend was 4 people and we had bread and butter (for 2 bucks I don't want the butter whipped...but I hate whipped butter), seared scallops, escargot, salad, gnocchi with lamb sausage, leeks and cream, the Juniper cheese plate and the burger and fried fingerling potatoes and a bottle of wine. The cheese plate, burger and scallops were the best, it's hard to screw up red meat on brioche and the scallops were perfectly done and complemented the salad they came with. The gnocchi was the most disappointing, heavy and gummy and the lamb sausage was under-seasoned and bland. The salad was a plate of good baby lettuces and a light vinaigrette but I expect a little more for $7, at least some hazelnuts or something. The lemon lavender tarte was a great idea but tough and gummy, the warm chocolate cake was warm chocolate cake, and the creme brulee was perfect and the best of the lot.

regards,

trillium

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