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Portland- updated recommendations?


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#1 little ms foodie

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 11:56 PM

We are off to Portland this weekend and I want to know what's new around town?? Especially for cocktails and/or wine bars!

We won't get in until late on Friday so I'm thinking Pambiche and then someplace for cocktails after (Pambiche doesn't have their liquor license right?)

Sat night I think we'll go to Le Pigeon which I am very excited about (thanks Rocky!!) but again would like a nice cocktail bar before or after.

Has anyone been to Pour? I met the owner on a flight one time and it sounded interesting but I don't think I ever see it mentioned.

What about lunch on Sat and Sun? Any "not to miss" breakfast spots??
Wendy.....Seattle, WA


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#2 Abra

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 12:32 AM

You know about ExtraMSG's fabulous food site, right? He has tons of great recommendations.
Abra


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#3 extramsg

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 05:20 AM

Thanks Abra. The main thing to check out is the tip sheet. It's relatively up-to-date:

http://www.extramsg....d_tipsheet.html

There are a lot of new places. While I love Pambiche, if you've been there before, I'd suggest trying Clyde Common instead. They have an interesting cocktail menu, very good food, and are open late. They're downtown at SW 10th & Stark in the Ace Hotel.

You'll need a reservation for Le Pigeon or expect to wait a LONG time for a counter spot unless you get there at opening.

You should check out Toro Bravo, also, which does have a full bar. It's small plates, Spanish-inspired with local ingredients and VERY good.

Rocket is new and getting better on the food side. Cool space and full bar.

Not sure if Pok Pok's Whiskey Soda Lounge is new to you, but it's a full restaurant and bar with an emphasis on northern Thai foods done really well.

Biwa is a fairly new izakaya with really good ramen and yakitori, among other things. They're working on getting a full liquor license, but they do have sake.

If you want more info on these places, I suggest searching PortlandFood.org.

#4 nuxvomica

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 01:44 PM

extra msg, for someone visiting Portland for the first time (from NY and in the food biz), what are your thoughts on Wildwood and Ten 01? we're traveling with my mother and are somewhat limited in what places we can visit - e.g. based on the menu, we'll have to skip Le Pigeon on this trip, she has to eat lightly. both Wildwood and Ten 01 seem to have more of the kind of options all of us will be able to enjoy - but what looks good on paper doesn't always work...

“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#5 little ms foodie

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:49 PM

oh I've heard great things about Clyde Common too so maybe we'll do that for dinner friday and swing by Pambiche for a cubano at lunch! thank you!!!
Wendy.....Seattle, WA


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#6 hhlodesign

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:29 PM

I'm sure Mr. MSG is too kosher to plug his own place, but one of the best reubens I've ever had was at Kenny and Zuke's (open yet?)



And the chopped liver is no chopped liver (sorry, had to.) dry.gif

And you have to get to Podnah's for the brisket.



#7 little ms foodie

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:54 PM

thanks for those ideas Henry!

Looks like Le Pigeon is full on sat night... sad.gif

other romantic, wonderful food places for a nice dinner? (we are celebrating)
Wendy.....Seattle, WA


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#8 extramsg

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 01:25 AM

Nope, we'll be opening in October. Place is coming along, though. Thanks. Anyone who wants to be on our email list, go here:

http://www.kennyandz...ts/?p=subscribe

We'll send out invites to opening parties, etc.

While I like Pambiche's sandwiches a lot, if you're from the Seattle area you can get better at Paseo. But they have a lot of the entrees on the lunch menu, too.

LMF, I'd HIGHLY recommend Toro Bravo. They're kicking ass right now. No reservations, though, but they have a good bar and decent waiting areas. And if you get there before 6:15p you probably wouldn't have much of a wait, if any. Not sure what time at night they start to slow.

Also, if you don't mind waiting, you can get to Le Pigeon and be put on the list and go over to Doug Fir or Rocket, have some drinks, and they'll call you.

Carlyle is always a good choice. Not as local/seasonal as some, but top notch. For a premium, they also have a secluded garden spot with only one table.

Fenouil is a nice place to celebrate. I really like the room. It feels fancy without being too gawdy. And it has a wonderful view of Jameson Square and the fountain, kids playing in the water, etc. Menu isn't the most exciting, but it's good modern French food with a nod here and there to local/seasonal.

Another less commonly thought about high end option is Hiroshi, for some of Portland's best and most interesting sushi. They'll work with you on an omakase, too.

I still enjoy several of the standards: Wildwood, Paley's, Veritable Quandry, Hurley's, Alba, Andina, Bluehour, etc.

I've only eaten at Ten 01 once since the change in chefs and it was definitely good and it's a nice place in a nice location. They did just recently lose their pastry chef which is a shame because he was putting outsome of the better pastries in town. I had been sending people there just for desserts and been hearing nothing but positive feedback.

If you go to Clyde Common, check out the space three doors west, on the western corner of the block. That's ours. Same designers as CC.

btw, a few other things to check out:

* Cacao, which is now open later weekend nights, for the biggest high-end chocolate bar selection I've ever seen. They won't even carry Scharffenberger or Dagoba because it's not good enough. (Though I chastize them for carrying Vosges.) They have truffles from Theo, Cluizel, John Depaula (local), Xocolatl de David (local, bacon caramels), and some others. They'll let you taste anything. And they have a great drinking chocolate, though I suggest only a shot at a time.

* Sahagun, which may be on hiatus, not sure. But they're just up the road from Cacao, really, and sell primarily what they make: the best truffles in town and the best drinking chocolate, imo.

* Alma, another chocolatier over in NE. Really good stuff.

And when I say really good, I mean these people are a big step up from most of the national chocolatiers, even the better ones. It's a battle for supremacy when you start comparing them to good regional chocolatiers like Recchiuti or Theo, but then, these places have their own character. I know it's summer, but get thee some chocolate!

* Steve's Cheese, in Square Deal Wine for a great selection of domestic cheeses, among others.

* Portland Farmers Market

Personally, if I was coming from Seattle, I would hit Podnah's, but then, BBQ is practically my reason for living. They are better at dinner, though. I'd probably strongly advise you to get to Pok Pok, too, at least for lunch.

#9 extramsg

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 01:38 AM

nuxvomica, coming from the east coast you do really need to focus on what makes Portland different. I think Wildwood has the best combo of quality and locality. I do often hear about problems with service and sometimes execution, but I've had pretty good luck. But I also usually sit at the counter overlooking the open kitchen.

Park Kitchen is a pretty good choice for local/seasonal. There are several of us that think it's gone downhill, but it's still worth visiting. Alberta St Oyster Bar might be a bit of a better option in a similar style. It often gets overlooked by people from out of town, too.

If you want a place stylistically like Ten 01 but a little more local, you might look at 23 Hoyt or Clarklewis, both owned by the same people as Saucebox and Bluehour. Though Ten 01's menu is becoming more local.

Note, though, that you might not be hitting the absolute best places in town by doing this, but you'll be hitting good places and getting a taste of what the NW has to offer. Even places like Clyde Common and Toro Bravo, though, use a lot of local ingredients.

#10 nuxvomica

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 01:46 AM

thanks! so many options so little time... we'll be in town Fri 8/31 if anyone's around for a drink - PM me!

eta: so what are "the absolute best places in town"?
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#11 extramsg

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:04 AM

Note that Carlyle will be closed Friday through next Thursday. Lots of other restaurants will be using this weekend as an opportunity to take a vacation, too.

#12 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:35 PM

I'm going to piggy-back in the thread as I looks as though I'll be in the neighborhood for five or six days in the middle of next month. I am specifically coming to help someone empty a storage unit and see one other old friend in the city.

Having most of the rest of the time to myself, I not only am looking for culinary recommendations but artistic ones; I'll start googling, but would like museum and gallery recommendations.

I'll be flying in on the 13th, if anyone is interested in a get-together during the following week or so!

#13 little ms foodie

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:13 PM

the pam is a great museum right now they have a rembrandt exhibit going on. & no tax shopping is very nice downtown & in the pearl district.
Wendy.....Seattle, WA


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#14 extramsg

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:07 AM

I'd highly recommend for anyone wanting to get together in Portland to head over to PortlandFood.org and post in the "events" or "other" sections. We started that site to organize get-togethers and its a friendly bunch. I don't know how many Portlanders regularly check here, but PF.org is more active than eGullet or Chowhound by a ways for Portland.

I'm busier than normal but generally available. Glad to show anyone around the food attractions in town. Get a hold of me through here or email me via the feedback/contact page on extramsg.com.

#15 syrah girl

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 08:57 PM

We had a very nice dinner at Olea in the Portland Pearl this summer. It would definitely fit the bill for a special occasion venue. Our lunch at Ten 01 was also very good, nice ambiance here with really great risotto, salads and creme brulee.

We had lunch this summer with three of our kids at the Portland City Grill, great place with excellent views, food and service. We enjoyed the Sushi here very much and the Mahi Mahi was also perfectly prepared. This would also make a very nice special occasion restaurant. Paley's Place and Wildwood have been longtime favorites of ours also for places in Portland with nice ambiance, friendly people and great food. smile.gif