Saturday Night in Portland for PHX Chowhound
I am going to be in Portland in a month or so. A group of friends (all male, 30ish, mostly married) and I need a nice place to eat, money is not really an object.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The wine bars and brew pubs are obviously great (unless you're talking about Portland, Me., in which case just the brew pubs are great). Bridgeport's cask-conditioned IPA is about the best beer I've ever had. And the Kobe burger at Rogue is (like the beer) not to be missed. Jake's Grill (an M&S restaurant) in the Governor Hotel serves excellent married-thirtysomething fare.
Why don't you tell us what kinds of things you like to eat, and what constitutes "nice"?
Suggestion: spend a few minutes going over reports from other visitors over the past month, tell us what you are looking for, and ask about specific places you read about.
You could go to a McCormick & Schmick (M & S) restaurant anywhere in the country, so if you want uniform predictability, go to Jake's.
I certainly understanding that my post didn't contain a lot of information. I apologize for this. What tends to happen in these get togethers is that I try to convince the other guys to try something interesting. A few of the guys in the group are not that gastronomically adventurous, so I tend to compromise, or default to a local Steakhouse. What I would like to try is something uniquely "Portland". I certainly want to avoid any chains.
Thanks for clarifying--that's very helpful. For occasions like this, I like Fife--it has meat and potatoes for the non-adventurous eaters, but it's still interesting for foodies. They're pretty committed to local, organic food, which is typical of Portland. Website: http://www.fiferestaurant.com
I disagree with the brewpubs being great--they might have great beer, but Portland is sadly lacking a brewpub with really good food.
If you end up at a steakhouse, El Gaucho's is somewhat local (one other location in Seattle) but excellent. Le Pigeon would be looking itnto as well, particularly if they would take a reservation.
I was in Portland last week and had dinner at Le Pigeon. I really enjoyed it. You guys could probably all fit at one table (it's a family style seating situation).
Lots of delicious and unusual options. The dessert, however, was the stand out. Maple ice cream, atop a hunk of apricot cornbread, sprinkled with smoked bacon. Yowza.
While I don't think Le Pigeon has hard liquor, it's a short walk from there to Ron Toms, a really cool bar on Burnside. It's easier to start classy, though I should point out that while Le Pigeon is certainly one of PDX's most celebrated spots serving top-notch faire, it's not stuffy in the least.
In fact, if you can arrange to have all of you sitting at the bar, you'll get to watch Chef Rucker work his magic since you're sitting right on his station. I think that sort of proximity to the food might even help the less-adventurous in your group to open up a little.
Here's the NY Times article that came out last summer, talking about the Portland food scene. Le Pigeon is the headlining picture. You can see that the right side of the bar in the picture are table-settings, and the left side of the bar is where the chefs are working.