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Portland: Paley's Place or Wildwood?

We will soon be making our yearly pilgrimage home to the Pac NW and I'm trying to decide between these two places for our nice night out. Both online menus look great and both seemingly have the moral aesthetic I'm craving this year. Is the food or service markedly better at either one? Price is not an issue, and decor not important if the service is excellent.


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  1. Paley's for both food and service. It's more expensive but worth it. Wildwood is great but can be noisy if that matters to you.

    1. Personally, I'd go to Sel Gris or Carlyle, but between your choices I'd definitely choose Wildwood.

      1. I second Paley's over Wildwood. In the past couple of years I've had more thoughtful food and service at Paley's -- and the wine list acknowledges that wine is made from areas outside of Oregon! more important to a local than a visitor, I suppose but there you have it. Wildwood was great in the late 90s but seems to have lost its focus a bit. Definitely still good food just a bit more careless. Haven't thought that about Paley's at all.

        I had a spectacularly unmemorable meal at Sel Gris, despite the hype that's been wandering around, and in fact canceled reservations to take my father there when he came to town because it was so mediocre... stick with Paley's!

        1. Not to muddle the mix, but you might want to add Le Pigeon into the discussion also.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            Thanks for all the feedback guys. I think this time we're going to go to Paley's Place this time. But the menus at Le Pigeon and Carlyle also looked really great so I'll keep them in mind for next time we're in time.

            1. re: concordcourtney

              Awesome. Let us know how your dinner goes. Reports are important to keeping discussions vibrant as well as providing good search results for people doing similar queries.

          2. I just saw this. I enjoyed both but Paley's is by far the better dining experience. Do let us know what you think.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tom P

              Our vacation is next week - I definitely will report back when we get home! I know I always appreciate it when people do the same on the South board.

            2. Perhaps I am alone but I was not impressed with Paley's place.

              1) The server used the word "little" every third word.

              2) The food was good, but nothing impressive or memorable. There are much better things going on here like Le Pigeon, sel gris, Carlyle, Beast, etc. True, we're short on bistro food, but the alternatives seem better.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Irvington

                Irvington - I am an out of towner spending more and more time in your amazing city. I will back quite a bit this summer...could you post a little bit about the restaurants above? I don't know anything about them and would love to work my way through some of them.

              2. We just got back from our trip yesterday and I want to really thank everyone that recommended Paley's Place. It was awesome food and one of the best meals we've had in a while. My only gripe was the interior seemed to lend itself to carrying noise really well. In the small back room where we sat there was also a rather rowdy party of six that overwhelmed the entire room and made it hard to converse at our small two-top. Luckily we were too busy eating much of the time to mind. Both my husband and I started with the steak tartare which was just so good I wanted to cry. Then he had the black-trumpet crusted halibut with the richest, tastiest mushroom brother ever. And I had a spring nettle pasta with Dungeness crab which was a perfect spring time entree. Desserts were also great, though not as memorable as the first courses. Overall definitely happy with the choice!

                While in town we also went to Toro Bravo which was also great, both food and atmosphere-wise; really wish we had a comparable tapas place in western NC.

                As always, Portland rocks.