Best Italian in PDX?
The best italian in PDX is Alba Osteria and Enoteca, hands down. Not even close......
that being said Mingo/ Bar Mingo are second to me(atleast a notch or more behind) with about 10 or 12 also rans in town. Italian in this town used to be about the only thing you could find circa.1995.....then the food scene went supernova and all those places got passed like a basset hound at a greyhound race. we desperately need high end italian.
Mamma Mia's is good "red sauce" italian. I feel your pain in the Carbonara category, i have yet to be wowed by the few i have tried in town. It seems to me that places back out of making this dish as outlandishly rich as it needs to be. I mean, for christs sake, its CARBONARA!!! I know its fatty,rich,heavy......I didnt order the field green salad with chicken breast and dressing on the side!!LOL
The last really good carbonara I had was at Tabla. It's not a permanent dish on their menu, but it does appear with some frequency. Alba doesn't make it, but they have the best pasta in town (and Tabla is a close second in the pasta category).
It's super easy to make at home, though...