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Sep 18, 2008 07:57 PM

Bday dinner in PDX -

Hello what is the best place to go for a Bday dinner - price is not an issue- just want an excellent meal and experience

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  1. way too broad of a question. need more info about you, or the bday boy/girl, the kind of food you want and, although you said price isnt a concern, suggestions could be made where you drop 20$/person and where you drop 200+/person. and it would be nice if you took a few min. and did a search and narrowed it down for us a bit! thanks

    6 Replies
    1. re: nkeane

      sorry my girl is taking me out and wants to splurg on a fancy expensive meal for 2-

      Fish/seafood entree would be best-

      We were thinking of castagna restaurant- any other ideas?

      Thx in advance

      1. re: bkeater

        as odd as it sounds, seafood and fish(other then ethnic places) is one place where portland is seriously lacking. If you dont mind ethnic, then sushi( both Murata and Hiroshi do the swankiest in town. Murata being traditional, and Hiroshi being adaptive/modern.)
        mexican(Peurto Marquez out on like 122nd and stark or glisan or something is so, so good! ceviches, whole fish entrees.....its just a divey hole in the wall though, so......)
        chinese(wongs king, Lucky strike. Lucky strike is sizchuan and also out somewhere on 122nd, real close to PM)

        but, if a more traditional westcoast seafood restaurant is what your looking for i would say Albert Street Oyster Bar would fit the bill. recent chef/ staff changes leave this an uknown at the moment.

        castagna is good. definately a romantic date place. Others that you would more then likely swoon over are:
        Sel Gris
        Lucier(this being the place i mentioned you could spend 200+)

        now, if you want my personal pick, with no limits as to cuisine or cost......hands down, no hesitation, its Alba Osteria & Enoteca. best italian in portland. not just italian but ultra focused regional(Piedmontese)italian. You will be blown away, especially if you like northern italian food and wines.
        do report back and happy Bday!

        1. re: nkeane

          While Alba is good, I think suggesting to someone that they will be "blown away" is a little reckless.

          The rest is spot on however.

          My thoughts. Castagna, you would do better up the street at Sel Gris.

          I think Ten-01 is a fantastic place. For this experience you want this time I think this place would hit your marks and is a better value than Lucier, although if Lucier appeals you would have a great night there as well. Ten-01 is more vibrant in neighborhood and you can stroll about for nightcaps and such.

          I would recommend Carlyle here, I feel about it that Nkeane feels about Alba but for the paticular experience you want I think Ten-01 might just be a few stretches ahead and mostly in ambiance. Chef Jake Martin at Carlyle is an outstanding chef but so is Chef Jack Yoss at Ten-01. Do keep places like Carlyle and Alba in mind for other visits though.

          Which ever place you choose tell them when you make reservations that it is a special evening for you, I find this helps in expectations.

          Enjoy your evening and happy birthday!

          1. re: Mallory

            I would agree with most of the above suggestions. For whatever reasons, the same handful of restaurants are consistently hawked as the go-to's for a "splurge" evening. Lucier would certainly lead the pack in terms of $$$. After that, it's all the usual suspects:

            Sel Gris

            Of the five, I feel Carlyle has the most deft hand with seafood, although the carpaccio at Lucier is pretty tasty. I agree that the food at Alba is very good, however the setting doesn't really smack of a special evening out. I haven't been to Alberta Street Oyster Bar since the previous chef left for Seattle. The jury seems to be out on the new chef, but it might be worth considering. Wildwood also comes to mind; again, I haven't been in some time, but I've been hearing some really good things about it lately. My recent meal at Lucier worked out to be around $300.00 for two of us. If money is not an issue, it definately has all the bells and whistles you may be seeking, and would be my first choice for "splurge".

          2. re: nkeane

            Puerto Marquez is off 122nd and Division.
            Lucky Strike is 122nd and Powell.

            I joke that at that address, that's no longer eastern Portland, but rather western Gresham.

            I concur with all of these recommendations.

            I think the plan (if it were mine) would be to have dinner at Ten-01. From there, it's easy to take a nice stroll for ice cream at Cool Moon.

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              Thx for everyone's response-

              went to 10-01
              had oysters- (were not mind blowing)
              heirloom tom salad (amazing- great flavor and spice)
              Corn Bisque (easy crowd pleaser)
              Gulf Shrimp w/ mussel pot salad (nice combo- well done)
              Skate (great dish perfect entree)
              banana bread pudding (ok)
              Peaches and cream (great)

              Will be back