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Mar 15, 2009 10:37 PM

Need Special Occasion Rec. for PDX

Have been perusing the boards here, and gotten a lot of good ideas, but looking for that one right place. Will be in Portland this summer for a friend's 30th Birthday. Want a special, unique place for a small group of 6, including parents (so not looking for Doug Fir hipness). Looking for a truly excellent meal - can be on the fancier side, or rather simple, but just good quality all around, but probably nothing too pretentious or really high end. Local ingredients could be interesting too, a place that is truly a unique "Portland" experience. Are there any places with really good tasting menus that aren't astronomical? Ideally looking for $30 per person or less, not including drinks. Could be more if the place is right. Thanks!

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  1. A place that has never disappointed us is tabla. We have gone there for casual dinners and b-day dinners (they have a private room that seats up to 10-12) and always enjoy it. Nice wine list, great cocktails and a decent beer selection is a plus as is their 3-course $24 deal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JillO

      I was thinking Tabla also. I thought that I read that there was a minimum charge for the private room, though?

      Another idea would be Simpatica Dining Hall, which is certainly unique and special--it's a one-seating communal dinner, but it's certainly not pretentious or high-end. The dinners seem to run $30-$35/person, depending on what they're serving that night.

    2. how adventerous is this group? Are they going to be scared by "non-American ethnic food" (appologies to Leopoldo. I know I know.....:-) ). If not then I think some of the smaller, non standards would be a great bet!
      Tanuki(do an Omakase, set your price/person, and let the chef decide...)
      Biwa(more elegant decor than Tanuki, but food isnt nearly as inventive.)
      Caffe Mingo/Bar Mingo

      2 Replies
      1. re: nkeane

        What is a reasonable price point at tanuki where she will not have to hold back?

      2. Thanks for thoughts so far. I had actually been looking at Tabla, it looked nice and the 3 course deal seemed pretty good. Good to hear seconds on that, and will check out Simpatica. The group is semi-adventurous, but not excessively some of those suggestions might not be right, nkeane, but sound interesting anyway (maybe for another night!). This is very helpful...further thoughts welcomed but this is great, thanks all.