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Looking for one outstanding Portland dinner suggestion

I'll be visiting Portland from San Francisco this weekend, and am looking for one great dinner suggestion. Where would you send me for something that either Portland does better than SF, or doesn't exist here? My husband's not a huge Asian food fan, so let's eliminate that from the suggestions, no matter how good.

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  1. I know next to nothing about dining in San Francisco except for its huge reputation for being a foodie mecca of quality and breadth and bounty - I'd be interested in knowing what you think DOESN'T exist and what is subpar in SF.

    1. I just returned from a foodie weekend in Portland (I live in Seattle) and I was blown away by the meal at Andina, a Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl District. It also happens to be #1 on Urban Spoon.

      Here's why I think it might fit the bill for you:

      - Every scrap of food that crossed our table was unique (to an American palatte) and delicious

      - Crazy, yummy cocktails

      - It has a fun, energetic atmosphere

      - It is located in a trendy neighborhood

      - The service is outstanding

      - You have the option to order individual entrees, or to share several small plates for more variety (that's what my group of 3 did)

      - how often do you come across an excellent Peruvian restaurant outside of Peru?

      I had the fortune of dining there with a native Peruvian who did the ordering for us. Here's what we had:

      SACSAYHUAMÁN cocktail (this is VERY spicy and a MUST try. I had 2!)
      habanero pepper infused vodka shaken with passion fruit puree and cane sugar, served up with a sugar rim and a cilantro leaf garnish

      PAPA A LA HUANCAINA
      yellow potato slices in a sauce of ají Amarillo and ricotta cheese, served cold

      ANTICUCHO DE CORAZON
      marinated beef heart kebobs, served with huacatay-peanut sauce

      PULPO A LA OLIVA
      tender octopus slices cupped in fresh endives with with Botija olive sauce

      DE PESCADO "5 ELEMENTOS"
      traditional cebiche of fresh fish

      We ordered multiples of the ceviche because it was so simple and beautifully done. They also serve complimentary bread with a fun trio of dipping sauces.

      Please report back on where you wind up going. Enjoy your trip!

      -----
      Andina Restaurant
      1314 NW Glisan, Portland, OR 97209

      2 Replies
      1. re: frygirl

        Thanks for the review. I'd found Andina and it does look like the sort of thing I'm after. SF has a few Peruvian places, but not really on quite this scale. Will definitely have to suggest it.

        1. re: Joan Kureczka

          My initial reply was not intended as snark - fwiw.
          Andina was one thought...Autentica (Mexican) another. But recommending a Mexican place to a Californian seemed like possible folly.
          While Paleys, Ten-01, and the like are very good places (or can be) they are all riffs on the ever-present "local-sustainable-seasonal" dining that I've experienced nationwide - and since the genesis of that movement/trend is largely based in the SF area...it seemed difficult to recommend any of them based on your parameters.
          I would have suggested POK POK - but it's Thai/Asian so that doesn't quite fit your needs, either.

        1. without question, Ten01. recently under the helm of new chef, Benjamin Parks, Ten01 is still firing on all cylinders. Oft overlooked(by myself included), but always solid. They dont use crazy-exotic ingredients or technique, but what they do is some of the best cooking in portland. Period.

          1. It's beginning to look like I won't actually get to chose.... DH is saying that after first asking where we wanted to go, our hosts are saying they want to go to Higgins. Any recommendations?

            4 Replies
            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              Higgins is just fine. You will have an excellent meal there. Your fellow diners will not include as many obnoxious wannabes as you would see at Ten01, but the food will be just as good. The recommendation? Ask the waiter for his (maybe her, but more likely his) recommendation, then take it.

              1. re: Politeness

                Politeness, I'm noticing a hardline you've got with Ten-01. I for one would love it if you elaborated on a separate thread. I can understand if a place like Clyde Common might not be your speed, but I've always been pleased with the food and ambiance at Ten-01. I'm not saying that you're wrong, I'm just curious what happened.

                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  SauceSupreme, not a "hardline." Ten-01 is just so terribly cookie-cutter, reminiscent of every other restaurant designed to please what the people who finance restaurant openings want to see in the business plan. Certainly reliable for someone coming from another city who wants to visit a restaurant in Portland that is reminds him or her of the latest fad restaurant in the city he or she came from, though.

                  1. re: Politeness

                    I like ten01, but I do take issue with some of the hyperbole. There is a comment on another current chow thread that exclaims the new chef is "on fire!!" WTF?? I mean c'mon, the dude just started...what, three weeks ago?? We all have our favorite places, I just think a little editing goes a long way. Support the places you like, but keep it real.