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Mar 22, 2010 08:54 PM

Help me choose a restaurant for my birthday out of these:

I want to go somewhere very special for my birthday, a restaurant I haven't tried. I'd like it to be fairly intimate and romantic.

Some of the restaurants I've been to and love include: Toro Bravo, Navarre, Tabla, Sel Gris, Andina, Oba, Belly Timber, Le Pigeon, Pok Pok, Ping, Alexis, Mint (cocktails are so good!) Mother's Bistro and Nicholas. Been to Higgins and Paley's Place but they were a bit stuffy and over-hyped.

I like adventurous food, the more adventurous/creative the better. I eat lamb, goat, any game meat, poultry (including game birds), and any kind of fish (don't eat beef, rabbit or pork so Beast isn't an option).

So far I'm thinking of:
*Ten 01 ( the lamb looks sooo good!)
*Urban Farmer
*50 plates

What would you suggest, and please add any other restaurants that you think fit the above??

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  1. Out of those 5, I've only eaten at Urban Farmer, which I found over-rated and pretentious, so I suppose I'm suggesting you strike that one!

    Urban Farmer
    525 SW Morrison St., Portland, OR 97204

    1 Reply
    1. This is just total curiosity here... But are the animals you do and don't eat based entirely on taste? Or is there a type of diet out there that specifically forbids beef pork and rabbit, but not any other animals? I can't think of a religious diet like that, maybe it's based on blood type? Ayurvedic doshas? I'm stumped...

      1 Reply
      1. re: StarkRaving

        My husband is a Hindu and doesn't eat cows, so out of respect for him I don't. I have a pet rabbit and don't eat them, and we think pigs are more intelligent and loyal than dogs, so we don't eat pork.

      2. Oh, and to your question, Castagna is great, though maybe not that adventurous, you might find it stuffy as well. (If you like Nicholas, you should check out Ya Hala sometime.) Vindaloo might also appeal, if you like Indian lamb. Mostly, if it was me, I'd go back to one of the ones on your been-to list. Oh, you didn't list Bamboo Sushi - they also have great cooked fish dishes, and it's kind of cool that you can get guilt-free sushi. It's immediatly next door to Ken's Pizza, another one worth trying.
        Oh, and I haven't been there yet but the re-opened Genoa is getting pretty good reviews.

        1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

        3 Replies
        1. re: StarkRaving

          Have you been to Castagna since they changed chefs last fall? While before the change, Castagna might have been not so adventurous, now I think it really fits the OP's criteria. Plus it is not nearly as stuffy as before. Of the places the OP mentioned, Castagna for me best fits the intimate/romantic/adventurous criteria. (If you've been since the change, I'll apologize in advance, but it sounds like you might be talking about the old Castagna.)

          1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

          1. re: Nettie

            Thanks Nettie, haven't been to Castagne yet, so it's definitely an option.

          2. re: StarkRaving

            Thanks, looking into Genoa and Ya Hala.

          3. I'd say Ten01 or Castagna by a longshot.
            Also the new/old Genoa.

            1 Reply
            1. I love Mints Martinis, but love Mothers and Pok Poks food.

              Pok Pok
              3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR