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Two nights in Portland in February, return visitors -- downtown lunch w/wine, dinner opinions

caraely Jan 24, 2011 08:07 PM

Hi all. Will be in Portland mid-Feb (not Valentine's Day) for two nights. Two of us, we go once or twice a year (we live in Seattle).

Last trip we did Navarre and loved it. Might go again. We've heard great things about DOC -- opinions? We will take a cab to outlying areas, no prob. We'll probably do drinks somewhere, then move on for dinner on both nights. We love good cocktails pre-dinner and stick with red wine for the meal. If I'm not too blotto I would love a dessert wine with some sort of bittersweet chocolate dessert. (I shouldn't write these when I'm hungry, sorry.) I would prefer to have dinner somewhere casual and bustling, but not so overwhelmed that we won't be able to hang out and enjoy the meal.

For lunch it would be nice but not a must to stay close to home, which will be Hotel Lucia downtown. It would be great to wander around and plop down at a restaurant with great salads and wine, not outrageously priced. We've done Mother's for brunch, several times.

The last time we were in Portland we headed to the Pearl, but actually got a little bored...maybe we missed a meaty side street or two. Unless there's a must-eat there I'd like to branch out a bit. Ideas? Our friends own Land on Mississippi so we've done that stretch too -- love that little Mexican place at the end but like I said, we're open to a new neighborhood.

Thanks as always for the help.

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  1. n
    Nettie RE: caraely Jan 24, 2011 08:18 PM

    How about Beaker and Flask or Olympic Provisions? Both are fairly close to downtown and pretty bustling, but not normally too crazy (on a weeknight especially). B&F has a pretty extensive bar. OP has maybe fewer cocktails and is most well-known for curing their own meats (which you can buy there or at several markets around town), but I've really enjoyed the meals I've had there, too. I would probably walk there from downtown and take a cab back--it's just over the Morrison bridge on the east side. You might also try Toro Bravo, which does sort of an Oregon take on Spanish tapas. There is always a wait for a table there, but you can go upstairs and wait at the Secret Society, which specializes in prohibition-era cocktails. All of these are more interesting than the Pearl!

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    Toro Bravo
    120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

    Beaker and Flask
    720 SE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nettie
      caraely RE: Nettie Jan 24, 2011 08:47 PM

      Thank you Nettie! We have done Toro Bravo and Secret Society, thanks for reminding me. I'll look at Beaker and Flask and OP for sure.

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      Toro Bravo
      120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

      Beaker and Flask
      720 SE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

      1. re: caraely
        l
        Leonardo RE: caraely Jan 24, 2011 09:25 PM

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760922
        Shigezo downtown for a good lunch, if you like Japanese.

        Another great drink place is Teardrop in the Pearl.

        Bijou Cafe downtown for breakfast.

    2. c
      cheeseisheaven RE: caraely Jan 25, 2011 09:29 AM

      If you want to try a few new places, there's Little Bird the french offshoot of Le Pigeon, and Gruener (not as new) is near you, too. Another new French bistro, St. Jack is off the beaten path on SE Clinton, and Bar Avignon is nearby if you want good cocktails before. Also, for lunch, it is out of your way, but, in the same area Taste Unique on SE Division has the best Italian food.It's small, more of a take out, but they serve lunch. I love their pastas and foccacia, the desserts are rich, and the chef and owner , who moved here from Rome is a delight to talk to.

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      Le Pigeon
      738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

      Bar Avignon
      2138 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheeseisheaven
        caraely RE: cheeseisheaven Jan 26, 2011 09:49 AM

        cheeseisheaven, should we try Le Pigeon first? Never been there. Though I really like Navarre I'm thinking we do Le Pigeon one night, DOC the second. Beaker & Flask and one other for drinks. Still looking at the breakfast suggestions.

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        Le Pigeon
        738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

        1. re: caraely
          n
          Nettie RE: caraely Jan 26, 2011 10:56 AM

          I would do Le P first over Little Bird. We've only been to LB once, so I don't have a lot of experience with it, but in my opinion it seemed a little more basic than Le P--most things at Le P have really knocked my socks off, but while the dishes I had at LB were very good, they didn't seem to be reaching as far. The food reminded me a little of Le Pichet in Seattle, if you're familiar with that.

          1. re: Nettie
            s
            syrahgirl RE: Nettie Jan 26, 2011 09:30 PM

            We dined at Le Pigeon last night at the bar. it was fantastic, this was our second time there. The Beef Bourginon is amazing, so were the Foie Gras profiteroles. :)

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            Le Pigeon
            738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

      2. j
        jeff_pdx RE: caraely Jan 28, 2011 12:13 AM

        June (junepdx.com) is our favorite of all the numerous places that opened in 2010. Don't know how recent the great things you've heard about DOC are, but the chef at June was the original chef at DOC.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jeff_pdx
          caraely RE: jeff_pdx Jan 28, 2011 07:23 AM

          Thanks jeff_pdx. The DOC reviews are from last year. June looks lovely but a bit similar to Le Pigeon in terms of dishes...I thought DOC would give us a bit more variety. Any thoughts on that, or another great Italian spot we might try?

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          Le Pigeon
          738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

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