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Dinner in Portland--ANY place I choose...

Hello! I am preparing to be a missionary to Italy for the next year (and potentially the rest of my life) and my family is throwing me a going away party so I can see everyone before I go. The dinner will be at any restaurant in Portland that I choose...and I have no clue (I live in Washington and have not had the privilege of enjoying Portland's culinary scene).

I am open to all recommendations, but I eat mostly vegetarian (will eat salmon, turkey, and halibut) and love when things are local, organic, and made from scratch.

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  1. My top two picks for ya would be:

    Wildwood
    Genoa

    1. There is a new restaurant called Natural Selection on Alberta- it's vegetarian and has gotten great reviews
      http://www.naturalselectionpdx.com/
      If someone was treating me...I would want to go to Castagna, but that may not be for everyone
      Ned Ludd or Toro Bravo/ Tasty and Sons ...perhaps Autentica, you might miss Mexican food in Italy...

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      Castagna
      1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

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

      Ned Ludd
      3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheeseisheaven

        I just checked out the Castagna menu (we are coming to Portland soon) and, ummm, I think I know what you mean when you wrote "...but that may not be for everyone." I think (used to think) I had a very adventurous palate, but, check out this dessert that was on Castagna's dessert menu tonight "Beets soaked in rye whiskey, malted ice cream, sorrel and bavarian malt." That is, quite frankly, disgusting.

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        Castagna
        1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

        1. re: wrldtrvl

          I haven't had that desert, but if it's like many of their dishes, the listed ingredients are entirely transformed by the time they hit your plate -- one desert we did have had sunchokes somehow turned into sweet, chewy toffee-like candies.

          1. re: grapesgrapes

            I have a hard time imagining the use of sorrel with any of the other ingredients in that dish. At some point, I wonder what is the point--If the ingredient is so transformed, why bother?? Guess I am more into pure, intense, flavors. Come to think of it, I probably like fewer flavors but a variety of textures....

      2. Natural Selections is excellent, but not very big and may not be enjoyed by any family/friends who just MUST eat meat with every meal. Castagna and Autentica may not be the most veg friendly options. Ned Ludd, Toro Bravo or Tasty and Sons would all make excellent choices, with lots of variety and space to accomodate everyone. Wildwood is excellent, as is Genoa, although that is a set 6-course menu, and may not really suit the occasion.

        I would also look at Clyde Common and Andina.

        Finally, although it's not quite as trendy as some of those places, the Farm is consistently excellent, vegetarian and pescatarian (and usually a meat dish on the specials), local and sustainable, good drinks, and if you nab the patio on a warm day, I couldn't imagine a nicer place in Portland to spend time with family
        .

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        Clyde Common
        1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

        Andina Restaurant
        1314 NW Glisan, Portland, OR 97209

        Castagna
        1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

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

        Ned Ludd
        3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

        1. How is Caprial and John's restauarant? I don't live in Portland, but I see them on PBS, and they appear to be the Queen and her King of farm-to-table cooking and eating.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jay F

            Caprial and John's closed down a few years ago. They still have a supper club a few times a month, I think.

            1. re: Jay F

              Don't know about royalty cred, but their place closed at least a year ago.

            2. So...do you know the Galloways?

              Honestly, I doubt that there is no one place in Portland that will "send you off well." I fed our wonderful American friends who returned to visit from Florence over these last 7 years and I watched how their tastes changed. They liked very little when they returned towards the end...other than... big breakfasts and ethnic food (Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, etc.)

              You may be best heading to Fat City Cafe, Esparza, Pok Pok or Pho Von than trying to eat something like turkey or halibut.

              Good luck!

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              Pok Pok
              3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

              Fat City Cafe
              7820 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219

              1 Reply
              1. re: Starlag

                I don't know the Galloways, but I don't go to Italy until September...so maybe I will meet them?!?! I am definitely a fan of ethnic food from many regions ...I actually think I will have a lot of trouble adjusting to the food in Italy because I don't really care for pasta and I don't eat pork!

                Thanks for all the recommendations, I will investigate them all and let you know what I pick! Keep the suggestions coming if you all have more!