Restaurant Recs for Portland Visit
Hi all! I am planning a weekend trip to Portland from the east coast for my boyfriend's birthday. For the trip, I am trying to pick two restaurants - one for just the two of us (preferably something romantic and intimate), and one for a group of friends. Right now, my frontrunners are Roe (full tasting), Beast, Le Pigeon, and Bamboo Sushi. Advice and insights from local hounds would be greatly appreciated!
Roe is definitely intimate, we have only been once and I lived it but my husband thought everything was too heavy/saucy. I had barnacles that were amazing. The only thing I didn't love about Roe when we went was that I had been to the attached restaurant in front (wafu now block + tackle) several tines and loved the cocktail menu, but in back they had a separate bar with just standard/basic cocktails. Which is fine, but I was kind of bummed there was no special cocktail menu.
Bamboo sushi is the best! Really the only place to go here if you want good sushi, hokusei is good too but not quite as good. Bamboo is a wait unless you are there at 5. Hokusei takes reservations.
Beast is a must. Good with friends too. And expatriate across the street and owned by her husband, stop in for a pre or post dinner cocktail! Amazing drinks. I like to get the diplomatic pouch (bartenders choice) and have never been disappointed.
Le Pigeon is intimate, but I wod pick Ava Gene's over that :) have never had a bad anything at ava gene's! Ava genes is good for a group but hard to get a reservation for 6+ and they only do some walkins for groups of four or less.
If say you have to do Beast, it's fine for a date but all communal seating so maybe better for the group if the whole group is in. But it's amazing.
St Jack is great, I haven't been to the new location but I would also go there over LP if you want french.
And get brunch at Tasty and Alder or Tasty and sons while you're here :)
From your list:
Romantic and intimate = Roe (reserve ASAP for the full tasting at the counter...make sure you call; don't just rely on Open Table). This is a great option
Group = Beast is a good option. OX would also be great with a group. I personally would not recommend sushi if you are also doing Roe.