written by Julie Lee | photo by Nadir Khouri
In honor of Portland Dining Month, March 1-31, 2016, we’re featuring five participating restaurants worth a visit—especially at a mere $29 for a three-course dinner.
Red Star Tavern
Red Star is one of those Portland mainstays that has survived the test of time. While restaurants continue to open and shutter, sometimes surprisingly (think Levant, Gruner,) Red Star Tavern beats steadily along, offering star worthy food and impeccable service in the heart of downtown. Jake Mickelson has been there six years and is nailing it with some new menu favorites; start with a cup of the delightful tomato coconut soup, cleanse the palate with the butter lettuce spritzed with green goodness dressing, and then bring it home with the 8 oz Wagyu Sirloin accompanied by Brussels and butternut squash.
503 SW Alder St. | redstartavern.com
The Bent Brick and Park Kitchen
Scott Dolich, owner/operator of The Bent Brick and Park Kitchen, is about to turn Portland’s restaurant scene on its head with a very aggressive and well thought out plan to cross train the front house and kitchen in an effort to provide a more intimate experience for guests, as well as a more sustainable living for all employees. Both restaurants are Portland jewels: The Bent Brick offers a great after work landing spot, and Park Kitchen provides a consistently exquisite dining experience.
The Bent Brick: 1639 NW Marshall Street | thebentbrick.com
Park Kitchen: 422 NW 8th Ave. | parkkitchen.com
Reese Witherspoon knows it, Laura Dern experienced it, now you can too: 23Hoyt is “New York chic” meets “Northwest cool.” When scouts came to town to set up the Wild movie premier, 23Hoyt was deservedly chosen for the after party. The sophisticated charm is evident upon entry, and the urban spin on farm to table dishes is delightful. Our favorite is the steelhead with red quinoa.
529 NW 23rd Ave. | 23hoyt.com
Cozy ambience, exceptional food: Cafe Nell wins a daily loyal audience for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. With a fire place centrally located in the main dining area and a uber cool bar, any seat in the house is a good one. It’s not exactly on the dinner menu, but it needs to be noted that they have one of the best Bloody Mary’s in town. For dinner, a glass of vino and the lamb ragout will hit the spot.
1987 NW Kearney St. | cafenell.com
Jenn Louis is on fire. With two successful restaurants in Portland (Sunshine Tavern is the other) and another launching soon in Los Angeles, a cookbook, “Pasta by Hand,” a catering business, and a shelf full of awards including Best New Chef in 2012, her resume can cause either envy or depression, depending on the reader. It all started with Lincoln, and dining there is a chance to experience what put her on the map. Considering she wrote a cookbook about it, be sure to get the pasta.
3808 N. Williams Ave. Ste.127 | lincolnpdx.com