It’s almost absurd what chefs can do with vegetables these days. The days of overcooked broccoli served as a banquet side are entirely outmoded. Portland is having an unannounced contest for who can do what with locally sourced vegetables, with numerous restaurants plating up some of the most beautiful and edible vegetarian dishes imaginable. Be sure to check out Tusk, recently named one of America’s ten most exciting new restaurants of the year by the prestigious Food & Wine. You’ll just need to see for yourself the magic chef Sam Smith can conceive with a radish.
2448 E. Burnside St. PORTLAND
There is something calming yet momentous about an old-school Italian joint. While so many restaurant newcomers mirror a similar image of chic and boutique, walking into Dino’s Ristorante Italiano is like stepping into a time machine and hitting a jackpot of authentic Italian fare, served in what feels like your grandmother’s dining room, white tablecloths and all. From veal scaloppine
to eggplant parmesan to lasagna, these are traditional dishes, all delicious, all paired perfectly with some chianti wine. Not sure what to order? Our favorite place to start is the spaghetti bolognese. Fantastico!
404 SE Jackson St. ROSEBURG
Dreaming of great seafood this summer? Albatross & Co. in Astoria serves up a tempting array of seafood specialties: seafood stew with a smoky tomato broth, oyster chowder poutine, clams and bucatini, and some scrumptious Dungeness crab deviled eggs. is is a small, rustic kind of place where you’ll want to start the night with some oysters and cocktails, then settle in and linger until last call.
225 14th St. ASTORIA
*A winner has been selected for this category* Congratulations to Ashley J. in Bend!