I think one of the best things that we learned about Portland on our scouting trip was that the people here know good food and appreciate eating locally, sustainably, and seasonally. We never picked a mediocre restaurant and we embraced all of the sultry winter flavors served up in a range of inventive ways at each place we visited. Food, as you can tell, is a pleasure for us and its high on our list of criteria for places we could possibly live.
One of the places that we tried for dinner upon the insistence of friends, is Park Kitchen. We devoured a chestnut ravioli with cranberries and red cabbage, black cod with potato gratin and oyster sauce, a shaved apple and toasted hazelnut salad, and a few pieces of xocolatl de David.
We also gobbled up tasty pollo verde tacos at Por Que No? tacqueria on Hawthorne. The atmosphere of this popular taco spot was lively and casual with recycled and thrift store elements sprinkled throughout the decor.
For a comforting bowl of tomato soup paired with a classic grilled cheese sandwich, we tried Blueplate lunch counter, a homey luncheonette that specializes in milk shakes with local Cascade Glacier ice cream.
For a range of festive holiday beers, we tried Henry's 12th Street Tavern which has over 100 craft beer on tap and very inexpensive happy hour dishes (think $2 melted Reuben sandwiches). Henry's tavern now operates inside of the same building that used to house the Blitz-Weinhard Brewery which produced quality beer for over 140 years.
We tried Ten 01 in the Pearl District and were treated to the tastiest northwest oysters (my favorite), a delicious roasted chicken with celery root-butternut squash risotto, a beet salad, handmade black pepper fettuccine, and chocolate peanut butter bread pudding with pretzel bark and malted ice cream. Oh yes it was good.
I should also mention Mother's bistro, which we visited post-Christmas for the perfect holiday hangover Bloody Mary.