I've been reading through old threads, so have a general idea of what some of the most beloved Portland chow spots are, but was hoping you all could help by giving me some more tailored advice. We are going to be in Portland for two nights in July (staying near SW Washington & SW 5th ave.). We're looking for one "special occasion" spot (an anniversary), and one "anything" spot (you name it) for our dinners.
Also open to any particularly great places for lunch. We love Bijou Cafe for breakfast (possibly some of the best breakfasts I've had anywhere--love the freshness, quality of ingredients, vibe, etc.), so we're most likely to eat there, unless someone can recommend a place that they feel is head-and-shoulder above it.
For dinner, we're not looking for any particular type of food per se, but would really like a few places that truly exemplify Portland (sorry, I know this is what EVERYONE says they want, but your city just has so much awesome character), with a lot of flavor and personality. Some great "local" seafood dishes are a plus, as well as other fresh, high quality ingredients...just something that's really unique to your area. It'd be great if it were walkable from where we are staying, but we will have a car, so will travel if it's worth it.
Ideas so far:
Higgins (is this still any good? it seems like talk of this place has dipped way down)
Beast (looks like a fun, different place, but not sure if the communal table is the best option)
Le Pigeon (is this also communal?? Better than Beast?)
Any of the above (paley's, sel gris; Carlyle? Clyde Common?)
will continue to research and add to the list. Any help appreciated.