My boyfriend and I have an ongoing list of our "top 5" restaurants in Portland. With the freedom to switch one out when we find something great. I'm going to throw mine out there in hopes that I can get some good recommendations from other PDXers.
(in no particular order)
1. Toro Bravo: Great tapas, great atmosphere, food so good you want to take pictures of it and can't get it out of your head for days to come. I love the paella, the stewed butternut squash (though it's seasonal, and now I think it's a version made with zucchini or something), and the dates wrapped in bacon with warm honey. Mmmm.... (though I WANT to love the sangria and I'm just not that impressed by it).
2. Piazza Italia: Real authentic great Italian food and wine. Fun atmosphere and fun waitstaff. I like the Spaghetti Mare e Monte (Spaghetti with pesto and grilled shrimp, SO good. Their pesto in general is just GOOD). The tiramasu there is also amazing.
3. Pad Thai Kitchen: My favorite place to get thai in Portland. It's not super authentic, fancy thai like Pok Pok - but it's seriously good. Love the chicken drunken noodles and the phad thai. Plus, if you order it to go, you get about 3 x as much food and will be eating it for days. I go so often they have started identifying my voice when I call in to go orders.. "Jenny?".
4. Tin Shed: Everything here is good, with really friendly service and fresh local ingredients. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. And the Mimosas are HUGE! They serve them in like, a beer glass.
5. A creperie toss up between Le Happy and Press Club. Both have unique atmospheres and a good banana nutella crepe. Le Happy is more of a late night place (with board games and a full bar) - but Press Club has really good sandwiches (and they show movies on the wall Sunday nights).
So there's my list. I'm curious to see yours!