As unusual as it may seem, I have two friends, both are women and are restaurant owners (very different restaurants) in the Seattle region (both have places about an hour outside of Seattle). They are coming to Portland celebrate one of their birthdays. They are staying at the Avalon hotel and Spa for some pampering and time away from the kids.
My mission is to take them out to a fun happy hour (one of them has never even been to Portland), maybe have some wine and appitizers at one place, then have a nice dinner so we can experience several places in one evening. This is not a pub crawl, just some professional foodies/winos looking to have an epicurian experience and potentially incorporate some of the best Portland has to offer.
They would specifically like to experience NW cusine since that is what both their restaurants specialize in (one has actually more of an italian flair if I were to describe it). They would like to be "inspired" and "wow'd" -to quote them both. Challanging since it's a Monday night. I know that someone had compiled a list of places that are open on Monday, but I can't seem to locate it.
Since they have planned this birthday trip with not a lot of notice for me, here is my short list, please give me any feedback of what you think, any suggestions or recommendations are welcome:
Portland City Grill
(only if the weather is nice, for the views-for the friend who has never been to Portland)
-love it, but Not on our list. My friend with the birthday used to come to Portland on business visits, we've been there at least 3 times, though it is good, she wants something different-same goes for the Heathman and Red Star
- Referral from a client, anyone been? Supposed to have great drinks, nice ambiance.
Vault -? Comments, experiences welcome
Echo - same as above
Crow Bar - same as above?
H2O - ??
Bluehour -? (this is embarrising, I obviously don't get out that much for HH)
Wildwood (not sure if they are open)
Any comments or suggestions are appreciated, thanks in advance for your help!