Thanks to Nick and everyone whose posts I read to get ideas for a long weekend in Portland! I appreciated and benefitted from the help. Of course, I didn't get to eat at many places I wanted to and ended up at places I was unexpectedly pleased by. The unpredictability of travel!
Best food: Typhoon and Pazzo. Had lunch at Typhoon - very tasty beef salad - and drinks later on. About eight of us and I think everyone was pleased with their food (which was also visually beautiful). I liked the small bar area as well (lemon drop was too sweet! but others liked their drinks).
Pazzo however really stands out for heroic service and very good food. About twenty of us in a small room (reserved in advance) on Sunday night for a long celebratory meal. What really stood out was how nicely managed the service was. The waiter and his assistant were very efficient handling such a large group - consistently attentive all night long. Cashing out was a pain, but so it goes. The food was really delicious (I got the black and white ravioli stuffed with salmon and it was some of the best ravioli I've ever had), and everyone raved about the desserts.
Best atmosphere and value: Both at one place! Aura across from Powell's for happy hour. That $3.00 menu is a fantastic deal and it's a fun spot. I felt the food was eh... all right, but at those prices and in that place, it's curmudgeonly to complain.
We also went to Fernando's Hideaway for tapas one night - a good choice for pleasing many palates. Terrific service and pretty good food. Gorillas on SW 2nd Ave was really kind of odd, but for lunch not bad. I also really enjoyed Great Harvest Bread Company's scones.
Overall impressions - great range of choices you all have downtown! Thanks again for the advice...