Season's Greetings Portland!
Thank you again so, so much for your wonderful advice the last time I visited the city in May for a truly spectacular week of extraordinary beer, cocktails, wine tasting, food, and of course, lots of fun! Here's the thread from the last time I was in town: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844561
Just to recap from my only two trips to Portland, in May and the other in 2010, here are the stops I've made:
Restaurants: Higgins, Le Pigeon, Pok Pok (twice), Biwa, St. Jack, Broder, Toro Bravo, Bunk Sandwiches, Grüner (only was able to try the burger), Apizza Scholls, Tin Shed, Kenny & Zuke's
Carts: Nong's Khao Man Gai, Potato Champion
"Other": Salt & Straw, Ken's Artisan Bakery, Cacao (drinking chocolates plus Xocolatl de David and Sahagun truffles), Coco's Donuts, St. Jack Patisserie
Coffee/Espresso: Stumptown Annex for cupping, Stumptown at the Ace, Spella, Sterling, Water Ave.,Courier, Coava, Public Domain, Barista NE, Barista Pearl
Breweries/Pubs: Cascade, Deschutes, Widmer, Tugboat, Hair of the Dog, Upright, Amnesia, Horse Brass, Apex
Wine Bar/ Cocktails: Bar Avignon, Clyde Common, Kask, Beaker & Flask, Teardrop, Rum Club, Ten 01 (I hear it's gone?)
Willamette Wine Tasting: Trisaetum, Penner-Ash, Adelsheim, Carlton Wine Studio
Now, we resume our regularly scheduled programming, and return to beautiful Portland for a wedding, followed by the New Years holiday. It's so wonderful to see how much deserved national publicity Portland has been receiving this year...from Alan Richman to Serious Eats month in Oregon...and because of this magnificent food culture, it's always so hard for us visitors to trim our lists!
I'll have 6 days and 6 nights, keeping mind that 1 night is taken by the wedding, and 2 of the days/ nights are New Years Eve and Day, so I'd love help in uncovering who will be closed and open for these holidays. I'll also have a car and unlike last time, I'm staying Downtown instead of in the NW.
The "ones that got away" from my last visit and I vowed to go to the next time were Olympic Provisions, Tasty n Sons, Ken's Artisan Pizza, and Paley's Place, along with tasting at Clear Creek and coffee at Heart and Ristretto.
Since the rest of my traveling party has either never been to Portland or has spent very little time in town, we'll certainly re-visit Pok Pok (again), but I would love to hear your thoughts on the lesser-known unique dishes there since I've tried most of the standards now.
I also will make sure we re-visit Salt & Straw, Hair of the Dog, Kask, Clyde Common, and Spella-- all personal favorites of mine.
I already have a reservation at Paley's Place for New Years Eve-- I need to try the legendary spot and we've all lived in France, so want to try some of Chef Paley's classics.
Other than that, let's plan a spectacular trip! I've tried reading lots on the new places in 2012-- Ox, Luce, Lardo. Drinks at Woodsman Tavern, Hale Pele, and Imperial.
There are also plenty of places I've missed that are older than just a few months and very captivating-- Tanuki, Evoe, Ha & Vl, Beast, Laurelhurst Market, Navarre, Nostrana, Natural Selection, Aviary...
And also let me know about bakeries, little snacks/taste sensations (thanks Leonardo so much for the tips on wineries, the Coco, and what to get at Cacao last time!), coffee spots, cocktails, breweries/pubs (definitely going to try Bailey's and Saraveza). I've still never tried a Schnitzelwich at Tabor or a Pine St. biscuit.
Lastly, we'll have a wine tasting day with probably 4 or so stops...currently Soter, Stoller, Elk Cove, Brick Lane, Bergstrom, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene, and a potential return to Penner-Ash are on my radar. I can't hit them all...advice would be very appreciated! We always prefer to sample at the winery instead of tasting rooms in towns. Lunch at Paulee might be in the cards too that day...
I can't wait to return...maybe I can find Alan Richman's favorite stinging nettle flan somewhere. Happy Holidays everyone!