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Top-notch, affordable, sublime Portland spots?


Restaurants & Bars 13

Top-notch, affordable, sublime Portland spots?

young and hungry | Aug 7, 2008 12:09 PM

I'm taking the bf to Portland for a surprise trip next week (Thurs-Sat). It's not much time, and I want to hit up the very best downtown Portland has to offer. We're not on a budget, per se, but kind of.

Basically, I'm looking for dowtown Portland restaurants satisfying the following requirements:

- Reasonable portion sizes/small-plates style
- Captures the essence of Portland
- Local, top-quality ingredients
- Not "cheap", but won't break the bank; bistro-level pricing
- Gracious, intelligent, non-obtrusive service
- Affordable and locally focused wine selection
- Comfortable/casual, yet classy (no dress code, but no slobs either)
- Within walk/bus/cab distance from Hotel Monaco (SW Washington and SW 5th)
- Great happy hour a plus

To illustrate the types of places I'm talking about, some Seattle reference points are Tilth, Crush, Quinn's, Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf, Le Pichet, Txori, La Carta de Oaxaca, TASTE at the Seattle Art Museum.

In perusing all of the Portland recs here on Chowhound, I've come up with the following potential places:

- Le Pigeon: Sounds pretty uniformly excellent
- Paley's Place
- Higgins
- Pok Pok
- Clyde Commons: The closest thing to a PDX version of Quinn's?
- ten01
- Sel Gris
- Carlyle: Sounds a bit on the fancy end?
- Simpatica: For good brunch?
- Park Kitchen
- Wildwood

Any light you wonderfully knowledgeable food-tastic folks could shed on some recommendations would be so appreciated--and I'd be sure to post back with a full review once we return.

<3 Young and Hungry

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