Thanks to a friend for treating a couple of us in this place. I am not big fan of red meat, therefore steaks are not always my go to item most of the time. But somehow this place stuck out for its ambience and dishes (from what I saw online).
3 of us were there on a Thursday night and although a reservation was not needed for a Thursday night, I still made one to be safe. It’s a cozy little place with elegance and intricate vibes. As soon as you walk inside Grill 68, you’ll get the sense that food here has to be good. And let me tell you, it is.
We were treated with some freshly made bread and soft flavorful butter once we sat down. For dinner, we decided to try different kinds of meat and share. My friends ordered the flamed grilled 1/2 chicken with potato and steak frites while I got braised lamb shank for myself.
Being a steak place, beef was the best dish out of 3, that was served in slices with fries at the bottom of the heavy cast iron pan. If I come back here again, I’d definitely order their steaks from the menu where you can find filet mignon, New York, and ribeye styles along with surf and turf, grilled seafood, lamb chops, and etc. The menu will satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
My braised lamb shank, called Braised Lamb Shank “Osso Bucco”, came with mushroom risotto that was covered with the pan juice. Although the risotto was a bit average for my taste, the lamb was soft and luscious. I did not find the chicken dish very amusing that came with mashed potatoes. I thought it was a bit dull and dry. Nevertheless, it is a grill and steak place, my instinct was to go with their red meat selection.
For dessert, we shared a big plate of lava cake with 2 scoops of ice-cream on the side (I think it was hazelnut flavored ice-cream?) drizzled with some white chocolate chips on the plate. It was worth every penny.
Grill 68 would be a perfect place for a romantic date night or for a company team dinner or to bring your parents for an elevated meal. I would not probably want to celebrate my kids’ birthday here or their graduation.
There are tons of parking spaces in the lot and if you come when the weather is nice, you can grab a table outside too. Grill 68 kind of opened my eyes to explore more steak places in Portland and convinced me that sometimes a slice of good juicy steak is what you need after a long day of work on weekdays.
Thinking about a Saturday night dinner with a couple friends, we made reservations in 2 places. But eventually, went with Jake’s Famous Crawfish because that just felt right. I’ve seen the name so many times when I search for top restaurants in the city, couldn’t wait to try it out.
This is Portland’s 2nd oldest restaurant that is still in business. Dating back to 1892, this is a 130 years old eatery in the heart of bustling downtown Portland, serving classic seafood dishes. Some of their menu items still use recipes from the early 1900s. Celebrities like Madonna, Michael Jordan, and many more added to its golden history by enjoying meals here over the last many decades. This is a piece from their menu worth sharing: “Menus are crafted and printed each day, after the early morning delivery of seafood and shellfish from the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico. Locally sourced produce and ingredients ensure unmatched freshness.” No wonder it has scored to be on the nation’s top 10 restaurants few times.
This is relatively a big and upscale restaurant which can accommodate many people in a few different sections. There are also tables and chairs outside by the street if the weather permits. We made a reservation for the Saturday night, but I feel like it’s so big…we could have gotten a table without booking anything earlier. With a fancy interior, stain glass roof, chandeliers, old fashioned charm, and elegant furniture, this is a place where you would want to celebrate an occasion, like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or take that special someone for a date night.
The menu is packed with tons of seafood appetizers, soups, salads, and main courses. There are some other meaty options too. Try their fresh and warm bread and butter that come right after you sit down. From crawfish, to Dungeness crabs to shrimp, salmon, steelhead, lobster, to anything…this place has it all.
After hearing few of the recommendations from our server (horseradish crusted steelhead and etouffee), we started with some appetizers – Dungeness crab and bay shrimp cakes in ginger/jalapeño aioli and pan fried oysters with tartar sauce. I am from Maryland and have had some of the best crab cakes in my life, but this crab and shrimp cake was just PERFECT. And for oysters, I usually go for fresh oysters, but this time pan fried sounded adventurous and wanted to try it…very delicate yet crunchy and fresh.
For dinner, we had a bowl of seafood medley, called “Jake’s Traditional Bouillabaisse” where a bowl of light broth contained mussels, clams, scallops, prawns, salmon, and crab legs with a couple garlic breads. This was more like a soup than a stew, but the size is way too big for me (no complain, had a doggy bag to bring back with me). We also tried stuffed cod with veges and mashed potatoes.
You gotta reserve Jake’s Famous Crawfish for those special nights when you want to impress your guests who value good Pacific Northwest seafood classics. The place is definitely not a cheap one…but I don’t mind spending money on an unforgettable place or plates, that also gives me unforgettable memories.
What a find by my friend!!! Quaintrelle is a farm to table restaurant in SE Portland where you can choose whatever you want from the menu or be surprised by the chef from a 5 or 7 or 9 or 12 course dinner experience. The items in these courses depend on the season and the ingredients chef finds that day in the farmer’s market.
We went ahead with the 7 course menu for $145 per person…drinks are separate. You gotta be a passionate foodie to try a restaurant like this and be ready for anything. We felt lazy to go over the menu and wanted to be surprised by the chef.
We started off with some drinks “Un” and “Deux” a couple of non-alcoholic drinks. Then the non-stop series of plates started coming.
First, some of the best oysters I had in my life, then some very lightly cooked scallops, then raw tuna, breads with homemade flavored butter and olives, salmon, duck (I don’t usually eat duck, but this was the best), grapefruit sorbet with olive oil and wasabi, pita crackers with cheese, a dessert with corn ice cream and plum sorbet.
Quaintrelle, which is about a year old in this location, is a perfect place to take your loved ones, guests, a date, or people who just love going thru culinary adventures. It’s not very big inside…be ready to be a bit cozy with your neighboring tables. I’d also recommend making a reservation first.
If you are a vegan or pescatarian or don’t eat pork, they will work around your diet to give you the best experience.
When you are in Quaintrelle, you just have to sit back, relax, and let the chef take the wheel. Enjoy the vibe of this place, the presentations, the stories behind these dishes, and finally, the music.
Couple weeks ago, four of my travel chicas and I went out for a dinner get together in one of the best seafood places in Portland downtown. FYI, our travel pack, which consists of 5 girls, has traveled to Cabo, Mexico and Punta Cana, DR so far, our next trip is coming up soon later this year for some girl time fun.
For dinner that Sunday evening, we wanted to go to Tusk at first, then stopped at Mediterranean Exploration Company…but waiting time was more than an hour in both places. So, while looking for something nearby and considering a previous recommendation, we ended up going to Southpark Seafood on Salmon Street…only couple minutes drive from Portland waterfront. The restaurant is about 20 years old but it has upgraded its reputation recently in the last few years.
Southpark Seafood is a contemporary and stylish restaurant where you want to bring your loved ones for a grand treat or to celebrate an extra special event. It can be a bit noisy but I admired that casual ambiance here. The restaurant features sustainable seafood with a daily changing menu. They not only compost all their food waste and practice the reduce/reuse/recycle diligently, but also use straws made from corn and bar picks made of wood. If you happen to be an environmentalist AND an oyster lover, like me, they have one of the largest selections of oysters in town.
For appetizers and entrees, we had half a dozen oysters, clam chowder with gnocchi, Salmon Poke with seaweed/radish/nuts with sesame crackers, burger, Manila Clams with garlic/chili flake, Fried chicken with peanuts/maple syrup, Garlic Confit brick oven pizza with lemon zest/parsley, and Squid Ink Fettuccine with manila clams/tomato/scallions. At the end, we had an order of Warm Banana Bread Pudding which came with caramel, candied walnuts, and bruléed bananas. I tried every single dish from my friends’ and my small plates, except for the clam chowder and the Manila clams, and I don’t remember tasting something and going “Oh, I don’t like this one” for any dish in Southpark Seafood. Everything that I’ve tasted had unique flavors and signature touch to it.
Oysters that we had were the freshest, although, taste-wise, I probably liked the ones in Dan & Louise better. What I’ve heard from my friends about clam chowder was that it was creamy with the perfect combination of thickness and flavor that came with small sizes of gnocchi. Salmon Poke was probably the best one that really stood out on our table. It’s raw salmon with crunchy nuts and seaweed…a simple yet so yummy small plate that we could eat it for a main portion of dinner. I don’t usually eat burgers at a seafood restaurant but it was definitely beyond my expectation. Same for the fried chicken…something I wouldn’t have tried at a seafood place, especially I with maple syrup (bummer). But my friend requested the syrup on the side…therefore, the fried chicken alone tasted excellent crunchiness outside and super soft inside texture. The oven baked thin crust pizza was also very authentic and aromatic. My second favorite here, after the Salmon Poke, was my dish “Squid Ink Fettuccine”. Phew, the dish came with some gorgeous manila clams in a medium portion. The added tomato and scallion kicked this squid ink pasta dish to another level of elegance…totally got my umami effect from this. To end the mean, bread pudding was presented delicately on a wooden board…warm with candied nuts and caramelized banana slices, couldn’t have been any better.
Some of the other highlighted items in the menu were seafood stew, fish and chips, different kinds of salads, soups, sandwiches, habanero aioli fries, grilled octopus and scallops, Ahi Tuna, dungeness crab, King salmon, seafood tower that includes oysters/crab/tuna/scallops/prawns with assorted sauce, pasta with lamb ragu, beet + goat cheese ravioli, and a whole lot of other very appetizing dishes. For the dessert menu, other than the banana bread pudding that we ordered, it also includes lemon cheesecake, German chocolate cake, cookie plate, gelato, sorbet, and some more.
It’s not just the food, but their friendly and fast service also that gave all of us a beautiful evening. Plan to park in a paid area or find a street parking for this restaurant. It’s a big restaurant…mostly likely, you won’t reservation for a small or big group. No doubt, I would highly recommend this to all of my people…come and check it out, let me know which dish you liked the most.
Our mother-daughter date could not have been any better last Saturday night. My younger one was at a play-date (which turned into a sleep over) and my older teen daughter was fancying a posh restaurant with elegant yet casual vibes. What better way to fulfill that wish other than taking her to one of the best places in Portland?
Canard is owned by the same talented team as Le Pigeon, which is a French restaurant located right next door. Canard is chef Gabriel Rucker’s most casual place to dine in an elegant yet relaxed mood. The dishes in the menu are from all over the world, but mainly French-inspired. The portion, taste, delicacies, presentation…they all scream OUI in every possible way. Rightfully so, the restaurant won “Best restaurant of the year” within couple weeks of opening it in 2018. I would categorize this as a street side European-style bistro where the food is fine-dining quality. The service is as fantastic as the food and the ambiance, we barely waited 5 minutes to get to be seated and the overall service was fast and friendly.
So, now to the best part…the dishes we ordered. We had half a dozen of mignonette oysters with green chili juice, their signature Garlic Fries with home-made sauce, Foie Gras Dumplings with celery root, black garlic, and orange cubes, and Thai Fried Trout with green curry guacamole that came with thinly sliced picked carrots and butter lettuce. If you are there just for snacks or drink and want to try only one item…it should be their garlic fries. This is probably the most addicting french fries I have tried so far which is perfectly cut, infused with garlic flavor, seasoned with the right amount of herbs, and fried for the right amount of time. The oysters were fresh and small, but the hint of the chili sauce added a delicious kick. For Foie Gras dumpling, I have never tried it before even after living in Belgium for few years. The ones in Canard were not only creamy and flavorful but also it managed to prove my skepticism about foie gras. Black garlic with the dumplings were just small pieces of savory heaven in that bowl…something I’ve never tried before either. Another main entree, Thai Fried Trout, was crunchy outside, yet soft and moist inside…not greasy at all. Every piece of trout in the bowl was aromatic and classy. Finally, to the finish the meal, we had one order of Paris Brest to share. This was probably a regret there and we should not have ordered it after eating all those above. It was fantastic with cookies & cream and chocolate sauce. But the size and consistency didn’t work well, since we were already too full.
Overall, we had an excellent experience here. This is a great place for date, to hang out with friends or colleagues or for girls night out. But I wouldn’t bring small kids here…I don’t think my 10-year old would have appreciated this place or its food to the fullest. You will get the oysters for half the price if you come here during happy hour. Next time, I got to try the next door sister restaurant, La Pigeon to see what the hype about is about this place. Plan to park parallel on nearby streets when you want to come here.
I think I finally got a perfect place to get fresh seafood dishes in Portland. That means, I don’t have to drive to the coastal towns when I am craving some good quality oysters or chowder. I don’t know if it happens to you, but once in a while I literally crave for fresh/top quality oysters. And it was one of those nights when it hit me that I needed some oysters. My friend and I searched some places and the place we initially wanted to go was closed. So, we had to look for another nearby place where we could to devour some oysters.
Located in the heart of Old Portland, Dan & Louis Oyster Bar is an old-school seafood stop for the seafood lovers. With nautical decors and port-city atmosphere inside plus a cool outdoor sitting arrangements, this place has been serving oysters and chowders since 1907. It’s not just the decor, but the friendly service, absolutely delicious food, and the steeped history that made me a big fan of this gem in my city. This is a must stop if you love freshest seafood options in a classic restaurant that has been owned by five generations of the family for over 100 years…makes this the oldest family owned restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, as the name implies, is specialized in oysters, although every dish we ordered was outstanding and was made to perfection. Honestly, it is a bit hard to order from the menu when everything there sounds so mouth-watering. We had half a dozen of “Oysters on the Half Shell”, Oysters Parmesan, clam chowder, Seafood Saute with the choices of prawns and calamari. As I said before, these fresh Northwest oysters here are to die for. The Oysters Parmesan are large fresh shucked oysters baked with Parmesan and garlic butter…you can’t have enough of them. The chowder was yet one of the best I’ve tried so far…flawless combination of seafood, potato, and creaminess…blended with terrific flavors. Finally, the only main entree we ordered was the saute seafood with prawns and calamari that came with slightly fried thin zucchini slices. This dish was served with perfectly cooked prawns and calamari. Seriously, I can’t say enough of this place…you just gotta come and try it.
They also have fish tacos, different kinds of sandwiches, all sorts of fried seafood options, smoked seafood varieties, gumbo, grilled fish, and etc. I am sure, whatever types of seafood you are looking for, you will find it in Dan & Louis Oyster Bar. This is a great place to celebrate any special occasion or just to hang out with friends on a Friday night or to bring your date for a fancy yet casual dinner. And yes, I am going back there AGAIN.
Located few blocks from the water front and the World Trade Center in downtown Portland, Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery is an ideal place to hang out with your friends or coworkers on any night of the week. I was there with few of my girlfriends on a Saturday evening without a reservation. But thankfully, we didn’t have to wait even 5 minutes to get a table. The service here is very fast, friendly, and professional.
Rock Bottom Restaurant has a wide variety of menu from appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, steak, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and many Mexican dishes too. And if you are like me who is always looking for spicy food, their menu may fulfill your taste buds.
For appetizers, we had Rockin’ Guac and Firecracker shrimps to be shared with 5 of us. Rockin’ Guac came with nachos and freshly made delicious guacamole. But I loved the firecracker shrimps more…they were really crunchy outside and perfectly tender inside. It wasn’t spicy hot as I thought it would be, but were very addicting.
For the main course, I had Cajun pasta with shrimp without the sausage. My friends ordered chicken tortilla soup, mango habanero chicken, cajun fish taco, and jambalaya. Out of all 4 dishes, the mango habanero chicken was the best (although I didn’t try the soup or the taco). It came with pico de gallo and avocado and the chicken was cooked/grilled to the most perfect way. Jambalaya was very good and was very spicy too. The sauce hits your tongue and burns your mouth after few bites. I loved my Cajun pasta that had perfect spiciness but was a bit too saucy for me. Next time, I know for sure that I’ll go with that habanero chicken.
All the dishes were very proportionate, at least for me. I usually can’t finish my plate most of time I go out to eat. I couldn’t finish here either, but did better this time.
I wouldn’t really bring my kids here for a meal but I thought it was a hip place to hang out and have good food with my adult peeps. Parking can be tricky in downtown…use paid garages or street parking if available.
This restaurant closed down its downtown location.
My eight-grader finished this year with more than 3.5 GPA (yes, I’m a proud mama) and we were delighted to attend her “Honor Student and Family Breakfast” this week where she also received an award for outstanding community service. What better way to acknowledge her achievement other than taking her to her favorite restaurant?
My daughter has been mentioning about Urban Fondue for more than a year now. When I asked her to pick a restaurant to celebrate finishing up her middle school successfully…her first choice was Urban Fondue.
Located very close to the downtown area on Glisan St, this is a nice neighborhood to explore few other restaurants and stores. Bad part is that you have to find a street parking but good part is that once you do, it’s all worth the headache.
We made a reservation for four people on a week-night. Although they have option of sitting outside, we sat inside which was simple with vibrant red walls and furniture. Before you try out this place, keep in mind that this is a fondue place…with cheese, chocolate, and different kinds of broth to cook your meat/seafood/veges. Basically, a dip and dine place.
While you can order single entrees from the menu, we ordered a combo for 3 people ($37 per person) where we were able to choose 2 different kinds of cheese fondue, 1 side, 3 main entrees with beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, and 1 dessert.
Our 2 choices of cheese fondue came with small pieces of gourmet bread and a side of vege-roasted cauliflower. Then the main dishes with raw meat/seafood and vegetables came with 2 different kinds of broths that we chose – roasted beef and urban Yosenabe broth. We were given a cooking time card and few timers. Most of these ingredients take about 3 minutes to cook properly in the broth. The dinner platters also came with more than 10 dipping sauces…each being completely different from the others. After the dinner items, we moved onto the dessert part…chocolate fondue with raspberry puree (called Raspberry Swirl). And it came with combo platter with strawberries, banana slices, delicious cheesecake squares, and few other yum bites.
Not to exaggerate, but from the appetizer cheese and bread to dinner items in broth to sweet morsels dipped in chocolate/raspberry fondue…everything tasted just PERFECT…exactly the way you would imagine and how you know you would feel when you dip your food in scrumptious cheese fondue or cook in the broth or having fresh fruit in melted chocolate. Everything here tasted fresh and sizes of the plates were very proportionate too.
Urban Fondue is a perfect place to celebrate any occasion for any ages or just to hang out and try a different kind of dining with your loved ones. My kids were thrilled to be there and we all absolutely loved their food. The customer service is very professional and speedy also. Overall, all of us had a very nice experience here. And now that I’m hooked to fondues, I will have to come back here again to try their other kinds of cheese and chocolate recipes.
I used to eye this restaurant after I started working in the downtown area. It looked so modern inside and out and I used to just wish having a meal there someday with my people.
First time I stepped inside Q Restaurant and Bar was with a friend for dinner. We both had seafood dishes…seafood stew and pasta with seafood (I think). Both were fantastic and made to perfection. We got some freshly baked warm bread and butter to accompany the dishes. Finally to finish off we had a pomegranate dessert and home-made Turkish coffee ice-cream.
Next time I was in Q Restaurant and Bar was with my uncle and kids for a late Saturday brunch. Their brunch is open until 3pm on weekends. Although the menu is short and may seem like doesn’t have much options, you can create your own breakfast from their side orders. While one of my daughters was up for seafood stew for her breakfast, rest of us had vege benedict which came with potato cake, sauted vegetables and 2 eggs.
Their menu covers from soup and salads to variety of main entrees. Small plates are available under appetizers. Their main entrees change almost every night…but whatever you order, I can almost assure you that you won’t regret it.
My first impression of this restaurant is WOW. They have the best customer service with very friendly waiters/waitresses and a perfect location in downtown near the water front. Park your car inside the World Trade Center underground parking or by the street. This is a fantastic place to celebrate a special occasion or take someone for a date night or just for a cozy brunch with family on weekends.
It is that time of the year for the ugly sweater contest and cookie exchange at my job. I am not a baker and didn’t even have time to bake last night. Therefore, the hunting for a cookie place begins. A block away from my work on the 2nd Street in Portland Downtown, there is a bread and bakery place, called Great Harvest Bread Co. It’s time to put them to test (muhahaha).
This is a little corner bakery shop with few other locations in Oregon, including one in Clackamas, Oregon. As soon as you enter the shop, you see all sorts of different breads and cookies being displayed. It looked like couple of their specialties are fresh milled and grind wheat bread and fresh challah bread. YUMMM. FYI, I’ve made challah bread before…my kids loved it. But then again, who doesn’t like freshly made warm bread right out of the oven???
I was in there for some holiday cookies and from many options, I picked 1 ½ dozens of eggnog snickerdoodles. They also had oatmeal, chocolate mint, and tons of other cookies in the selections. But remember, these are jumbo sized cookies…bigger the better.
If you are not up for breads or cookies, maybe try one of their sandwiches, which would be my next adventure in this restaurant. There are only few high chairs to really sit down and have a meal. Most of the customers were there to buy different breads or grab a to-go cookie. But yeh, I would go back there to get some sandwich breads next time and try the chocolate mint cookies, because you can never go wrong with chocolate and mint together.