Establishment neighborhood
2930 N.E. Killingsworth St., Northeast
Dame is quaint and intimate. A meal here feels like having dinner at a friend’s (a friend who has an extensive natural wine collection). Jane Smith opened the restaurant several years ago with the intention of providing warm, impeccable service and food and wine that honor natural ingredients. Portland chef Patrick McKee (who’s also the chef at Estes) prepares comfort dishes, including an outstanding cacio e pepe. Enjoying a plate of the creamy, peppery pasta classic with a glass of red in Dame’s cozy, dark-blue dining room is the most comforting way to spend a rainy Portland night.
Rosa Rosa
750 S.W. Alder St., Downtown
For their third Portland restaurant, chef Vitaly Paley and his partner and wife, Kimberly Paley, bring global influences to their menu. There’s a pan-roasted chicken chkmeruli inspired by the Paleys’ time in Telavi, Georgia. Kebabs with sweet herb salad hearken back to their travels in Turkey. And comforting, classic spaghetti pomodoro winks at both Italy and New York City, where rich red-sauce Italian dishes abound. Rosa Rosa also serves a hearty brunch that includes a traditional Turkish breakfast meant to be shared: eggplant caviar, roasted tomatoes, smoked fish, baklava, boiled eggs, and more. Come hungry.
The Woodlark
813 S.W. Alder St., Downtown
There are many reasons to visit the Woodlark without being a guest. For starters, Good Coffee—the café in the lobby, fully outfitted with abstract art—whips up a creamy rosemary-and-spiced-fig latte worth trekking across town for. Tucked in the back is Abigail Hall, which we’d give an award for its ambience and martinis. Next door, Bullard’s roast chicken is not to be missed. And of course, these are also compelling reasons to stay here, as are the plush beds in the lush, sophisticated rooms. The hotel invites you to relax. Each room is bathed in natural light from the giant windows, one of the many charming aesthetic details in the hotel’s two early-twentieth-century structures, the former Cornelius Hotel and the Woodlark Building. The details are minimal but dramatic: rich emerald-green and midnight-blue custom wallpaper, velvet sofas, and blonde hardwood floors. The rooms vary in size and layout (the loft suite has an apartment feel), but they’re all spacious. There are Peloton bikes in the pristine fitness center if you’re looking to work out. But given the Woodlark’s location in the heart of downtown, you may want to grab that latte,…
Abigail Hall
813 S.W. Alder St., Downtown
This intimate cocktail bar transports you to the early 1900s. That’s because its lavish design—green velvet ottomans, burgundy leather banquettes, dark mahogany accents, hand-painted wallpaper—were chosen to mirror the aesthetic of the room’s first life as the ladies’ reception hall in the old Cornelius Hotel. Today, the dimly lit space, tucked in the back of the Woodlark, serves up dry martinis, crispy fries, and a mean burger. Abigail Hall is everything we want in a bar: stiff drinks, knowledgeable bartenders, and a comfortable, welcoming lounge vibe. It’s the perfect spot to meet coworkers, bring your in-laws, or have a first date. Photos courtesy of Christopher Dibble for Provenance Hotels.
The Yo! Store
935 N.W. 19th Ave., Nob Hill
Shopping in Portland is supremely satisfying because there’s a higher concentration of small-batch goods than mass-produced items. The Yo! Store is the perfect example. It’s a thoughtfully stocked boutique where you’ll find Portland-made skin care (we see you, Olio E Osso), accessories, and ceramics lining the shelves next to tiny racks of European-made children’s clothing and vintage dresses. There’s also a handsome offering of art books and homewares. If you’re looking for a distinctive thank-you, hostess, or birthday gift, you’ll find it here.
Gado Gado
1801 N.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., Richmond
Gado Gado’s kitschy colorfully patterned wallpaper, bright tiling, and vintage framed posters make it a fun respite from the neutrals and minimalism that reign in the Portland restaurant scene. And then there’s the food. Rich, satisfying umami rice noodles with curry, shellfish broth, and a whole blue crab. Grilled halibut with chili leaves. And gado gado, a traditional Indonesian salad topped with a spicy peanut sauce. Everything is an expression of founders Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly’s personal connection to Southeast Asia—and it’s divine.
4636 N.E. 42nd Ave., Northeast
Mae should be high on the list for any trip to Portland. Southern chef Maya Lovelace turned her pop-up supper club into a permanent location in the city’s northeast. Tucked behind Lovelace’s popular restaurant Yonder (a gem of a spot that serves a modern twist on the South’s classic meat and three), Mae is the place to slow down and indulge in prix fixe seasonal feasts and natural wines. The interiors read like a dining room at an old estate, and the menu of zucchini and buttermilk soup and Appalachian lavender grits with pickled cherry chicken jus and roasted peppers had us wanting to book our return flight to Portland before we’d even left.
960 S.E. 11th Ave., Buckman
Ask a Portlander about Kachka and they’ll prelude their accolades with a smile. Chef Bonnie Morales’s food has been on the hearts, minds, and palates of every foodie in and out of town for the past five years. Every dish is inspired by Russia and former Soviet Republics. Mustard-marinated cabbage schnitzel, perfectly fried to a light crisp. Pan-fried cherry-filled Ukrainian vareniki. Decadent shakh plov, an Azerbaijani rice dish with eggplant and garlic, wrapped in flatbread and served with zaprana compound butter. The flavors are bold, rich, and deeply comforting. Meals here call for longer stays to enjoy the food, distinctive drinks, and camaraderie encouraged by Morales and her husband and co-owner, Israel. Photos courtesy of Carly Diaz.