As is probably no surprise if you follow this blog or my Instagram, I love trying new restaurants in Portland. Like any good accountant, I have a spreadsheet of all the restaurants I’m dying to try (plus reviews of places I’ve checked out and where I’d like to return). Our city’s awesome Dining Month extravaganza is an awesome way to try the wonderful places Portland has to offer.
Don’t know about Portland Dining Month? For just $29, you get to experience 3 courses at over 90 local restaurants for the whole month of March. It is definitely a great way to try a multitude of places without breaking the bank.
But if you don’t want to eat a 3-course meal for every breakfast, lunch and dinner during the entire month, you’ll have to narrow down the list. My suggestions on that include:
1) I highly recommend these incredible restaurants where $29 is a particular steal. There are a lot of really delicious restaurants on the list, but some of them you might not spend $29 for 3 courses on a normal night, so in my mind it might not be worth it.
2) Read through the menus of what’s being offered. At most restaurants, there is a set menu selected for the Portland Dining Month experience, so you don’t just get to choose whatever you’d like off their regular menu. So obviously if you really don’t like pork, make sure you don’t select the restaurant that is including that in 2 out of the 3 courses.
So with all that in mind, here are the places I’m really excited about (though I could keep the list going if you wanted me to keep going…):
- Firehouse Restaurant: I love this restaurant. For PDM, they are offering a super flexible menu of selecting one small plate, one salad and one entree of their regular menu. I’m actually checking this one out next week, so I’ll let you know how it is!
- Acadia: I just heard Chef Adam Higgs’ interview on Right at the Fork (download this podcast if you haven’t yet!) and it’s been making me really want to check out this cajun/creole restaurant in NE Portland. Louisiana BBQ shrimp, fresh crawfish served over a soft-cooked egg, Sheepshead fish served over buttermilk cornbread puree with a warm Andouille vinaigrette and a creole bread pudding with caramelized bananas and whipped cream. It all sounds so good, I want to go right now.
- Park Kitchen: This is one place I’m sad to admit that I’ve never been to before. Not only has it been a top restaurant in Portland for 10 years, but it is also just down the street. Horrible I haven’t been in. But I’m hoping PDM might change that, especially with this menu including chickpea fries and squash ketchup (I LOVE squash so that sounds real fun), Louisiana rice grits and trumpet royal mushrooms, and finishing it off with sticky date pudding and vanilla-rum ice cream.
- Oso Market + Bar: I went to Oso for the first time last week for our crazy Little Green Pickle karaoke food crawl, and absolutely loved it. I would really like to go back and am loving the menu for PDM. My choices would be: Chorizo-stuffed dates (those were the best appetizer from our event), ratatouille over polenta and white chocolate vermouth cheesecake. Count me in.
- Genoa: This is the type of place where the $29 is a crazy deal. Three courses at Genoa can usually cost a pretty penny so this is a great opportunity to try fine dining at one of Portland’s most historic and beloved restaurants.
- Racion: It doesn’t really seem to matter what is on the menu, I love Chef Anthony’s creativity in his modernist cuisine. Racion is a really fun space and has unique, delicious food that you won’t find elsewhere in this city. This is another steal of a deal for just $29.
When: The entire month of March; Where: All throughout Portland – check out DowntownPortland.org for participating restaurants; Cost: Just $29
Any places on your list? Have you tried any restaurants with Portland Dining Month yet? Share your thoughts!