Get ready, team. Portland Dining Month is back. And it’s looking quite good this year!
New to town or new to the awesome dining scene and have no idea what I’m talking about? It’s Travel Portland’s annual event, which is a coordinated effort of more than 120 restaurants across town offering up a 3-course meal for just $29 for the entire month of March! It is an awesome way to try out new restaurants or give yourself the excuse to hit up ones you haven’t been to in a while.
Unless you’re real skilled at eating multiple meals out a day, there’s no way you can get to all 120+ (if anyone says “challenge accepted!” and attempts this, PLEASE let me know how that goes!). So how do you narrow down the lengthy list? I recommend the following approach:
- Read the menu on the Travel Portland website for what speaks to you. This is especially important if you have any dietary restrictions as some restaurants are more strict on substitutions than others.
- For a killer deal, select a restaurant that is normally high-priced. That isn’t a hard and fast rule as there are some awesome places that are on the reasonably priced side. But PDM is a great way to try 3 dishes at a restaurant that may otherwise be out of your normal dining out budget.
- Make a reservation! These places can book up thanks to PDM, so don’t risk missing out on that
Though there are a lot of great places on the list, I too have to narrow it down. My top 5 choices?
As one of my favorite restaurants in Portland, with a fun atmosphere and delicious South American cuisine, this is sure to be a good meal. Plus they bring it up a notch by offering multiple dishes per course!
First course: Piquillo pepper empanada with Monterey jack cheese, caramelized onions and salsa verde -And- Arugula and radicchio salad with pickled rhubarb, candied hazelnuts and a sweet onion vinaigrette
Second course: Corn humita with salsa criolla and cilantro -And- Braised pork belly with sautéed spring vegetables and an aji rocoto sauce -And- Chilean tri-tip skewers in a smoky chimichurri
Third course: Suspiro de limeño
I dig this new(ish) tapas restaurant in North Portland with incredible tapas, an impressive unique wine list filled with unique Spanish wines, and great service.
First Course (choose one): Coliflor: roasted cauliflower, dates, capers and almonds with leek ash emulsion -OR- Tigres de Bilbao: stuffed mussels, fennel béchamel and bread crumbs with a pimentón hot sauce
Second Course (choose one): Filete de culotte: culotte steak, Romesco, leek marmalade and Valdeón foam -OR- Tapaella de conejo: braised rabbit paella, bomba rice, chorizo, squash and charred scallions
Third Course: Goxua: rum soaked magdalena, goat milk custard, whipped cream and bruléed sugar
The dishes at Taylor Railworks are inventive and gorgeous, as is the space. As this place is on the spendier side, it makes for a perfect PDM choice.
First Course (choose one): Warm squid with citrus shiso, mint and chilies -OR- Citrus salad with whipped goat cheese, Marcona almonds, aleppo pepper, shiso and mint
Second Course (choose one): Goat cheese gnocchi, sesame, gochujang and fermented radish -OR- Ricotta tortellini with spicy chicken broth, butter and parmesan
Third Course (choose one): Arbequina olive oil cake with Meyer lemon marmalade and crème fraiche -OR- Buttermilk panna cotta with poppy seed shortbread and satsuma confit
Acclaimed chef Vitaly Paley’s restaurant within the Heathman Hotel excels at their seafood dishes, house made bread and impeccable desserts. So not surprisingly this menu sounds pretty top notch.
First Course: Hearth fired flatbread with spinach, radicchio, lemon and Pecorino
Second Course: Seared, herb crusted albacore with potato salad and spring vegetables
Third Course: Butterscotch Pudding, vanilla Chantilly, peanut butter “butterfinger” and sea salt.
*Wine pairing available
Sweet potato ravioli with black truffle? Count me in. The handmade pasta dishes at Nel Centro are always spectacular, so this one definitely has my vote.
First course (choose one): Warm hazelnut crusted goat cheese with olive tapenade and peperonata -OR- Chicories salad with Oregon blue cheese, pine nuts and grapes
Second course (choose one): Sweet potato ravioli with black truffle butter and hazelnuts -OR- Rotisserie chicken with roasted young carrots, potatoes and tarragon
Third course: Lemon semifreddo -OR- House made ice cream or sorbet
Want to read more about PDM? Check out these great posts from my archive and other awesome bloggers around town!