A Dish-Free Thanksgiving

dishwasherDear Dishwasher,

I’m sorry to break it to you like this, but your services won’t be required this Thanksgiving. Yes, I know you’re accustomed to full racks four times over on Turkey Day, I know you were ready and willing to bravely spray, wash, rinse and pulverize at least 25 pounds of turkey gristle, butternut squash soup smears, port and tangerine zest-accented cranberry sauce glops, pecan pie crusts, and the half-eaten remnants of Aunt Martha’s dreaded leaden corn muffins like you do faithfully every year, but this year Mother has asked that we dine out, and Mother always get her way.



PS: If you’re thinking of picking up some freelance work on T-day, you might try one of the following bastions of Turkey Day gluttony:


andina inner dining roomAndina

Why not spend Thanksgiving Peruvian-style at the Pearl District’s luxuriously festive Andina, with delightfully different dishes like Pavo Asado Novoandino–heritage turkey with a quince-huacatay chutney, Papa a la Huancaína–yellow and purple potato slices in an ají amarillo and ricotta cheese sauce, and Tarta de Calabaza–pumpkin chiffon tart with candied walnuts? The $55 prix fixe menu ($27.50 for children 5-11) includes a selection of Andina’s signature small plates, seasonally-influenced entrees like quinoa-crusted diver scallops over potato-parsnip puree and pork tenderloin with butternut squash and gorgonzola ravioli, and drool-inducing desserts like the yam-ají creme brulee with white chocolate biscotti and chocolate-cinnamon cake with lucuma ice cream and toasted corn praline.

1314 NW Glisan St. Portland * 1pm-9:30pm (lounge open until 11pm) * www.andinarestaurant.com * 503.228.9535



If you’re dreaming of a Design Within Reach-inspired Thanksgiving, reserve a seat at Bluehour for a cool, sleek Turkey Day fit for a celebrity. Start with a green cabbage and sour apple salad with gorgonzola vinaigrette, indulge in a dozen oysters on the half shell with a champagne mignonette or seared foie gras with fresh cranberries, stuff yourself with smoked roasted turkey breast and turkey leg confit with apple-chestnut stuffing and jalapeno gravy or cabernet-braised short ribs with sweet potato gratin, and since you’ve scheduled a double session with your trainer on Black Friday before you hit Sak’s, end with the pumpkin pie ice cream sundae or honey roasted pears with walnut streusel.

250 NW 13th Ave. Portland * 12-9pm * 503.226.3394 * www.bluehouronline.com

countrycatboothsCountry Cat

If you seek a casual neighborhood establishment with a merry vibe and impeccable hospitality, then enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with Adam and Jackie Sappington in their cozy Montavilla restaurant. The $40 four-course menu includes appetizers like truffled deviled eggs, chanterelle mushroom, hazelnut and pumpkin soup, beet and blue cheese salad with candied bacon and rosemary walnuts, a choice of four entrees for carnivores and vegetarians alike, and happy endings in the form of pumpkin pie with bourbon chantilly cream or chocolate pecan pie. Country Cat is always looking out for the little guy–and gal–so a children’s menu will be at hand as well. 

7937 SE Stark St. Portland * 2:30–7:30 pm * 503.408.1414 * www.thecountrycat.net  


heathmanhotelext2Heathman Hotel

Dress to impress for your white-tablecloth Thanksgiving in this elegantly appointed dining room in one of downtown Portland’s most luxurious boutique hotels. The prix fixe menu ($39.50 for adults, $18 for children) lets you choose from appetizers like squash ginger soup or mango avocado salad, a selection of entrees that include traditional roast turkey with chestnut stuffing, orange cranberry relish, and brussels sprouts, and desserts like creamy pumpkin cheesecake and decadent chocolate cake. 

1001 SW Broadway Ave. Portland * 11am-9pm * 503.790.7752 * www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com



Refined enough to please your old-money grandmother who flew in from Greenwich, while still unpretentious enough to accommodate your denim-clad parents from Ladd’s Addition, Higgins offers an ever-elegant Pacific Northwest-style Thanksgiving. When I called to inquire about the menu I was told they are sold out, but cancellations happen, so take heart. Or, maybe your well-connected grannie can pull some strings.

1239 SW Broadway Ave. Portland * 503.222.9070 * higgins.ypguides.net


paleysextPaley’s Place

If you can’t have Thanksgiving at home, then Paley’s is the next best thing, because not only are you eating in a lovely Northwest Portland Victorian, but James Beard Award-Winning Executive Chef Vitaly Paley and his ever-gracious wife Kimberly are the consummate hosts and will make you feel just like family, except without the snide remarks about your tie and underhanded comments about whether you really need another order of apple tarte tatin. Feast on a few Thanksgiving specials like turkey with all the trimmings, or order your favorites off of Paley’s regular menu. 

1204 NW 21st Ave. Portland * 2:30-8:30pm * 503.243.2403 * www.paleysplace.net


wildwood extWildwood

Pile the family into a cushy booth at polished Northwest Portland favorite Wildwood, and relax with a cocktail or a glass of bubbly while reminiscing jovially about last year’s burnt turkey and lumpy gravy, and Grandma’s accidental substitution of cumin for ground nutmeg in the pumpkin pie. When the accusations have stopped flying, the shouting has ceased, and the blame has been fairly distributed, you can order a bottle of special occasion wine from the 250+ bottle list and enjoy a flawless Wildwood-style meal off of the restaurants a  la carte menu of seasonal Thanksgiving favorites. 

1221 NW 21st Ave. Portland * 2-7:20pm * 503.248.9663 * www.wildwoodrestaurant.com