Where Should I Go For Dinner?

This post is inspired by an email written by my coworker Heather, the shortest email she has ever written, in fact.

From: Heather

Subject: Dinner?

Date: December 9, 2009 12:58:59 PM PST

To: Jen


where should I go for dinner?

I am always happy to help when someone asks me this question. In fact, I tend to drop everything I’m currently working on (in this case, my expense reports, which is my least favorite activity, narrowly edging out ‘picking up the dog’s doody just as the street car goes by’) and devote myself to finding the person a perfect dining venue.

In this case, Heather wanted to try something new. This is the list I made her. Perhaps you will find it useful too.

Accanto: The new neighborhood café and enoteca attached to remodeled and reopened Genoa, Accanto offers Italian-influenced small plates like seafood-stuffed squid ink rice croquettes and entrees like the Lasagne Verdi with besciamella and lamb bolognese, as well as a full bar and wine list.

Branch Whiskey Bar: Branch isn’t that new, having opened in August, but most people I talk to haven’t eaten there yet. As you might have guessed, the bar is well stocked with firewater, and you’ll get a good meal. Standouts include the burger and hanger steak.

Genoa: After a year’s hiatus, venerable Genoa has reopened with a posh new look, a new chef, and a serious wine list. The $55, five-course tasting menu can be found on their website.

Lovejoy Bakers: As the reigning Foursquare mayor of Lovejoy Baker, I have a bias, but you might just develop one too when you bit into their pumpkin cookie with brown butter icing, or one of their excellent housemade sandwiches, soups, or salads. Plus, they serve wine. Methinks the curse of 939 NW 10th Ave just might have lifted.

Olympic Provisions: Long-awaited Olympic Provisions is open for lunch and serving superb small plates like pork rillette hand pies and an addictive smoked chicken, pickled fennel and Honeycrisp apple sandwich. They open for dinner starting Monday, 12/14. You can buy really great wine there too.

Prost! Portland: Anchoring the Mississippi Marketplace food carts cluster, Prost pours 10 draft German beers and serves up hearty pub grub. They don’t mind if you get dessert at The Sugar Cube and bring it over, either.
Facebook page (more informative than the website)

Pyro Pizza: Thin crust wood-fired pizza with local seasonal toppings and housemade mozzarella in 10 minutes for less than $10? Yes! The newest addition to SE Hawthorne’s Cartopia, Pyro will take your order over the phone for pickup or make it on the spot. Warm your hands over their aromatic clay oven while you wait.

Spints Alehouse: Styled after a traditional German bierhouse, Spints just took up residence on NE 28th’s restaurant row last week. Chef/owner Alyssa Gregg is bringing a Pacific NW touch to German cuisine, and former Teardrop Lounge barkeep Ted Charak is manning the full bar. There are even beer stein lockers for regulars.

Suzette: Let me try and think of a better meal than a piece of bacon-studded Quiche Lorraine and a Crêpe Normandie with lemon butter and poached apples in cider caramel sauce with housemade crème fraîche ice cream. Um, I can’t. Let me think about it some more while I finish this coffee cardamom crème brûlée.

Whiskey Soda Lounge: Andy Ricker has moved WSL out of its former digs beside the Pok Pok shack and given it a new, bigger, brighter home across the street, a predictably excellent drink menu, a selection of drinking snacks to graze on, and thankfully, the option of ordering Pok Pok’s Ike’s spicy fish sauce chicken wings, my personal “if you were stranded on a desert island with only one food” choice.

And, there are tons MORE restaurants opening in the next couple months. Recession, what recession?!