The vibe at Northwest Portland’s Bar Mingo is unquenchably optimistic, with bright orange chairs lining the sidewalk outside, a comfortably swanky lounge, rustic chalkboard menu on the wall illustrated with a chalk drawing of lovely Italy, friendly service, and tasty small plates.
Meatball fetishists, don’t miss the polpettine—golf ball sized lamb meatballs in a fragrant, herb-packed sauce.
Stylish, fun and slightly European in feel, the dining room has distinct personalities—cozy up with your S.O. in the corner lounge, sip a solitary glass of bubbly at the bar, or gather ‘round one of the tables in between. A sizeable collection of small plates can be ordered to share for $8 each or 3 for $21, a nice option if you’re out drinking with friends and want to order a few things to share, or if you’re waiting for your table at big sister Caffe Mingo next door and want to eat light so as not to spoil your dinner.
Meatball fetishists, don’t miss the polpettine—golf ball sized lamb meatballs in a fragrant, herb-packed sauce. The housemade sausage and chicken livers with Marsala and sage are rich and satisfying, and the sautéed calamari with green onions, garlic and lemon is light and tender–and a happy hour steal at $6. The ultimate triumph, however, is landing a sidewalk table on a swarming summer’s eve.
Executive Chef: Jerry Huisinga
Atmosphere: Fun, stylish little bar/restaurant where you can be social or not, depending on your mood
Outdoor seating: Yes, at the slightest sign of fair weather, the patio tables go out along NW 21st
Best Seat: A sidewalk table if it’s nice out, or the comfy white sofas in the front lounge
Noise Level: Normal to Boisterous, depending on the crowd
Dress Code: Casual
Bathrooms: Yes, follow the hallway that splits the kitchen and the dining room all the way back, take a sharp left, doors are on your right.
Parking: Free but can be difficult to find, so allow extra time for the search. Valet parking is available around the corner on NW Johnson between NW 21st and NW 22nd.
Cocktails: A selection of classic-with-a-twist house cocktails ($8-$9)
Wine: Yes, a nice selection of Italian, Spanish, French and Oregon wines, by the glass ($6-$12), litre ($8-$15) and bottle ($24-$125)
Corkage: $15 per 750mL
Teetotalers: Tejava iced tea
Ideal Meal: A salad, a couple orders of polpettine and crusty bread for sopping up the rich tomato sauce, and a bottle of Barbaresco
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: The menu is not super vegan friendly, but there are a few things you could eat
Good for the following occasions: Out With Friends, Nightcap, Dining Solo
Group/Private Party Details: Parties of up to 12 can be accommodated for dinner on weeknights. The entire restaurant can be reserved for large private parties of up to 50.