The Spicy Bee Picks: Top 10 Places to Dine at for Portland Dining Month {Sponsored}

This post is about Portland Dining Month and is sponsored by Watershed Communications & Downtown Portland, a re-occurring sponsor of The Spicy Bee. While I was compensated to write about the local promotion, the thoughts are still my own.

I try to be that person that doesn’t play favorites, but you’re aware that it’s Portland Dining Month, and with nearly 100 restaurants participating this year, Lord knows you have to start somewhere! I have scoured the menu options, skimmed the interwebs, and compiled my top picks for this month’s Portland Dining Month.

The Spicy Bee’s Top 10 Picks: Portland Dining Month

My decisions for dining are based on menu and my personal interest to see what the restaurant has to offer. Have you tried any of the below places already? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments section below!

1. Bistro Marquee

First course (choose one):
Apple salad with local lettuce, honey crisp apple, sultana, Manchego, shaved fennel, candied nuts and raspberry-honey vinaigrette
-OR-
Roasted beet salad with arugula, butternut squash, spiced pecans, figs, feta and cider vinaigrette
-OR-
Seasonal soup of the day
Second course (choose one):
Gulf shrimp with crispy pork belly, yellow polenta, micro greens and creole shrimp sauce
-OR-
Braised short ribs, root vegetable and red wine sauce
-OR-
House-made goat cheese ravioli, asparagus and Meyer lemon butter sauce
Dessert (choose one):
Vanilla mousse cake with crème anglaise
-OR-
Seasonal crème brûlée
-OR-
Pear cobbler with vanilla ice cream
-OR-
Dessert of the day

2. Biwa

Omakase
Enjoy a five courseomakase (chef’s choice) dinner

3. Bluehour

Before the meal:
A complimentary amuse bouche
First course:
Roasted beet salad with arugula, pickled heirloom carrots, stinging nettle vinaigrette and Parmigiano Reggiano
Second course:
Braised beef short rib, wildflower honey glaze, Ayer’s Creek polenta and early spring greens
Dessert:
Bittersweet chocolate semifreddo with port caramel

4. Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery

First course:
Sunshine Salad: radicchio, escarole, sliced citrus, toasted pistachios and feta with sherry-orange vinaigrette
Second course (choose one):
Late winter chicken braised with preserved lemon, Castelvetrano olives and savory herbs
-OR-
Any vegetarian main dish on the menu
Dessert (choose one):
Nearly Flourless Chocolate Cake served with a red wine glaze
-OR-
Any à la carte cheese

5. Departure

First course (choose one):
Kale salad with bacon, pickled apples, ginger, sesame vinaigrette and puffed rice
-OR-
Marinated prawns with blood orange, fried chickpeas, harissa, watercress and mint
Second course (choose one):
Crispy rockfish with green papaya, roasted garlic and sweet chili glaze
-OR-
Grilled beef coulette with toasted broccoli, Korean chili and fermented black bean jus
Dessert (choose one):
Pineapple icebox cake with banana ice cream, candied almond and spiced caramel
-OR-
Cardamom chocolate pot de crème with sweet cherry preserve and ginger snap

6. Higgins

First course (choose one):
Warm salad of beets and their greens, Alsea Acres chèvre and toasted walnut vinaigrette
-OR-
Alsatian country-style terrine of duck and pork with dried cherries and hazelnuts
Second course (choose one):
Citrus- and coriander-grilled thick-cut pork chop with braised greens, crushed potatoes and pan juices
-OR-
Nettle and leek risotto with Pecorino Romano
Dessert:
Clear Creek pear brandy-infused crème brulee

7. Meriwether’s Restaurant & Skyline Farm

First course:
Winter citrus salad with Castelvetrano olives, feta, pickled red onions, avocado, shaved fennel and grapefruit vinaigrette
Second course:
Braised Carlton Farms pork shoulder with crispy herbed spaetzle, farm kale and natural jus
Dessert:
Orange-lavender pot de crème with white chocolate shortbread cookie

8. Nel Centro

First course (choose one):
Café salad with endive, apples, walnuts, blue cheese and mustard vinaigrette
-OR-
Butternut squash soup with hazelnut brown butter
Second course (choose one):
Baked cannelloni with ricotta, winter greens and walnut besciamella
-OR-
Spit-roasted pork loin with olive oil potatoes and apple and celery root salad
Dessert (choose one):
Meyer lemon and poppy seed panna cotta
-OR-
House-made ice cream or sorbet

9. Oso Market & Bar

First course (choose one):
Tails and Trotters chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates wrapped in Carlton Farms bacon and topped with cumin honey
-OR-
Roasted carrots with a garlic-dill yogurt sauce, shaved Brussels sprouts and radicchio salad with Parmesan
Second course (choose one):
Herb-roasted Draper Valley chicken thighs with shaved Brussels sprouts and white beans in a red wine butter sauce served with a Meyer lemon-artichoke pesto and salad of mixed greens and wild arugula with aged balsamic vinaigrette
-OR-
Ratatouille over polenta topped with wild arugula salad, Parmesan and house-made balsamic reduction
Dessert (choose one):
Blood orange polenta cake topped with blood orange caramel sauce and whipped cream
-OR-
White chocolate vermouth cheesecake with a Marcona almond crust

10. Xico

First course:
Beef tamale: Tamale with beef picadillo, raisins and olives in fresh masa with house salsa and crema
-OR-
Vegan/Vegetarian option: Tortilla soup made with white beans, tomatillos and chiles, garnished with fried leeks, diced avocado, crumbled chiles, fresh Xico tortilla strips and optional Mexican cheese
Second course:
Salmon in mole verde: Wild Coho salmon in a green mole of pumpkin seeds, tomatillo, romaine lettuce and herbs with fresh Xico tortillas and rotating side dishes
-OR-
Vegan/Vegetarian option: Oaxacan tamales made with butternut squash masa, filled with plantains, Oaxacan black beans and avocado leaf, and served with Mexican rice, crunchy jalapeño escabeche, salsa de muchos chiles and optional crema and queso fresco
Dessert:
Mexican tiramisu with liquore de café
-OR-
Vegan/Vegetarian option: Mexican candies plate

Spin & Win: Portland Dining Month Package for Two 

Since March 1st, Oregon and Washington residents have been able to “Spin the Wheel” on Downtown Portland’s Facebook page and enter to win a sweepstakes package of dinner for two for a year — more than $4,000 in gift cards from participating restaurants. Contest entries are accepted March 1-31. Don’t forget–when you book your reservation through Open Table through the Portland Dining Month website the organizations will donate to the Oregon Foodbank! Last year almost $2000 was donated.
For the full list of restaurants participating, please check out www.PortlandDiningMonth.com.

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