Generally speaking, getting dressed up in Portland will earn you nothing but thinly veiled contempt from the casual crowd. But at these oases of good taste, you and your impeccable uptown style will be appreciated, or at the very least, not pelted with pork rinds and Churchkey cans. Hopefully.
Equally fetching in rain (booth-lined brick-walled bar) or shine (petunia-draped patio), this downtown favorite is perfect for a pre-theater dinner or post-theater cocktail. They also serve a picturesque brunch, particularly if you sit in the atrium.
Appealing to seekers of old fashioned swank and 50 Shades of Grey fans alike, this downtown mainstay has a lovely tea court perfect for relaxing with a cuppa tea/something stronger after a long day of business meetings/tourist hotspot hopping.
Give a word association test to Portland diners and “date night” will immediately elicit “Paley’s” in 80-90 percent of respondents. (Okay, so that’s an unofficial estimate, but I’m pretty confident about it.) This is the spot to splash out on beef--the Wagyu tartare and New York strip steak are completely justified decadence.
If there was ever a reason to pull your best tie out of mothballs, this stately charmer is it. A beautiful wine list, gracious dining room, and solid seasonal menu make for a memorable night out. Go early to take advantage of $5 happy hour cocktails—weeknights 4:30-6:30pm.
White leather booths, wine galore, twinkling views as far as the rain clouds will allow—get the girls together, don your favorite abbreviated hemline and those wicked heels that will have you hobbling home, and go all out. Please, please, PLEASE don’t pass on dessert—the ‘peanut butter & jelly’ is a life changer.
If this weren’t Portland, the small town city where you’re almost sure to run into someone you know within 1 minute/1 mile of leaving your home, this dark and sultry little hotel bar would be the perfect place to have an affair. And it’s really easy to get a room after one too many Springtime in Paris champagne cocktails. Not that I’m encouraging your sordid antics.
Even if you aren’t normally a cocktail person (Huh? What?) order one of hottie bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s creations—the barrel-aged Negroni is a perfect accompaniment to the beautiful people-watching. PS: Now serving brunch on weekends--think black trumpet mushroom quiche, buttermilk waffles with chicken-fried quail, and beignets with maple cream.
Perfect lighting, elegant cocktails, crisp wines, and elevated comfort food—Grüner is just the spot for a dignified date or dinner with the in-laws. Musts include the polenta croquettes, housemade pretzel bread & buckwheat spaetzle. Bonus round—get an exceptional pre/post dinner cocktail around the corner at Kask.
Imperial has a lot going for it—it’s attractive, it lives in a great part of town, it’s very popular but still friendly, it has exceptional taste in food and wine, and it makes some pretty amazing duck meatballs. You should go order them right now.
This Pearl District newcomer has captivated the Portland foodie class with exceptional seafood, classy surroundings, and some serious ice cubes. Try the crispy poached egg with caviar, its opulent description transcends the $4 price tag.