Portland >Food & Dining >
Catering >Simpatica Dining Hall
828 SE Ash St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.521409 -122.657157
Neighborhoods: Buckman, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
Simpatica offers one of the best brunches in town on Sundays from 9 am until 2 pm. Their take on chicken and waffles shouldn't be missed. They brine their chicken in buttermilk and offer seasonal fruit preserves to top it off.
Best wedding food ever! – Simpatica provided the most amazing family style dinner for our August 6th, 2011 wedding at the Bossanova Ballroom. This venue has a very small kitchen upstairs from the dining area with no elevators and the Simpatica catering staff made the dinner great and everything was delicious!
Jamie at Simpatica worked with us from our first meeting right up until our wedding day to ensure that we had a menu we were excited about and that our guests would love. They take great care in the food prepare and it shows!
We highly recommend Simpatica to anyone in the Portland area looking to provide their wedding guests with wedding food that will wow them. We got so many compliments from our guests on how the food was the best they'd ever had at a wedding!
Unique dining experience – I give this place only 4 stars - because I left hungry and because I couldn't order a glass of red wine for under $10 a glass. I was told that since Simpatica is associated with the Laurelhurst Market, a self contained butcher shop/restaurant, I could expect a generous serving of meat. Not true. I was hungry when I left. (I went next store to Biwa where I had a couple of hanger steak skewers for $3 each.)
The meat, was excellent, Wagyu Bavette Steak, thin slices of buttery soft and delicious meat that had been with roasted on a mesquite fire, served with an outstanding Chimichurri sauce and perfectly cooked fingerling potatoes. Can't complain about the flavor and the quality but the portion was not for the true carnivore.
The night's meal also featured two types of empanadas. One was filled with ground lamb and was outstanding. The other was butternut squash which had no additional spices to make the flavor more interesting than simple boiled squash. (Personally I would have curried it a bit - some cumin, turmeric, pepper, garlic, something along that line would have enhanced it.)
Pros: The chef comes out and explains the food you will be eating and his personal decisions on how to prepare the items. This was truly one of the highlights of the night. We learned that the provolone cheese for the salad had been cold smoked, the meat was going to be cooked on mesquite wood, the care that he would take to make our fingerling potatoes come out perfectly, and that the cinnamon on our dessert was a special natural organic type without chemical processing and that the bananas were roasted to produce a natural caramelization, no sugar added.
Overall, food is very very good. The chef's willingness to try completely different menus with weekly changes and fresh ingredients is brave and deserves our admiration and support. It is hard to cook for so many people and make sure everyone's plate is similarly served similarly done and at the right temperature.
Beware the over priced wine by the glass - $10 for Chile Merlot-Carmenere? Not sure what this particular bottle cost, but wines from Chile tend to sell retail from $10 - $15 per bottle, and probably would have been restaurant priced at about $35 a bottle. At $10 a glass - with 5 - 6 pours per bottle - they have made this into a $50 - $60 bottle. The main problem is that they didn't give me an alternative as a single diner to have an economical glass of wine with my dinner. I don't want to buy a bottle if I don't have companions to share it with and I don't want to turn my $35.00 meal into a $55.00 meal just because I want some wine to go with it. What would solve the problem would be if the restaurant would select a decent red wine that they can serve at a lower price point in a carafe as their house wine. They could have a large and small carafes.
The ambience is like dining in a farmhouse kitchen with everyone that works on the farm showing up to eat at the same time. Expect it to feel cozy. You are seated on long tables with everyone else, everyone is talking at once so it can be hard to hear what your companions are saying, but overall it feels like being part of a rollicking extended family.
A big let down – A group of 18 of us were excited about Sunday brunch. When we made out reservations, Simpatica said they had room for us at one table, but when we arrived they didn't have enough space for our family to family dine, instead sending 4 people to another table.
The food was overpriced, and this is fine if it is fantastic, but it isn't. For the Sunday brunch, sides of toast, a meat item, and potatoes aren't included on most breakfasts. The staff was both clueless and pretentious, not understanding why some of us weren't happy that four of our party was sat at another table. When the food was brought out, two of the dishes were wrong. When someone ordered a diet coke, it was brought out in a can and placed on the table.
After all the good I've heard about the place, this was much ado about nothing.
Incredible meal, great service, definitely recommended! – My wife and I went to Simpatica last night with another couple and had an absolute blast. The food was very well prepared and went well with their wine suggestions. This is definitely an interesting concept in dining, similar to Ripe (which I also thought was great). I would go back in a heartbeat; this could be addictive.
Our server was also wonderful, very attentive without being overbearing. Honestly, I don't understand the prior negative reviews. Part of going to family style restaurants (or being in public for that matter) is learning how to deal with others. You'll run into rude people on occasion and have to learn to live with it. It's part of life as an adult and honestly is not the fault of the restaurant.
Absolute Disappointment – Since when have restaurants had so much business they could afford to be absolutely rude and inflexible to their patrons? This restaurant serves mediocre food at inflated prices with a side of attitude complimentary. I would recommend almost any of the multitude of PDX options for brunch; in fact eating here made me wish I could go home and eat a meal that wasn't covered in grease. I am not one to complain, but I can only hope to save someone from having the type of disappointment I experienced this morning.
So-so food. Rude service. Better off going somewhere that really cares if you return or not. – I just returned from a good friend's birthday brunch at the Simpatica Dining Hall. I am not usually one to make a fuss over the service at a restaurant, as I have worked in customer service for over 6 years and know what it's like to be on the receiving end of unhappy customers. However, I had to speak up at this dining experience. The wait staff was rude and unwilling to accomidate to the needs of our party - example: not willing to sell us a side of english muffin to replace the oily homefries - really? Food was greasy and mediocre (not beyond something I could make in my kitchen at home). I ordered the fritata, which was okay, but not something I would ever think about ordering again. If you are a vegitarian, don't bother dining here. They might serve you something that doesn't indicate that it has meat in it on the menu, and you could end up with a big piece of ham slipped into your sandwich....yes, this happened today. How you forget to include MEAT as one of the main ingredients of a dish on the menu is beyond me. I never expected them to include this meal on our ticket at the end, especially after our vegitarian guest had to wait 15-20 minutes for a new meal to be prepared for her....but it was. They were shocked that I would request for her meal to be removed from the ticket...which I still don't understand. Afterall, it wasn't her fault that she ordered something that appeared to be meat-free on the menu. It also wasn't her fault that she had to wait to eat after all of us were finished. After a small argument with the waiter, he took of half of her meal and returned the check with a mandatory 18% gratuity added to the ticket that wasn't there before. Just a note: apparently, the customer is NOT ALWAYS RIGHT at this restaurant. I will never return. I just don't like to pay $155 for a breakfast that was just so-so and service that was hipster-pretentious and rude.
I really thought it would be better... – My friends have been raving about for quite some time, so I was excited when a group of us went last weekend for brunch. I loved the environment and the whole vibe, but the food and the coffee was just okay. I ordered the mushroom and brie frittata and it was okay. It usually love frittatas, but this was really dry tasting and the flavors were unremarkable. I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian and I was disappointed that there weren't more interesting options for me on the menu. Bummer!
Wonderful Local Cuisine and Great Value – I can't say enough about Simpatica. I've been there 4x for dinner and 3x for brunch in the last few months, and everything is consistently amazing. All dishes are prepared from fresh, local ingredients, and the four course dinners for $35-$40 are amazing value considering the volume and quality of food you receive.
My favorite part of Simpatica is when the chef comes out before dinner to tell you all about the delicious things to come. The passion that the people here have for food is inspiring.
One negative: it can get pretty loud, especially at dinner.
Go to Simpatica!
Best brunch in town – I have been to Simpatica several times for dinner and have always enjoyed the entire dining experience. Wonderful food, great concept, friendly staff, and fun seating environment. We have also had a wine dinner catered at their establishment, which was a HUGE success. So, it should not have surprised me when my family had the best brunch ever there on Father's Day. It was a little slow to get the food - but that is to be expected when you have an entire restaurant get seated at the same time. :) I was surprised at how many options were on the menu - they could easily pare it down and it would probably make it easier to get dishes out more quickly. But regardless, the food was incredible - I had Eggs Benny and my husband had Chicken and Waffles. My two year old enjoyed Belgian Wafflesn and bacon. We'll definitely go back!
Best dining experience! – My husband and I have tried and eaten at many restaurants in this city. Simpatica's was one of the best dining experiences we have had. Each course presented was exceptional. They take great strides in using locally produced ingredients. It makes it pricey because of this fact, but worth the extra costs. This is a dining experiences we hope to repeat.
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