Close proximity to natural bounty defines Portland cuisine, and hyper-local offerings are nearly as common at food carts as they are at fine restaurants. Here are a few of the city’s many eateries that feature plates straight from the farm.
The Ace Hotel’s neighboring dining hall is the place to see, be seen, and experience farm-driven Northwest cuisine. At Clyde Common, look for prosciutto-wrapped trout with lemon, greens, mushrooms and a fried egg, or indulge in the pork belly with fresh beans, cipollini onions and pesto, but don’t be surprised if other diners sneak a peek from around the long communal tables. Boasting one of the best cocktail selections in Portland, this downtown hot spot seamlessly takes you from happy hour to dinner to late-night drinks. Tip: To sample the menu without the crowds, head in for the weekly lunch specials.
This jewel box of a restaurant tucked away near Northeast Alberta Street sets the bar for seasonally inspired, Italian-influenced fare. Each week the entire DOC menu is revamped based on the best of what’s available. Incarnations might include poached duck eggs, rabbit and bacon terrine, or risotto with spinach-pesto-roasted pepitas. The intimate setting, with diners seated just a few steps away from the cozy kitchen, enhances an already romantic vibe.
James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Higgins became one of the early protagonists of Portland’s farm-to-fork scene when he opened this window-lined downtown eatery back in 1994. Nearly twenty years later, he’s still turning the freshest local, organic ingredients into classic Northwest-centric dishes like Dungeness crab and pan-seared scallops. Higgins’ real feat, however, has been keeping the menu feeling new, thanks to daily inspiration from the local farm delivery and house-cured meats. Look for seasonal wonders like bruschetta with roasted forest mushrooms and winter squash dabbed with cilantro-almond chutney.
From the fennel in the lamb osso buco to the greens accompanying the smoked paprika chicken, Meriwether’s cuisine is as local as it gets: Produce for the seasonal menu comes from the restaurant’s own five-acre farm high in the city’s West Hills. Chef Earl Hook lets the harvest be his guide, incorporating local meats, cheeses and seafood with the farm bounty to produce a sophisticated menu that celebrates what’s growing now. Grab a table in the year-round garden to complete the homegrown experience.