That's why I was so excited to hear about Portland's June Dining Month. It's an entire month of great dining for $25. That's right three courses for twenty-five dollar, no holler. How bad can that be? Not even a little bit. In fact, it was quite tasty. There were so many fabulous restaurants on the list like Accanto (the cafe side of one of the best restaurants in town, Genoa), RingSide Steakhouse (a classic), Davis Street Tavern (interesting food with local ingredients), and Nostrana (the Dining Month menu changed daily - now that's impressive).
New York has something similar called Restaurant Week, which FYI is starting July 11th. Dinner costs $35 and lunch a random $24.07. Now don't get me wrong that's a great deal, too. My friends and I would always get excited for Restaurant Week and would start planning on what places we would check out when the list of participating restaurants were announced. Yeah, there are some good eats in New York. This is not news. We would make our reservations, dress up a bit, and let the dining begin. The only trouble with Restaurant Week in New York is I think maybe only once or possibly twice we actually ate something off the Restaurant Week menu. The food choices were just never as interesting as the rest of the menu. Thus our great deal, wasn't such a great deal after all. Though, we never left disappointed Restaurant Week menu or not.
This is the real difference between New York's Restaurant Week and Portland's June Dining Month: the choices. Every place we went had ample choices and often included items I would have ordered anyway (dining month or not). In some cases you could choose off the entire menu.
The best thing about this find is that Otto has a happy hour even on the weekends. That delicious gravlax will not be out of reach long. Thank you Portland Dining Month, please come again..... soon!