Friday, July 1, 2011

A Delicious Month of Dining Deals

I'm just going to admit it: I love good food and new dining experiences. I'd call myself a foodie if I didn't have so many food allergies. To be a real foodie you need to try everything and I just can't. Well, I can but it wouldn't work out so well for me.

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.

Yummy Gravlax
This was the case with a new place we discovered, Otto. The restaurant opened about two months ago in the space previously occupied by Fin, and Sel Gris before that. Occupying that spot the food better be good. I won't leave you hanging, it was pretty delicious with complex flavors in every bite. I even had a fruit dessert (and I am not one for fruit or anything healthy in my dessert) that was both refreshing and satisfyingly sweet. The part of the meal I liked the best was the gravlax appetizer. The plate was filled with a menage of elegant vegetables, pickled beets among them, and some gravlax perched nicely on top of a buckwheat bilini. Gravlax is the one of the few things I can't find done well here. I've been tempted to order some from the east coast to get my fix. Of course, it only dawned on me to take a picture of it when there wasn't much left, but here you have it. Just look at that gorgeous color.

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!

No comments:

Post a Comment