March Portland Dining Month: 3 Courses for $29 + Dinner for 2 Giveaway!

Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post, and the Gift Certificate was won by me from a Rafflecopter via Portland Bloggers/Watershed Communications, and I am passing it on to you. I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

I’m so excited! This is my first giveaway on the blog! I’ll be giving away via Rafflecopter to a random entrant a gift certificate for two to have a Portland Dining Month dinner! Giveaway has ended

Portland Dining Month is back, moved up from what has been previously been the month of June to now be in the month of March! During this month, almost 100 restaurants in Portland will be offering a special menu of 3 courses for the low price of $29. In most cases, this prix fixed menu may have multiple options for the three courses.

Portland Dining Month 2014 is in March- 3 Courses for $29

I’ve been participating in Portland Dining Month as a diner for several years. Last year, in 2013 I visited and recapped as example Portland Dining month experiences dinners at Firehouse Restaurant, Quartet, Accanto, Urban Fondue, Fratelli (since closed but still a great example of what a great way to discover and make yourself visit restaurants Portland Dining Month is), and H50 out of my initial 2013 Restaurant Highlight list.

Images from Prix Fixe dining at Firehouse, Urban Fondue in 2013

Meanwhile, in 2012 Portland Dining Month experiences include the posts I did at Oven and Shaker, and Clyde Common. Except for Fratelli, H50, and Clyde Common, all those restaurants I named are back in the 2014 Portland Dining month list.

Images from Oven and Shaker in 2012

As I do every year, I like to share a few of my personal highlights of restaurants/prix fixed offerings in March that catch my eye. I usually will pick restaurants based on food options in their 3 courses that sound good, as in some cases the restaurant will offer dishes are special for Dining Month, or you are getting a tremendous value on the price of normally dining there. Of course remember that the menus are subject to change by the restaurant at any time.

There are many excellent choices- about 100 in fact- of restaurants participating in Portland Dining Month. I just couldn’t highlight them all!

  • With March also being the month of Mardi Gras, it only seems right to consider Acadia with its New Orleans/Creole food from Louisiana on your dining list and it’s generous 4 (four!) courses that include Louisiana BBQ Gulf shrimp, Crawfish tails, Louisiana caught sea bream, and Creole bread pudding. Just don’t go on March 4, which is when they have a special and separate Fat Tuesday celebration planned if you have your sights set on the Dining Month menu.
  • Accanto on Belmont was one of my favorite dining month experiences last year with its fresh pastas and very seasonal, unusual ingredients (they introduced me to Wrinkle Crinkle Crumple Cress). Their second course pasta course options of Cacio e pepe with Meyer lemon tagliatelle and Pecorino or Capellini with chili, garlic, anchovy and pea shoots sound amazing. I had the second dish last year, as you can see below. Also, next door you can check out Genoa instead if you want something a bit more upscale but still at the $29 for 3 courses price point, huge bargain here! Reservations available on OpenTable both for Accanto and for Genoa.
  • Aviary is a good value at this price with its sublime French and Asian influenced offerings on NE Alberta. This is a great chance to try out a previous Restaurant of the Year award winner and they offers pretty creative food. Reservations available on OpenTable.
  • Everyone thinks of Besaws for brunch, but they use their own farm to also source the dishes on their dinner menu and are worth checking out – they have a special chicken roulade dish they don’t usually have for Portland Dining Month.
    Besaw's Portland, photo by Sunpech Photography Besaw's Portland, photo by Sunpech Photography
  • You get your choice of Heirloom beet salad with walnuts, grilled chicory and Hannah Bridge cheese  or Oregon black truffle salad with crispy pig’s ear, frisée and poached egg as firsts at Bent Brick, so I’m already sold. I also have to tell you they have incredible cocktails here. I would be disappointed in you if you visit here and don’t try at least one cocktail. Its sibling restaurant Park Kitchen in the North Park Blocks is also participating and whose 2nd course option of Milk braised pork with Your Kitchen Gardens leeks, curds and whey alone is $29 on their regular menu. Reservations for Park Kitchen available on OpenTable.
    the bent brick, neighborhood tavern, northwest portland On The Veranda Cocktail from the Bent Brick, Portland OR with mint, strawberry, simple syrup, rhubarb cordial, sage liquor, white verjus, and gin
  • You can get a pretty good deal at the sweet Cocotte Bistro, where the third course offering of Poulet En Cocotte with milk-fed half-bird, farro risotto, market produce, poached farm egg, jus is normally already $25 on the menu! You can add a wine flight for $12 or a dessert for just $5 more.  Reservations available on OpenTable.
  • Shouldn’t be a surprise that Departure is a recommendation of the participating restaurants given the incredible flavor combinations and innovation that Chef  Gregory Gourdet offers on the pan-Asian menu. For their menu, they are offering choices for main course of Crispy rockfish with green papaya, roasted garlic and sweet chili glaze  or Grilled beef coulette with toasted broccoli, Korean chili and fermented black bean jus. One of the dessert options is a tasty sounding Pineapple icebox cake with banana ice cream, candied almond and spiced caramel. Reservations available on OpenTable.
  • Higgins offers classic Northwest cuisine and is one of the founders of Northwest cuisine. If you haven’t been yet, you should go at least once to this Portland institution, especially since the dishes they are offering include an Alsatian country-style terrine of duck and pork with dries cherries and hazelnuts for their first course. All the dishes are part of Higgins’ 20th anniversary celebration menu comprised of dishes from it’s March 1994 opening.
  • For some traditional Japanese, check out Hokusei where you can be transported to another country for a dining spell. The second course of Nijimasu teriyaki: Oregon steelhead with rye bourbon teriyaki sounds very alluring, and their third course are five pieces of nigiri if you are not a big dessert fan and would just rather have more food!
  • Ever since revisiting Imperial during Feast, I’ve been back several times and have been pretty enamored of various specials they offer. They have a special entree for dining month of Braised lamb shoulder with cauliflower “cous cous,” olives, preserved lemon and curried cashew brittle. No matter what, get that Parker House roll. It is worth that extra $1. I also recommend the cocktail below, A Radish Walks Into A Bar that uses radish gastrique as a nod to Chef Paley’s win of Battle Radish on Iron Chef. Also participating is Paley’s Place, his more upscale restaurant. Reservations available on OpenTable both for Imperial and Paley’s Place.
    A Radish Walks into a Bar cocktail, ransom old tom gin, carpano antica vermouth, radish gastrique, lemon, and cracked peppercorns, Imperial PDX, Vitaly Paley
  • Little Bird recently revamped their menu to offer more of a French perspective than before, as I covered recently when I stopped by for their new burger. One of the offerings for their second course is the Chicken Fried Trout you see below with gribiche, herbs, radishes and pickled carrots that I wrote about beforeReservations available on OpenTable.
    Little Bird Bistro's Chicken-Fried Trout, gribiche, fines herbes, radishes, pickled carrots
  • Ned Ludd is very Northwest and seasonal, and I love the beautiful atmosphere there. Pricewise, you are getting a bargain with 3 courses for $29 here since their entrees are typically in the $20 range already
  • Both the NW and SE locations of Olympic Provisions are participating, usually their entrees at dinner are already in the $20 range so you are getting some savings here with 3 courses. I would not be surprised if you walked out after dinner with a salami or two. For their third course, they are offering a Saucisson au chocolate, aka chocolate salami with French style dark chocolate ganache and warm baking spices, nuts, candied ginger, and red wine, which Portland Monthly previous highlighted the intensive recipeReservations available on OpenTable.
    Portland Farmers Market PSU Olympic Provisions
  • If you haven’t been to Oven & Shaker, check out all my previous reviews of their excellent seasonal pizzas
  • I’m a big fan of Picnic House, as you might have guessed from these previous raves I’ve written. I don’t know what they are offering for Dining Month, but whether it’s on their prix fixe menu or not, do not, do not miss getting dessert. That chocolate bundt cake is my favorite chocolate cake in Portland. Also, don’t you want a selfie with that monocled bear? Reservations available on OpenTable.
    Picnic House, Portland, picnic restaurant Picnic House, Portland, picnic restaurant chocolate cake, chocolate sour cream bundt cake with chocolate ganache Picnic House, Portland, picnic restaurant
  • Punch Box Social is stepping it up because besides 3 courses, their Portland Dining month dinner offers a cocktail- a choice of either Monk’s Vacation (Portland potato vodka, green chartreuse, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup shaken and served chilled with a lime garnish) or Heart of the Union (Union gin, triple sec, beet syrup, lemon juice and orange bitters shaken and served over ice with a lemon wheel). Reservations available on OpenTable.
  • I have Ración at the top of my Portland Dining Month list- they have a 3rd course offering of Wagyu culotte steak with heirloom carrots, smoked apple cider, turnip and cocoa. Usually you have to have everyone at your table spend $50 for the chef’s tasting menu, and with Portland Dining Month you are getting 3 of the 5 courses for $29. Look for a recap in the next couple weeks! For a similar deal what is usually a spendy multiple course, check out Biwa who is offering their omakase (all chef’s choice, so be ready and open for anything) for $29 a person instead of the usual $40.
  • Serratto is on the list offering seasonal slow food that brings together local Northwest with France and Italy and the Mediterranean that results in something familiar and comforting but yet new (I visited and reviewed them here as part of a Bloggers Group). Given how much I loved the courses during that visit, I think their entree options of either Braised Carlton Farms beef cheek with porcini-potato gnocchi, smoked cipollini onions, braised leeks and carrots or the vegetarian Ravioli with forest mushroom, caramelized onion and goat cheese filling, grilled asparagus and preserved lemon cream sound incredible. Reservations available on OpenTable.
    Serratto Bloggers Dinner, Ahi Tuna Tartare 'Nicoise' chopped egg, capers, olives, housemade potato chips, tarragon aioli
  • The excellent fare at Smallwares is also complimented by some great cocktails. They make sure that there is a vegetarian option for each of the courses of the prix fixe, so if you can’t enjoy the Braised pork shoulder with squash puree, roasted mushrooms, smoked honey and Chinese mustard, the vegetarian option of Spicy tofu noodles, Thai basil, pickled pineapple and salted black bean promises a lot of flavor without the meat. Reservations available on OpenTable.
    Smallwares PDX, restaurant The Gin, with plymouth gin, mango, yogurt, rose water, cardamom, shaked and served on the rocks, Smallwares PDX
  • Tabla offers the best tarjarin in Portland and that is one of the five pastas they offer as a possible primi pasta course (after a choice of 6 possible starters and then third course featuring 4 entrée options). Next to the half order of tarjarin below you can see the starter from a previous visit of a gorgeous Fall Vegetable Salad. A good choice if there several of you and you want to enjoy Portland Dining Month prices but have a good choice of different things to eat still. Other participants of Portland Dining Month offering many options for the prix fixe include Firehouse Restaurant (which I recapped a visit here) and Gracie’s. Reservations for all three of these available on OpenTable.
    Tabla Bistro, Fall Vegetable Salad with turnip greens mousse, feta, market vegetables, mustard seeds  Tabla Bistro, Tajarin with truffle butter, parmigiano reggiano

I mention Opentable reservations because if you make you reservation through OpenTable,  Downtown Portland will also make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank as long as you use this link. I love OpenTable to see availability of restaurants at times I am interested in, to easily make reservations using online, and also collect points for dining certificates. A great majority- 68 last I looked- of the participating Portland Dining month restaurants accept reservations over OpenTable.  Last year, more than $1,800 was donated to the Oregon Food Bank to assist with their work of distributing emergency food to hungry families- we can do better this year!

Check out the Downtown Portland Portland Dining Month website for a map of where the various participating restaurants are located to be convenient for you, as well as menu listings. If you are interested specifically in which ones have vegetarian or gluten-free options, Portland Monthly has put together a list.

Let me help you enjoy Portland Dining Month by giving away one gift certificate for you a dinner for two! This gift certificate was something I won courtesy of Portland Bloggers and Watershed Communications and rather than using it myself, I am passing it on to you!

Giveaway has ended Use the Rafflecopter below to participate- this will run for 1 week, so a random winner will be chosen next Friday at 12:01 am! Come back to tweet about the giveaway in order to enter daily! Winner must respond within 24 hours and the gift certificate will be mailed. The gift certificate is good for two people to enjoy Portland Dining Month dinner at one of the participating restaurants.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post, and the Gift Certificate was won by me from a Rafflecopter via Portland Bloggers/Watershed Communications, and I am passing it on to you. I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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Comments

  1. Yay! Dining Month!

  2. This is awesome!!

  3. Kobi Hensley says:

    I’d love to check out 3 Doors Down!! Sounds delish!

  4. Oba sounds yummy!

Trackbacks

  1. […] I’d love to know: which restaurants would YOU check out for Portland Dining Month this year? And, be sure to enter my friend Pechluck’s Portland Dining Month giveaway on her blog, Pechluck’s Food Adventures. […]

  2. […] covered some highlights from the list in my last post, and this time I wanted to recap one of my Portland Dining Month dinners, my first one- at Park […]

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