Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018
Seaside – Jan/Feb/March 2018

Portland Dining Month: 31 Days, 120 Restaurants, $29

Handmade pasta

Photo Kari Young

Editor’s Note: Portland, Oregon, is recognized worldwide as a foodie town with new and veteran chef’s redefining Northwest cuisine with the natural bounty from fertile farms and fresh seafood from the Pacific Ocean. Food enthusiast and travel writer Elizabeth Rose is a serious fan of Portland’s dining scene and gives us a preview of the upcoming Dining Month in this food town.

Call it March Madness for foodies. Portland, Oregon’s Dining Month kicks off March 1, offering 31 days of three-course meals for $29 at more than 120 restaurants. It is through Portland Dining Month that many of us discover new restaurants and experience fine dining that would usually stretch the budget.

chicken dish Ned Ludd

This delightful chicken dish was one of Ned Ludd’s Dining Month entree in 2013. Photo John Valls/Travel Portland

With new restaurants popping up monthly on the Portland dining scene, you’ll want to cross a few off your must-try list. Perhaps you’ll want to take in the view at Altabirra City Tavern at the trendy new Hotel Eastlund. Aside from the trendy mid-century modern décor, the real draw for Hotel Eastlund is the rooftop bar, restaurant and out-door patio. Their Altabirra City Tavern takes full advantage of the beauty of the Portland skyline and Willamette River while offering American cuisine and 16 local craft beer taps.

Several years ago, my first Dining Month allowed me to get acquainted with Chef Aaron Barnett’s cuisine at St. Jack. The $29 menu started out with an excellent beet salad (mild yellow beets and fresh arugula and toasted walnuts). We were then treated to Basque style chicken in a huge pottery bowl—a savory combination of peppers, capers and olives in sauce with polenta and moist chicken. Our group asked for more French bread to help us savor every last drop of the sauce. We were full after enjoying this hearty dish, but we still topped off the meal with a little bowl of light Madeleines with a hint of lemon. This delightful meal was the deciding factor in checking our calendars to dine at St. Jack again.

salmon dish

There are plenty of ethnic offerings during Portland’s Dining Month. Photo Ataula Montadito, Broussard Communications

At this year’s Dining Month, you’ll have the opportunity to taste Spanish food at Ataula, Russian food at Kachka and Northwest cuisine at Ned Ludd.

And then there are the celebrity chefs. Have you ever wanted to dine at Chef Vitaly Paley’s Imperial or Chef Gregory Gourdet’s Departure? Keep in mind that those reservations will go quickly.

For each reservation through OpenTable, Oregon Food Bank receives a donation. Last year, nearly 15,000 diners used the system, contributing $2,000 to agencies fighting against hunger. Travelers who book accommodations at select hotels via (for stays through March 31) can score additional deals and freebies.

red wine Aviary

At Aviary, the writer paired her entree with red wine.

Portland Dining Month is an opportunity to expand your culinary horizons, to experiment with new food trends and see what the buzz is about while sticking to your dining budget.– By Elizabeth R. Rose, RFT Contributor
If You Go

Portland Dining Month

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Elizabeth Rose

Elizabeth Rose, based in the Portland, Oregon area, travels throughout the West and beyond writing about destinations, services, accommodations, events and restaurants. As an expert in cultural tourism, her writing reflects that passion.She has won awards for her photography and accompanies her articles with her own images. She also provides photos for magazine covers, web sites and magazine articles (both print and Internet). Examples can be seen on Fine Art America.When not out exploring, she can be seen at Vancouver, Washington dog parks with Cinnamon the Blogging Coonhound.