When I visited The French Laundry the first time, it as an experience so magical that I immediately wanted to share it with family and friends. My 60th birthday was that opportunity. We were able to reserve the private dining room for an intimate lunch on what turned out to be Paul Bocuse’s birthday!
Dine on the French and Spanish inspired cuisine of Chef Julian Serrano surrounded by original Picasso artwork. Am I dreaming?
Andina has been a favorite of ours for many years. Opened in 2003 it was named Restaurant of the Year for 2005 by the Oregonian newspaper. Andina is one of the busiest restaurants in Portland. Offering a menu inspired by classical and modern Peruvian cuisine, Andina has always been a rewarding dining experience. On our most recent visit, we sampled some new dishes in addition to old favorites.
Willow is a unique dining experience located in Portland’s Central Eastside. Located in a converted house, Chef/Hosts John and Doug present local ingredients in an eclectic mashup of Asian and European influences reflective of their training and experiences.
Opened in January, 2014, Chef Tony’s is Tony He’s second restaurant venture in Richmond, BC. My cousin, Doug, recommended Chef Tony’s for its originality and unusual flavors. We made reservations for 10am (their opening time) and there was a line of about 15 people by 10am. The interior is bright white and very modern. After being seated, we found the menu listed some familiar dim sum treats, but all with interesting variations.
What started a couple of years ago as a coffee shop where the vintage housewares on display were all for sale has been transformed into a dinner only restaurant that captures the feel of a french countryside home. Chef Nate Beckland offers a menu focused on the best of each season featuring locally sourced ingredients.
Since 2010, Chef/Owner Crystal Corbin’s hearty blending of British Isles favorites and Pacific Northwest ingredients have been a popular part of the Coastal Oregon dining scene. Front of the house is run by Crytstal’s husband and co-owner, Sean, and his three brothers. It’s a warm and welcoming place in Cannon Beach offering dinner only. By day, the space is occupied by Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters that is also excellent.
For many years our trips to Portland included a pilgrimage to Voodoo Doughnuts, the originator of crazy doughnuts with pop rocks, kids cereals, and seemingly anything else anyone dared to try. It was always entertaining to see what concoctions were on the current menu along with the old time favorites.
But, my friend Dustin told me about Blue Star Doughnuts that he said was even better! Well, that was enough to put it on our list for a recent trip to Portland. Is it better than Voodoo?
Started in 2005 as a fresh fish market with a dash of restaurant added, Local Ocean Seafood has now expanded the restaurant to a second floor. Reservations are highly recommended since those without them can easily wait an hour or more. Regardless, it’s worth the wait! They buy their seafood daily right from the local fishing boats that dock across the street.
We were treated to the ultimate dining experience by our dear friends Kent and DJ Nielsen, both chefs whose cooking school I attended in 1999-2001. This was their 22nd anniversary and their wedding reception was in the courtyard of The French Laundry! Our lunch ran nearly 5 1/2 hours and included a tour of the newly renovated $10M kitchen, wine cellar, private dining room, and a chance to meet Chef Keller. (Warning: This is a long post!)