Ever since we met Chefs Gabi and Greg Denton at The Resort at Paws Up, Portland has been at the top of our list of places to visit for a quick weekend getaway – specifically their famous Portland restaurant Ox. So when we had the chance to explore Portland with Alaska Airlines, we jumped at the opportunity to spend more time eating and drinking our way through this quirky Pacific Northwest city – and spending time with the Denton’s and our good friend Mark, of Ratio Coffee.
In a city with so much good food, it’s hard to pare down where you’ll eat on a long-weekend trip, so we wanted to share some of our personal favorites.
This is one of our favorite restaurants in the country. Gabi and Greg Denton have hit the nail on the head with their Argentine-inspired dishes. Their giant Argentine grill is the center of the restaurant and the experience, serving up everything from perfectly seared ribeyes and maple-brined pork chops (get the recipe here) to house-made chorizo and head-on prawns. While meat is the core of OX’s menu, you won’t want to miss the empanadas and the sides. If you don’t mind the heat, sit at the chefs’ table to watch the chefs work their magic. You can also find amazing natural and classic Italian wines from some of our favorite producers like Cavallotto, La Stoppa, and Produttori del Barbaresco. If there’s a line, head to Whey Bar for a drink next door while you wait.
Ox, 2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
For a totally different experience, Gabi and Greg recently opened a classic Parisian Bistro in downtown Portland. Come for the classic French food and stay for the absinthe. Named after Greg’s grandmother, the menu offers French staples like classic onion soup gratinee with cave-aged gruyere and thyme croutons, large bowls of mussels cooked in white wine and shallots, and classic petrale sole meuniere. We didn’t try it, but we hear the cheeseburger at lunch with truffled Bordelaise is killer. After dinner, try out their absinthe menu including an absinthe drip and cocktails.
Bistro Agnes, 527 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Shalom Y’all is one of our favorite Portland restaurants for a quick casual lunch or happy hour. Their Israeli cuisine is some of the best we’ve ever had. Order a variety of dishes and share, and don’t miss the house-made pita. We loved the Hummus Pitriyot with maitake mushrooms and the lamb carnitas with cucumber and cured lemons. They have an awesome happy hour with great bites and Turkish Delight Slushies made with limoncello and orange blossom water.
Shalom Y’all, 1128 SW Alder St & 117 SE Taylor St #101
Head to Nostrana for good, simple Italian food. The menu offers great pizza and pasta, and they offer a late night happy hour menu after 9pm with specials on wine, cocktails, and amazing food. Owner Cathy Whims studied with Marcella Hazan and always has Marcella’s No. 3 sauce (made with butter and Parmigiano) on the late-night menu ($9). Head next door to Enoteca Nostrana for wine and Italian cocktails. Their opening wine list was curated with Sicilian winemaker Arianna Occhipinti, so you can’t go wrong when it comes to wine here.
Nostrana, 1401 SE Morrison St Ste. 101, Portland, OR 97214
Established in 1947, go to Fuller’s for a classic breakfast diner experience offering good food without the frills. This small retro dinner has two U-shaped counters. With omelets, German pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and Huevos Rancheros, they have something for everyone. If you like hash browns, this is the best place to order them.
Fuller’s, 136 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Sponsored by Alaska Airlines.