Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, and though certain spots generate all the buzz, there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders — ourselves included — just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their under-the-radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Image of Chinese Delicacy courtesy vj_pdx via Flickr
When Marco Frattaroli isn't serving Italian classics at his NW restaurant Bastas Trattoria & Bar, he's (surprisingly?) dining up and down 82nd Ave. "I make western-style cuisine, so I usually want something different and seek out exotic flavors, especially Asian food," he says. But his favorite?
"I go to specific restaurants for specific dishes, and one of my favorites is a Mandarin Chinese restaurant with a Korean influence called Chinese Delicacy. The decor is sterile but the service is warm and attentive, and a fish tank adds a lively ambiance, as well as a taste of the seafood that might soon be on your plate. There are three or four dishes there that are my favorites. The steamed dumplings—I like both the pork and shrimp. I also order the pork trotters boiled in a mix of spices, a style that Americans call "Red Cooking", made with Chinese rock sugar, soy sauce, and five spice. This dish is served cold, hot or room temperature. I like it room temperature. I also recommend the jellyfish salad with cucumber and cilantro, very refreshing in a slightly sweet rice vinegar sauce. And last but not least, they serve a delicious pressed tofu and pork dish, where they're both sliced like noodles and tossed with rice wine and bamboo shoots. The menu has a couple classic Korean dishes like noodles with black bean sauce, and my Korean friends love this place. That in itself says a lot."