Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that some Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Image of Lovely's Fifty-Fifty courtesy Dian K. via Yelp
Dan Beekley gets around: Many remember him as the man behind Portland's beloved Square Deal Wine, or know him from his current gig managing NW Broadway's CorksCru wine shop. And just last week, Beekley announced that he'll also join Ken and Jennifer Norris as wine director at Riffle NW, their upcoming catch-inspired seafood restaurant opening in the Pearl District this May. A champ of little-known, indie wines, Beekley promises a Loire-focused wine list that will deliver fish-friendly, farm-raised wines without breaking the bank. It'll be a busy few months for Beekley, but we tracked him down to find out his favorite go-to Portland spot for date night with wife Elizabeth (who he affectionately dubs "the Queen of Two Tarts").
My wife Elizabeth and I get a date night every other week or so. We share phone calls and text messages back and forth all day about where to go, what to try, what's new on the radar... then, when push comes to shove, we end up right back where we always go —Lovely's Fifty-Fifty on Mississippi. We love everything that goes on here: great vibe, happy service, casual atmosphere (who so obsessively lined up the bottoms of ALL those picture frames?). Seriously, that decor is the perfect metaphor for what goes on here — an active, happening restaurant with all the details aligned. We always order two pizzas and share a salad. We usually drink whatever's on tap from Upright. Our last visit was a pie with Bellwether Farms Ricotta, Calabrian chiles, and black olives; and another pie with Italian sausage and winter greens. The salad was beets, escarole, and green goddess dressing. It's food that makes you feel good. That's why we keep going back.