One of Portland’s biggest food events is back again: During Portland Dining Month, dozens of participating restaurants across town serve three-course meals for $33. Often, it’s some sort of starter, entree, and dessert, though some restaurants mix it up, with more savory courses and more options. The plethora of options, all priced the same, can lead to some decision-paralysis, so Eater Portland has rounded up a few promising spots, ones that are likely to be well-worth the $33 price tag, as well as a number of alternatives for each.
While Portland Dining Month can be a fun opportunity to try new restaurants or visit old-favorites for a date night, it can also engender some mixed responses from restaurants who need to up their staff to serve crowds coming in for discounted, deeply at times, food. Like with any “food week,” it’s highly appreciated to tip well and consider a glass of wine or non-alcoholic drink.
Why it’s worth it: A brewery from one of Oregon’s most lauded beer masters, John Harris, Ecliptic’s Portland Dining Month offers a killer deal: Besides the three courses served at this busy, family-friendly brewpub, the Dining Month special includes a pint of one of its beers and, even more enticing, a $10 gift card for any future visits.
What’s on the menu: Multiple pub-food options at each course, including oysters, burgers, and pasta, with vegan and vegetarian options.
If you go: 825 North Cook Street
Similar options: For Portlanders who prefer a pint of beer with their dinner, Groundbreaker Brewing is serving a salad, fried chicken sandwich, and dessert combo for Portland Dining Month.
Why it’s worth it: The bucolic, intimate French restaurant from chef Johnny Nunn, Verdigris offers a unique approach to Portland Dining Month by offering its entire menu. There are a few tweaks and changes, but it’s still one of the broadest menus of the month. This year the restaurant, and its sister spot Daisy Bar and Cafe, have expanded hours to include a 2 p.m. seating with happy hour drinks, including half-off bottles of wine for those who want to get the party started early.
What’s on the menu: All the usual French/Northwestern comfort food the restaurant normally offers, plus some add-ons and supplements.
If you go: 1315 NE Fremont Street
Similar options: For diners who prefer French cuisine, St. Jack, Bistro Agnes, and Paley’s Place all offer some excellent menus throughout the month. All three end up being a serious deal, considering the usual menu prices for those restaurants.
Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Why it’s worth it: This chain of Brazilian steakhouses is the best bang-for-your-buck, considering its all-you-can-eat status — the regular menu of steaks and other meat carved right at the white-clothed tables is just $33. It also includes the salad bar and Brazilian sides served throughout. Reservations here go very, very quickly.
What’s on the menu: Tableside-carved sirloin, linguica, pork loin, and other meats, plus sides like crispy polenta and caramelized bananas.
If you go: 930 SW 6th Avenue
Similar options: Laurelhurst Market, Ringside Steakhouse, and Imperial all offer some serious steakhouse options for a serious cut to the price, too.
Why it’s worth it: The sleek, futuristic restaurant Departure is worth a visit any time of year for culinary director Gregory Gourdet’s pan-Asian menu and the stunning rooftop view, but the lower price tag for a three-course menu during March makes for a good excuse to do so. The various menu options with each course include meaty and vegetarian selections, making it easy for groups of diners to find something that suits each person.
What’s on the menu: Korean rice cake dish duk boki, red curry eggplant, grilled pork shoulder with green chili, and an array of other option dishes.
If you go: 525 SW Morrison Street, on the 15th floor
Similar options: For those looking for other nice spots for Southeast Asian dining during Portland Dining Month, Farmhouse Kitchen Thai and Aviary are both stellar options.
Why check it out: An intimate pasta restaurant housed in the industrial, stylish bar and restaurant Grand Army Tavern, Campana offers a three-course pasta dinner each night of service. Tucked away in Woodlawn, the restaurant can be easily missed by those in other parts of the city, but it’s well worth the trek, especially in March when the menu is, essentially, $5 cheaper.
What’s on the menu: An array of salads and starters, followed by pasta dishes and mains like chicken cacciatore, finished with a selection of Italian desserts like chocolate panna cotta and olive oil cake with whip cream.
If you go: 901 NE Oneonta Street
Similar options: For those looking for some Italian eating in Southeast, Renata’s PDM menu is offering three savory courses, including pastas.