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Ask Eater: Where Can I Have a Quiet Dinner in Portland?

Does Portland actually have any quiet restaurants anymore?

Can Font.
Can Font.
Dina Avila/Eater Portland
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Welcome to Ask Eater, an Eater Portland column where the site’s editor and reporter answer questions from readers and friends. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form with the subject line ‘Ask Eater.’

Please help! My dad is turning 70 and his only request for his birthday dinner is a QUIET place bc he’s hard of hearing. What are the quietest places in PDX?

-Aidan Krainock

This is a tough one. I feel like, culturally, the quiet restaurant has gone out of style — people love a lively, boisterous dining room that feels like a house party. However, there are certain moments that call for a glass of wine and a bowl of pasta in an intimate, hushed dining room. And, with a mother who is deaf in one ear, I know how important a quiet space to chat can be. I have a few options for you to consider:

• The tatami rooms at Murata benefit from being tucked away from the main dining room, which feel both celebratory and secluded. Plus, on a birthday, it’s hard to beat an assortment of chef’s choice sashimi. Call (503) 227-0080 to make a reservation, and specify that you’d like a tatami room.

Serratto in Northwest Portland is a popular spot for a peaceful dinner, with white tablecloths and a chill neighborhood clientele. It’s definitely birthday-appropriate as well, with things like mushroom risotto, house-made pastas, duck confit, and seared scallops with chanterelles. Call (503) 221-1195 to make a reservation.

Cabezon, the seafood restaurant off Sandy, has a beautiful, low-lit dining room, and I remember it being a nice and quiet spot for a dinner of cioppino or lamb chops. If you really wanted intimacy, you could book the private dining room. Reservations are available via OpenTable.

There are a few other restaurants that can be quiet at certain times — Ringside, Higgins, Noble Rot, Can Font, Davenport — but it’s hard to ensure a place won’t get busy. As you make a reservation, be sure to explicitly say that you’re looking for a quiet table; servers will try to accommodate you, in many cases. The best way to ensure a hushed atmosphere is by reserving a private room; however, for a casual birthday dinner, I know that’s a big ask. For a nightcap, Driftwood Room can be a nice spot on a weeknight.

Good luck — and other Eater readers, let us know if you have a favorite quiet spot for a celebration dinner via our tip line.