Squeeze past the outdoor diners, wait in line between oodles of Italian groceries and a curvaceous wine shelf, then place your order with the cashier, put the number on your table and wait for one of the best upscale, casual Italian meals in Portland. Don't be turned off by the serving system—standout service will indeed follow in the bustling, maroon-colored dining room (which doubled in size this June), complete with Rat Pack-era music and black-and-white photos. While the permanent menu is stocked with basics like tagliatelle Alfredo and penne bolognese, look to the chalkboard for an always-lengthy list of daily specials. Even with its slightly more adventurous fare, including standouts like a roasted-pepper goat-cheese soup, and specialty lasagnas like a roasted chicken mushroom, with pepperjack cheese and Alfredo sauce—you'll recognize everything on the menu, but you won't recognize how good it can be. (KS)