Regardless of the fact that Nutshell owner Adam Berger—who also owns meaterrific Ten 01 and Tabla—doesn't have a bone to pick with foie gras, the just-over-a-year-old Nutshell is bona fide vegetarian with nothing but love for the meat-free. Although a September revamp added dairy and more small plates to the Sasquatch-adorned, hip North Portland joint's repertoire, the kitchen is happy to continue to prepare almost everything to suit the tastes of animal-protein-averse. A standout starter is the panko-breaded rice balls served with avocado sauce and sweet chile coulis. The zucchini carpaccio topped with micro-greens and drizzled with chile oil and champagne is also delicious, as are the always popular barbecue-platter entree plates of sweet-corn-stuffed chile with baked beans, potato salad and cornbread. The sushi-style, mark-what-you-want menu of specialty sea salts from the Meadow, hard-to-find olive oils and house-baked breads are worth a visit all on their own.
IDEAL MEAL: Barriques chardonnay cask-smoked sea salt with olive and whole-grain naan; watermelon-lemongrass soup; flatbread topped with spicy tomato sauce, cashew purée and basil; dark-chocolate hazelnut tart.