BY SHANE DIXON KAVANAUGH

DOC is what fine dining in Portland ought to be: doting, delicious, not pretentious. Inside the cozy Concordia storefront, chef Brian Scibetta crafts simple yet creative Italian fare inspired by the Northwest's seasonal offerings. His four co-workers treat their guests, and each other, warmly, creating a comfortable, intimate environment.

In quarters as close as these, don't be surprised if a friendly group at an adjacent table takes to your conversation. Reservations are not strictly required, but highly recommended, as is the generous six-course tasting menu ($60). Spring for the wine pairing ($45), a selection chosen by wine and spirits curator Austin Morris Bridges.

A late-summer visit yielded pairings that were as fun and unexpected as the playlist, heavy on the Hall & Oates, that accompanied them. Highlights included a watermelon salad flecked with lovage and cherry bomb chili peppers and served with chevre. Cavatelli was cooked perfectly and topped with chicken of the woods and king oyster mushrooms, cipollini onions and cream. A beautiful lamb T-bone with a center the color of Rossese, was encircled by bites of grilled peach, avocado and padrón pepper.

Pro tip: Don't want an entire six-course wine pairing to go to your head? Split one with your dinner date—and receive two different wines during the antipasti, primi and secondi courses—for just $60.

GO: 5519 NE 30th Ave., 946-8592, docpdx.com. 6 pm-close Tuesday-Saturday. $$$.