1. Bistro Agnes

527 SW 12th Ave., 503-222-0979, bistroagnes.com.

(Abby Gordon)
(Abby Gordon)

The new venture from the chefs behind Ox is at its best with rich, no-holds-barred French dishes. The cassoulet has enough duck confit, pork belly, toulouse sausage and white beans to work as an entree for two.

2. Palomar

959 SE Division St., 971-266-8276, barpalomar.com.

(Abby Gordon)
(Abby Gordon)

The divine daiquiris at champion bartender Ricky Gomez's new place are perfectly complemented by the Cuban diner food. The Frita Cubana ($9) is a messy, beef and pork chorizo burger that channels Carl's Jr. straight into the elite tier of Portland burgers.

3. Arden Wine Bar & Kitchen

(Walker Stockly)
(Walker Stockly)

The new restaurant and wine bar in the heart of the Pearl District is sleek, urbane and, at times, extraordinary—an avowedly wine-focused restaurant bringing wine-friendly cuisine to a city both literally and figuratively thirsty for it.

4. Cully Central

4579 NE Cully Blvd., 503-206-8911.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Cully Central is something unique in Portland: a Lao beer bar. It turns out dishes you can't find anywhere else, in particular a subtle khao piek sen chicken noodle soup with thick and chewy rice noodles and a light cinnamon and pepper broth.

5. Grains of Wrath

230 NE 5th Ave., Camas, Wash., 360-210-5717, gowbeer.com.

Ex-Fat Head's brewer Mike Hunsaker's new brewpub finally gives you a reason to visit Camas, and not just for the beers—the small plates, in particular the pork belly, are worth the drive on their own.