1. Bistro Agnes
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.
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
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.
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
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.