Counter Attack: Italian


Handsome Pizza

2730 N Killingsworth St., 247-7499,

Handsome's wide, crisp-bottomed pies strongly resemble the standard-setter at Apizza Scholls. Each emerges from a super-hot wood-fired dome in this former garage space topped with the expected assortment of fresh and aged mozzarella, ricotta, basil, sausage and salame piccante.

Lardo and Grassa

1205 SW Washington St.; Grassa: 241-1133, Lardo: 241-2490,

Rick Gencarelli's conjoined Italian eateries share spirit, if not menu. Grassa is a pasta house, with antipasto and wine. Lardo makes highfalutin Italian-influenced sandwiches coupled with a great beer. They are linked, so you can carry anything anywhere.

Shut Up and Eat

3848 SE Gladstone St., 719-6449, 

Shut Up and Eat offers a Sicilian mom's advice. Take it. The Woodstock sandwich shop opens early for breakfast, throws down Italian ice and a Broad Street Bomber cheesesteak that's meaner than South Philly streets. They also have the city's best potato chips.

Bridge City Pizza

5412 SE Woodstock Blvd., 777-4992.

Along with the rare-in-Portland Chicago thin-crust pie, this Woodstock spot makes the best giardiniera-topped Italian beef in town: wetter than an otter's pocket, chock-full of meat and jus that they prep for days, from saute to broth to crock pot. The glutinous bread—shipped from Chicago—is doused in jus and seems none the worse for wear.

Roman Candle

3377 SE Division St., 971-302-6605,

Open early for pastries and coffee, in the evening Roman Candle lights up with simple, doughy wood-fired pizza squares in the style of Italy's big city walk-and-mangia joints. The best slice is also the simplest: a red-faced slab of pomodoro that builds from the house's piquant marinara using a sprinkle of sea salt, paper-thin slices of garlic and a light shake of oregano. Take note, too, of appetizers and sides borrowed from the much swankier Ava Gene's.

 The Directory: Our 100 Favorite Restaurants in Portland

By Neighborhood: Southeast | North/Northeast | Westside | Suburbs 

 2014 Restaurant of the Year: Kachka 

Top Five: Old Salt, AtaulaAmerican LocalExpatriate

Counter Service Spots: Latin | Asian | Italian | Sandwiches | Burgers 

Wine Bars | Beer Lists | Veg-Friendly | Gluten-free | Elsewhere in Oregon 

WWeek 2015

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