Portland Dining Month, presented by Travel Portland, is back! In its ninth year, over 100 of the city's best restaurants participate by creating exclusive 3-course dinners for only $33 throughout the month of March.
To get the most out of the city-wide celebration of cuisine, we sought out an expert opinion: Kari Young, also known as @meatballssmama on Instagram.
Young, is a Portland native and one of the most influential foodies on the internet. The social media manager, content creator, photographer, food stylist and mom has been recognized by the likes of Esquire, Goop and Buzzfeed for her delicious directing skills. Her history as a restaurant industry kid fuels an insatiable passion for food, drink and design. And it shows. Young's images, shot entirely on her smartphone, are vibrant, bold and beautiful.
Which of the participating Portland Dining Month restaurants are you most looking forward to this year?
Bistro Agnes (527 SW 12th Ave.): I am crazy about traditional French cuisine. And with their menu and kitchen, there are no "misses."
Clyde's Prime Rib (5474 NE Sandy Blvd.): I love Prime Rib and was ecstatic to see they were a participant. Clyde's is my favorite restaurant in Portland from food to service.
Quaintrelle (3936 N Mississippi Ave.): As someone who is constantly on Instagram, I am always looking to see what restaurants are doing. [Quaintrelle] always catches my eye. I have long wanted to dine here, and Portland Dining Month is a great way to experience their food.
When is the best time to experience Portland Dining Month?
I like to go during the week or on a Sunday night. I recommend going early in the evening rather than at the peak time of 7 pm, or aim for the last reservation and dine later in the evening. That way, you can enjoy a drink in the bar or at another spot beforehand.
Wait, should we make reservations?
Making a reservation is always a good habit to get into. When I was a general manager, we relied heavily on our reservation system to gauge staffing. So, it's courteous to make a reservation in a restaurant that typically accepts them. I also like to, and prefer to, dine at the bar, which is best for walk-ins.
What tips do you have for sharing pictures of food with our followers on Instagram?
I think the best way to share food pictures with your followers is with Instagram stories. I find myself watching stories all throughout the day. And you can do multiple posts in stories and share more dishes and places. You can also tag, geotag and video in stories. It just feels more current than a static post on your feed.
If you could go to dinner with anyone, who would you choose and why? And where would you go?
Actor Tom Hardy, because it's Tom Hardy. We would go to Clyde's Prime Rib on a Sunday. If Tom Hardy is not available, the Obamas, Anthony Bourdain or Tom Colicchio, because a dining situation with any of them would be amazing.
The restaurants participating in Portland Dining Month are all worth a visit. Look through the gallery below to scope a few of the plates, chefs, and restaurants serving up amazing food this March.