March in Portland means it’s Portland Dining Month, Travel Portland’s annual celebration that encourages restaurants across the city to create special three-course dinners for only $33.
There are not enough days in March (or room in our stomachs) to dine at over 130 participating restaurants, so here are a few spots we are excited to visit because of their elevated takes on traditional cuisine, impeccable presentations, and inviting spaces.
750 SW Alder St.
Rosa Rosa sits in the Dossier Hotel and is the newest addition to the Vitaly Paley dining family (Paley’s Place, The Crown, Imperial, and Headwaters). The décor sets the scene for a great dining experience, with a marble floor, wood fixtures, and natural light flooding from street-corner windows. Rosa Rosa serves Ottoman cuisine, a traditional style from the culinary melting pot of the former Ottoman Empire along the Balkan Peninsula. We cannot wait to see how it crafts three courses of this unique fare—it’s sure to be a standout newcomer.
Bamboo Sushi’s decade-long commitment to sustainable seafood remains one of its defining features, making each meal an act to improve the planet as well. Bamboo Sushi’s numerous Portland locations offer different vibes—the Alberta location is romantically lit with paper lanterns in the cozy space, while the downtown location feels more like a sleek fish house with high ceilings—but all serve freshly prepared sushi rolls and Japanese fusion options that could lure even the most sushi-averse. Bamboo Sushi’s Portland Dining Month menu will have its ethically sourced ingredients in an exotic colorful display that has come to make the place a Portland dining institution.
Q Restaurant & Bar
828 SW 2nd Ave.
Q somewhat carries the torch of Portland’s past. Situated in the heart of downtown, it’s sitting at an old gathering spot for journalists, cops and politicians for four decades. When Q opened, it was designed with the nostalgia in mind: the restaurant has dark wood and leather diner booths, a tall sparkle-flecked granite bar top circling the liquor shelves, and one of the city’s best Reuben sandwiches and crispy french fries that put fast-food versions to shame. Make sure to enjoy a drink from their clever cocktail menu before your dinner.
1670 NE Killingsworth St.
Tiffin Asha blends traditional Indian cooking with New Portland aesthetics, setting up shop on the ground level of a new development along Killingsworth. Its fusion plates beg to be photographed—artfully arranged dosas (stuffed crepes made with lentils), curries, gun powders and chutneys. Beyond the presentation that goes into each dish, the food itself is sumptuous and each bite worth ruminating to savor. Tiffin Asha’s cozy, tastefully decorated dining room and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel at home during Portland Dining Month.
830 SW 6th Ave.
Located in the Duniway Hotel, Jackrabbit is the most Portland-themed of this city’s many hotel restaurants, with golden light on dark wood in a gin lover’s bar. The menu is all about red meat, pairing regional cuts of beef with local vegetables (some purchased from Portland State University’s Farmers Market up the street), though it does have some non-beef dinners (pig’s head and buttermilk fried rabbit) for protein seekers looking for something other than a cow. For many, Portland Dining Month makes Jackrabbit financially feasible at last, so stop by while you can.
1125 SE Division St.
Tucked into a small, cozy spot in Southeast Portland, Aviv has flourished. From the same restaurateur that brought us the Gonzo food cart, Aviv’s Israeli fusion courses are colorful and flavorful vegan takes on traditional Middle Eastern courses, like shawarma, falafel and bourekas. It also serves a wide variety of hummus, ranging from zesty to spicy; deep-fried mushroom “calamari”; and a tahini cauliflower that is rich with flavor. Aviv’s shawarma bowl has developed a reputation as one of the city’s best hangover cures, and the restaurant has heard more than one satisfied customer comment, “I didn’t know vegan food could be so tasty.” Their three-course meal will be sure to evoke similar remarks.
Portland Dining Month presented by Travel Portland happens all March long across Portland neighborhoods. Visit PortlandDiningMonth.com to see the full list of participating restaurants and make reservations with OpenTable.