Jacqueline is the neighborhood seafood restaurant every Portland neighborhood wishes it had. A Mediterranean blue door opens to an always-bustling dining room full of quirky design, from the hand-painted sea life to the attention-getting portrait of Bill Murray as the oceanographer in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Chef-owner Derek Hanson's menus are equally free-wheeling and change daily. They're always defined by what's freshest—whether Oregon albacore or marigolds.
Jacqueline offers inventive, produce-driven plates, like addictive fried squash blossoms stuffed with sheep's milk ricotta ($8) or several varieties of local tomatoes paired with burrata and bright pickled chilies ($8).
The raw and cooked seafood preparations tend toward whimsy. A recent dish of salmon cured with dill and green coriander ($12) actually felt like a deep-sea exploration, topped with otherworldly sea beans and mouse melons. And make sure to order the Oregon dayboat albacore ($18) whenever it's on the menu for some of the freshest tuna around.
Pro tip: There's only one place to begin at Jacqueline: the insane, heroic, magnanimous dollar-oyster happy hour, available 5-7 pm Monday-Saturday. You'll find several local varieties all served with housemade sauces, from mignonette to green Tabasco.