1. Wild Thing
1483 NE Alberta St., wildthingpdx.com, 10 am-3 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Pearl District restaurant and wine bar Arden recently debuted its little sister cafe, Wild Thing. The entirely plant-based menu centers on build-your-own bowls with a base of brown grains or mixed greens rampaged by fruits, vegetables and nuts from all shades of the color wheel. Wild Thing has been a three-year project in the making from Arden owner Kelsey Glasser. The cafe also serves its very own label of canned wines and cold-brew coffee made in collaboration with Never Lab.
2032 SE Clinton St., 503-200-5787, quaintrelle.co. 5-10 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Mississippi fine dining spot Quaintrelle reopened in late August on Southeast Clinton with a noticeable upgrade. Chef Riley Eckersley and bar manager Camille Cavan stayed on and built out the former Burrasca location into the kitchen and bar of their combined dreams. There are now splurge-worthy five-, seven- and nine-course tasting menus with available add-ons and drink pairings, along with an à la carte menu. Eckersley continues his uncanny knack for drawing from wherever his culinary interests take him—a fish sauce here, freshly foraged mushrooms there, and a touch of Spanish flair. Plates always look like art, and also taste like it.
3. Pacific Crust Pizza Company
400 SW Broadway, 503-719-5010, pacificcrustpizzaco.com. 11 am-10 pm daily.
Almost exactly one year after Vitaly Paley’s downtown pizzeria, The Crown, switched off its ovens due to the pandemic, the ground floor of Hotel Lucia will once again have a restaurant slinging discs of baked dough. Pacific Crust Pizza Company quietly opened Oct. 29 with a Northwest outdoors-themed menu created by chef Aaron Dionne, formerly of New American and Higgins. You’ll find ingredients like elk fennel sausage, Cascade lox and elderberry vinegar atop pies here. The pizzas are categorized like hikes—“easy,” “intermediate” and “expert”—indicating how adventurous the toppings might be to someone used to ordering plain old cheese and pepperoni.
4. Purrington’s Cat Lounge
3529 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-334-3570, purringtonscatlounge.com. 9:45 am-6 pm Thursday-Sunday.
Be warned that Purrington’s, Portland’s only cat cafe, regularly sells out its weekend sessions—45-minute reserved slots for an assortment of singles and small groups. However, sitting outside the cat enclosure can be almost as delightful as being inside, especially since the realities of social hierarchy dictate that all adults must take a backseat to the wonder of well-mannered kids fixed on petting all available cats. This particular incarnation of the lounge is still new—co-owners Garret Simpson and Helen Harris bought the business from the original owners in 2019 and renovated the space. You can thank Simpson’s food and wine background for the cafe’s above-average snacks, which include a vegan board of carrot hummus, sunflower seed dip and kale pesto, served with baguette and veggies for dipping as well as an indulgent cheese board sourced from local monger Cowbell.
5. Brasa Haya
412 NE Beech St., 503-288-3499, brasahayapdx.com. 5:30-10 pm, Wednesday-Sunday. Indoor seating not ADA accessible, vaccination required to dine indoors.
A new Spanish restaurant in a converted home that was formerly Beech Street Parlor, Brasa Haya is a fine(r) dining restaurant with textbook salt cod croquettes. The portion was too small to split effectively, but this is a problem inherent to tapas, not Brasa Haya.