1. PICCONE’S CORNER
3434 NE Sandy Blvd. #400, 503-265-8263, picconescorner.com. 9 am-7 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm Sunday.
This combination butcher shop-restaurant continues to fill a hole in the city’s dining scene that was left when Old Salt Marketplace closed. Now, Piccone’s Corner is serving all-day breakfast, setting our ham-loving hearts awhirl. The updated menu includes a substantial plate of two eggs, polenta cakes and bacon or sausage links, mushroom toast, and an obligatory grain bowl. But our eyes are set on the breakfast sandwich topped with your choice of house-cured pork from Wallow & Root farms.
411 SE 81st Ave., 503-841-5905, sebastianospdx.com. 11 am-3 pm Wednesday-Saturday.
As we continue to ride the Omicron crest, Montavilla’s Sicilian deli, Sebastiano’s, has launched a take-and-bake dinner program to keep you cozy through winter. Specials rotate, but the extra-large, Catanese-style arancini are a must-have. Each order includes two goose egg-sized fried balls of rice mixed with Olympia Provisions mortadella, Tails & Trotters ham, and mozzarella. Add a radicchio salad, a bottle of wine, and a slice of olive oil cake, and you’ve got yourself a nice little weeknight meal.
3. SUNSHINE NOODLES
2175 NW Raleigh St., Suite 105, sunshinenoodlespdx.com. 5-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-3 pm and 5-9 pm Friday-Sunday.
Diane Lam, the former chef de cuisine at Revelry, is back in full force with Sunshine Noodles, a relaunch of her pandemic pop-up that now has a brick-and-mortar home in Slabtown. Snag a seat at the countertop, where you can watch the kitchen team work the wok station, then dig into the catfish spring rolls. Though not a noodle dish, it’s the current standout. The fish is blackened, rolled into rice paper with herbs, vermicelli noodles, a slice of watermelon radish, and then topped with a citrusy nuoc cham sauce that’s a mixture of bitter, sweet, salt and funk.
4. PASTIFICIO D’ORO
8737 N Lombard St., doropdx.com. 5-8 pm Monday-Tuesday.
Pastificio d’Oro is a restaurant inside another restaurant in St. Johns. But its heart—and thus, your stomach—is in Bologna, the Northern Italian city known for its handmade pasta, meat ragù (aka “Bolognese”) and mortadella (which America turned into, yes, “bologna”). Chef Chase Dopson had never cooked this style of cuisine until he caught “the pasta bug” at the start of the pandemic. With just a single induction burner to boil water and Gracie’s Apizza’s wood-fired oven, Dopson generally builds his menu around just two pastas, most frequently a tagliatelle ragù and a filled pasta in the tortellini family. It’s very heavy food, but incredibly soul soothing.
5. NICO’S ICE CREAM
5713 NE Fremont St., 503-489-8656, nicosicecream.com. 3-9 pm Wednesday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday.
Ice cream in February? Where do you think we are, New Zealand? At Nico’s Ice Cream, yes. The Northeast Portland shop’s only item, vanilla ice cream blended with berries, has its roots in the land of kiwis. It also requires its own appliance that combines plain vanilla Tillamook with your choice of frozen fruit. Once the ice cream is finished mixing, you have something with the butterfat richness of hard-pack, but the airiness and mouthfeel of soft serve.