1. Ecliptic Brewing
825 N Cook St., 503-265-8002, eclipticbrewing.com. Noon-8 pm Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday.
Portland Dining Month, traditionally held in March, has been scrapped yet again due to COVID, but Ecliptic is pressing ahead anyway, serving its own limited-edition, three-course meal for a fixed price. Choose between two appetizers and entrees, which include the house soup or a Bibb lettuce blue cheese salad start; then move onto grilled flank steak, or a Yukon gold potato gnocchi. All dinners end with a cheesecake brownie crumble. Pub grub, this ain’t, proving breweries can serve upscale fare alongside stellar pints.
2. Pacific Crust Pizza Company
400 SW Broadway, 503-719-5010, pacificcrustpizzaco.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.
The pies at this outdoors-themed pizzeria blur the line between New York and New Haven styles, which is a delightful hybrid for those who like to fold their slices as easily as a book yet appreciate a hefty rim for its chew and crunch. However, Pacific Crust’s greatest strength is its ability to allow each topping to have its moment. Nowhere is that better exhibited than in the Traverse, a crimson-and-gold disc of lightly smoked tomato sauce and corn kernels adorned with a tuft of peppery arugula.
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. 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.
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.