Where to Eat This Week

At Gabbiano’s, you must order the mozzarella cups—breaded and fried cheese served as a molded shot glass and then filled with marinara.

1. Gabbiano’s

5411 NE 30th Ave., 503-719-4373, gabbianospdx.com. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Certain restaurants are just like certain people: You know you’re gonna like them from the first moment you lay eyes on them. We clicked with Gabbiano’s right away thanks to its warm, bustling interior with hand-painted Italian fresco walls and a “When you’re here, you’re family” vibe that Olive Garden can only fake. The classics (chicken Parm, chitarra, calamari, the Caesar) are all dialed in. But you must order the mozzarella cups—breaded and fried cheese served as a molded shot glass and then filled with marinara.

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. Ripe Cooperative

5425 NE 30th Ave., 503-841-6968, ripecooperative.com. Noon-8 pm Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

The lasagna at Naomi Pomeroy’s cafe-market is richness upon richness, with what is currently a duck Bolognese, ricotta and, per the website description, “lots of mozzarella and Parmesan.” That’s no lie: This is more or less a white lasagna, and something of a dairy bomb, with a big layer of ricotta, béchamel and a three-cheese blend, plus mozzarella. You won’t need bread for sopping at the end, but you could probably fry a few potatoes in the slick of duck fat that’s left over.

4. República

721 NW 9th Ave., 541-900-5836, republicapdx.square.site. À la carte menu served 9 am-3 pm, chef’s tasting menu served 5-9 pm daily.

República has introduced Portland to another thread of Mexico’s complex gastronomic tapestry: the modernist-leaning tasting menu, which the Pearl District restaurant began serving in 2021. Packaging indigenous Mexican ingredients with sophisticated technique in a town known for its disdain of pretension was bold as hell. But it has been pulling it off with aplomb. And the idea of simultaneously serving each twosome one vegetarian-leaning tasting menu and one with a meatier bent is brilliant, especially for good eaters who share.

5. 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.