1. Dough Zone
1910 S River Drive, 503-446-3500, doughzonedumplinghouse.com. 11 am-10 pm daily.
Dough Zone, a Seattle dim sum darling with its first Portland outpost, must have come in with some industrial-sized sage sticks to cleanse the former Lucier space: Early on, it seems to have what it takes to lift the yearslong funk there. Despite the remaining opulence, this is a casual business—a place to go with friends and order a smorgasbord. Fill a table with spicy beef pancake rolls, Berkshire-Duroc pork-and-shrimp steamed dumplings, and xiao long bao, which at $7.95 for an order of six is the best deal in town.
2. Pollo Bravo
1225 N Killingsworth St., 503-477-8999, pollobravopdx.com. 11:30 am-9 pm daily.
During the pandemic, Pollo Bravo stuck it out for a while with takeout and delivery from Pine Street Market, but without downtown’s tourists and office workers, co-owners Josh and Sarah Scofield eventually decided to go on hiatus. Now the beloved brand is back in a stand-alone restaurant with its signature chicken and stalwart sides (radicchio salad, patatas bravas), as well as select tapas and a rebooted Bravo burger.
3. Pizza Thief
2610 NW Vaughn St., 503-719-7778, pizzathief.com. Noon-9 pm Wednesday-Monday.
Mondays are slow at most bars and restaurants, but not at Slabtown’s Pizza Thief. During its de facto service-industry night, you’ll find a growing number of brewers, distillers and cidermakers who’ve made this spot their regular hangout. And they’re not just there to drink. Pizza Thief has found a way to tap into our city’s vast fermentation labor force and put members to work baking pies and pouring beers. The new collaboration series is called Meet the Maker Mondays, which features a different Sicilian-style pizza created by a craft beverage company every week.
4. RingSide Steakhouse
2165 W Burnside St., 503-223-1513, ringsidesteakhouse.com. 5-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 4:30-9:30 pm Friday, 4-9:30 pm Saturday, 4-9 pm Sunday.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, RingSide will be open seven days a week. The iconic steakhouse remained closed on Mondays and Tuesdays once it resumed indoor dining, but let’s face it: Sometimes you really need to carve into a dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye to get your week started on the right foot. And June just happens to be National Steakhouse Month, giving you another excuse to drop in.
2930 NE Killingsworth St., 503-227-2669, damerestaurant.com. 5-10 pm Thursday-Sunday.
Dame may be the most wonderful, underpublicized restaurant in Portland. The intimate Italian meals served there nourish the body and elevate the spirit. Its chef, Patrick McKee, is an exemplary talent, leader and human being; the kitchen and floor staff reflect a constructive culture; and the food is simply superb. Typically, a half-dozen pastas are made fresh daily, and every dish is the product of painstaking flavor-building technique. Servings are generous, but order ravenously; these pastas are virtuoso performances.