A whole month is devoted to $29 three course dining in the foodie Mecca of Portland, Oregon. Since the special meals are offered at over 90 different Portland restaurants how does one choose?
First of all it is important to note that Portland Dining Month (PDM) specials are offered for evening meals. Even if you went out for dinner every night, you would only be able to enjoy 31 meals.
Special Dietary Needs
Many Portland Dining Month restaurants will accommodate people with special dietary needs. Click on the Portland Dining Month website for a list of restaurants with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. This will narrow down your choices.
But for the rest of us, how do we choose?
Follow the Trends
If you follow such publications as Eater PDX try selecting from the top Portland restaurants, the ones that are mentioned as hot, innovative and noteworthy. Be sure and make your reservation early as there will be many who take the same approach to choosing a PDM restaurant.
Follow Your Tastes
We all have our preferences. Some are more adventurous than others. Look at the PDM menus and select your restaurants from those who offer dishes that appeal to you. If you are a hearty eater, this may not be the time to try a restaurant known for small, albeit creative, plates.
Find Your Favs
Portland Dining Month is a time to save money and let the chefs choose the courses. No doubt you have favorite Portland restaurants. Now is a good time to go back and have a three-course meal for $29. There is no rule that says you can't eat at your favorite restaurants.
Dine Close to Home
If you live in the neighborhoods, downtown Portland can be difficult to navigate and find parking. Either take the Max or try a PDM restaurant closer to where you live. Not all PDM restaurants are located downtown. The Portland Dining Month website has a map showing the restaurant locations. Click on those closest to where you live.
Dine Where We Dined
We're just starting our Portland Dining Month adventures and opted for "Follow the Trends," as our tactic. We recently dined at Ración in downtown Portland. As Wendy Bumgardner pointed out in her review, Ración's "Chef Cafiero works his magic in the all-electric kitchen. Circulators let him create sous vide delights. Acetylene torches are available to sear the amuse bouche. You watch and are welcome to ask questions and learn about their cool tools."
Ración is a small plates kind of place where every course is a work of art. And Ración is different. The PDM menu price afforded us the opportunity to enjoy Ración at a price $20 less than their offered tasting menu. Be sure and sit at the counter surrounding the kitchen. You will be entranced.
Portland Dining Month Website