My Two Cents

Restaurant Reviews

Café Nell

Café Nell
1987 NW Kearney, Portland, OR 97209, 503-295-6487

Personable Service, Interesting Food, Attractive Ambiance
We were able to get breakfast items after noon. Nice. She had a simple plate of poached egg, bacon and cubed potatoes. I had the Monte Cristo. We were seated within a minute. Both the caf and decaf were hot, fresh and tasted good. Our server handled a couple special requests without any trouble. Our dishes came out quickly. The potatoes were hot and crisp. The bacon was good quality. There was something interesting in the salad that came with my sandwich – smoked salt maybe. My sandwich was perfectly presented and tasted great. I asked for a side of syrup and it was the thickest I have been served. The café is on a quiet corner between apartment buildings. They have their own parking lot. Natural light comes from a bank of windows on the west side. Although the interior is B&W tiles and bare wood chairs, there is a certain warmth here. I would like to try it again sometime for dinner, when the candles are lit.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

Wildwood Restaurant & Bar

Wildwood Restaurant & Bar
1221 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97210, 503-248-9663

Impeccable Food & Service, Gray Bowels of the Dining Room More Attractive After Dark
She ordered deep fried oysters and sole; I got rockfish salad with the white wine flight. The oysters were to die for. The sole was done perfectly. I liked that my salad came with hot rockfish and cold greens even though they were tossed together. I was delighted to be introduced to white wines I wouldn’t have chosen if left to myself – including a dry French Muscat. I like best the atmosphere of the tables by the windows opposite the bar. There is also great patio seating outside when the weather permits..

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather


Nostrana, 1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214, (503) 234-2427

Interesting Food, Great Wines, Good Service, Great Space, A Little Loud

A week ahead we couldn’t get a reservation for a table of five earlier than 8p. The place was still fairly busy when we left at 11:30. I have always liked the space, with bar seating facing the open kitchen and prominent wood fire oven; 40′ ceiling; intimate two tops near the windows. But it can be a little noisy when the restaurant is full.

We started with a rich and fruity bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo by Castellum Vetus – recommended by our server because it had spent some time on oak. We followed up with her second recommendation – a lighter, fragrant, more oaky Sicilian wine made from a blend of Nerello grapes called Etna Rosso I by Custodi Aetneus.

Someone ordered olives. The small, medium brown pitted ones that came on that plate were memorable – as were the chili flakes when they got down the wrong pipe (that happened to two of us!?) The charcuterie plate was a flavor adventure! The crispy pork trotters was the runaway favorite but the whole thing was a wonderful variety of flavors that kept us all chipping away for an hour. The Insalata Nostrana was a beautiful pile of radicchio; the bitter perfectly balanced with cheesy richness of parmigiano. There were raves all the way round the table on our various pasta dishes. The pasta itself was so delicate and fresh. The sauce on my paglia e fieno was an elegant balance of flavors with just a touch of orange in the cream. There was a complaint that the pizza vongole was too oily. The bread was delicately crispy on the outside, delicately chewy on the inside; fragrant. The Cappuccino, amaretto cheese cake and panna cotta were all spot on.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

Nel Centro

Nel Centro, 1408 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97201, (503) 484-1099

Great Ambiance, Attentive Service, Good Prices, Okay Happy Hour Food

I stopped here a couple nights ago because it has good reviews and is close to the opera. Surprise! Everyone else going to the opera had the same idea. The restaurant wasn’t open until 5:30 and it was booked straight through to 7. The bar was busy but we slipped into the one open table and tucked into happy hour. We ordered a table full of food and drinks and it only came to $50. Yea!

The wait staff was top notch. Our waitress kept a good eye on our wine glasses and swooped away plates as soon as we set our forks down.

The food was only so-so. The fries came out limp and not very hot. The lentils that accompanied my lamb shank were too sweet to my taste. The goat cheese plate looked/tasted like baby food. But his lamb burger was great – on the rare side, with the toasted top bun delivered open. The calamari was delicate, hot and fresh tasting. Good size serving of salad greens. The wine was pleasing.

The ambiance is attractive with the outdoor gas fires, windows for walls and wood seats. A little loud when fully loaded, but inviting and modern.

I would go back again to try the dinner menu.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather


1314 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209, (503) 228-9535

Romantic, Unique Food & Drinks, Personable Service
There are few places on earth more romantic or charming than a seat at copper top in the corner of the bar at Andina’s. And, as if the trappings were enough by themselves, there is live guitar music 7-10 each night.

A long list of unique cocktails – many of them hot with chilies. One of the largest selections of wines by the glass I have ever seen.

The menu is a unique flavor sensation. The tapas are mostly spicy hot, the entrees mostly not. I have dined here many times and rarely ever made it beyond the list of tapas though. One of my favorites is Picadillo Acebichado.

The wait staff is kept quite busy, but they have always been polite and aimed to please.

The dining room is less interesting, but the window seats sport slightly elevated views of the busy street outside.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather