Constructed with wood milled from trees that once stood on the same soil, Riverview Restaurant’s sunlit space boasts high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a stone-front fireplace, all which helped nab it a spot on OpenTable’s list of top 100 romantic restaurants in the country. Walls hung with original artwork surround linen-topped tables where diners savor plated steaks and seafood dishes tinged with miso, sesame, and other fusion flavors. An extensive wine list serves wine by the glass, bottle, or surreptitiously emptied flower vase, and bartenders swirl signature drinks such as pear martinis and pomegranate mojitos. Massive, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views onto manicured grounds, complete with a gazebo where patrons can reenact the scene in The Sound of Music where Rolf and Liesl cleverly disguise themselves as trees.
Established in 1982, this neighborhood gastropub infuses visits with an assorted mix of Americana and sports décor. An eclectic spread of comfort food lures eyes from the paraphernalia-strewn walls to the tables, where crab wontons fit right in alongside Baja-inspired shrimp quesadillas, or New England-influenced cups of clam chowder. The entrees sate heartier appetites, and keep close to classic Americana. Chefs hand dip halibut fish and chips, toss together the billed "famous" wilted spinach salad, and fire up sirloin steak and tiger prawns.
At Quartet, food, hospitality, atmosphere, and music harmonize under the orchestration of restaurateur Frank Taylor. Creative takes on American standbys fill the plateware, crafted by experienced head chef and Oregon native Adam Kekahuna out of sustainable, local ingredients. Those dishes rest on elegant linen tablecloths while diners rest on plush armchair seating. Through the two-story windows, guests can watch the sparkling Willamette flow by, or on a clear day, spot the dragons circling Mount Hood. Meanwhile, the paired grand pianos beside the bar tempt a stream of local musicians such as Tony Pacini and Mel Brown—live tunes start playing at 5:30 p.m. on the dot.
Waiters and waitresses sidle through Sylvan Steakhouse and Saloon's cozy interior, presenting large platters of family-style, down-home American fare. While nestled in high-backed booths, early birds can peruse a brunch menu teeming with hearty blends of fresh, local ingredients, including duos of fluffy biscuits and gravy ($4.95) and steak and eggs ($9.95). Or, diners can find seats out on the large sundeck to soak up the previous night's moon-ray residue while enjoying thick belgian waffles, whose squared rivets are ideal for supporting piles of fresh strawberries ($6.95) or creating trenches for warring Lego armies. The dinner hour attracts neighborhood noshers with a robust bill of steak-centric fare, an earthy wooded bar, and an 82-inch flat-screen that showcases at least three times more sports games than the average yogurt commercial. Northwest farmers provide Sylvan with its juicy, 100% ground-chuck burger patties, which weigh in at half a pound and lend their flavors to handhelds such as the Outrageous Sylvan Steakhouse burger, topped with an egg, ham, and cheese ($11.95). The BLTA sandwich offers an update to the standard bread-bound staple, with roasted turkey, avocado, and a lonely A joining the ranks of bacon, lettuce, and tomato ($8.95). The baseball-cut sirloin steak ($14.95/8 oz., $18.95/12 oz.) takes the lead as the Sylvan specialty, sliced extra thick from the best part of the sirloin and accompanied by two sides.