Dinner and a movie is a classic date-night combination, but Vinotopia Restaurant & Winebar at Mill Plain takes it a step further. The independent, locally owned movie theater and restaurant adds upscale food and an award-winning wine list to an already luxurious movie-going experience.
In all auditoriums, patrons can stretch out in extra-wide Ultra Leather seats with extra leg room, and stadium seating ensure excellent views. In luxuriously appointed Grand Auditoriums, films project in Digital Super High Definition for additional visual and auditory intensity. Skybox-like Living Room Theaters pamper viewers with pre-show dining delivered from the restaurant and VIP seating with ottoman footrests. Chefs can also prepare to-go trays to take into the auditorium should diners run the risk of missing even a single executive producer?s name in the opening credits.
The dining room is an elegant space; its clean white tablecloths, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a grand fireplace that create a perfect atmosphere for a romantic date. Works by local artists dot the walls, and colored glass in the ceiling fills the room with ambient light during the day. An outdoor garden hosts comfortable outdoor dining, granting enough privacy for intimate conversations with the plants.
In either location, guests can sample the full range of Vinotopia's Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence?winning wine list. The restaurant's enomatic wine-dispensing system produces one-ounce pours from the more than 85 different bottles for only a small fraction of the bottle price. Patrons take their pick of sips from producers such as Leonetti, Betz, Quilceda Creek, Beaux Freres, Caymus, Shafer, K Vitners, and Ken Wright. A staff of trained sommeliers can suggest which vintages to pair with a chef's tasting plate or entrees from local favorites salmon and seabass, to heartier pot roast and pork chops. They might suggest a Pinot Noir to suit the herbs in the Creamy Penne Pesto, an everyday Syrah with a half-pound Double R Ranch burger, or a Riesling to bring out the bright flavors of Yellow Fin Tuna with sesame seeds and yakisoba noodles. Sean Levy of The Oregonian found the restaurant ?as posh and professional as anything in downtown Portland,? and ?worth visiting just for the wines.?
Though many people may have tasted some of the flavors native to southern China's Sichuan province, few have sampled the region's vast array of unique cuisine. After successfully opening Taste of Sichuan Beaverton, Taste of Sichuan was unveiled in Vancouver to present their wide range of authentic Sichuan cuisine, where chefs make not only the region's well-known dishes, but also the dishes that only travelers or Willy Wonka's taste-testers usually get to experience.
The chefs name this eclectic portion of their menu the Wild Side, which includes dishes ranging from mung-bean jelly in a garlic-accented chili sauce to pickled chili-pepper frogs. Because many diners may be unfamiliar with some of these dishes, the chefs have designed the menu to delineate which options are fan favorites and which include fiery hot Sichuan peppers.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Pow Pow Wings, a casual sports bar written up in The Columbian and Clark College's The Independent, serves up 13 styles of wings and 10 sauces. A raspberry-chipotle sauce was recommended by The Columbian, whereas the ghost pepper-infused Super Pow was reported to create "an inferno on the palate" by The Independent. Pow Pow Wings also grills burgers that can be doused in any wing sauce or topped with a stack of fried-mozzarella sticks. A full bar supplies beer, soft drinks, and other libations, and pinball machines and foosball distracts patrons from shouting curses in Esperanto at the sportsmen on TV.
The giant circular grill can be seen from almost anywhere inside the restaurant. Yummy Mongolian BBQ's chefs stand around it waiting to stir-fry the custom creations their diners assemble from a long buffet brimming with colorful veggies, noodles, and meats. Guests pile their selected ingredients into a nearly endless number of combinations before ladling on freshly made sauces and waving goodbye as their plates are carted off for cooking. Additionally, a full appetizer bar warms midsections like an electric fanny pack with bubbling soups, chicken fried rice, and honey chicken wings.
A platoon of self-serve yogurt dispensers gleams along the walls of Lachelle’s Frozen Yogurt, each waiting to dispatch a different velvety flavor into the shop’s giant pink cups. Swirls come in both traditional varieties—Dutch chocolate, alpine vanilla—and unique flavors, such as hawaiian pineapple and Mounds. To complement the mountains of yogurt, Lachelle's offers a selection of toppings that, like the Indy Five Million, is seemingly endless, comprising more than 100 treats from fresh fruit to hot apple-pie filling.