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.”
The chefs at Tommy O's Pacific Rim Bistro might be wizards. With local produce, wild-caught fish, and other ingredients culled from Vancouver's farmers’ markets, they conjure meals straight from Hawaiian tables. Their menu combines sake-wasabi oyster shooters from the raw bar with tropical dishes of slow-roasted kalua pork and calamari steak sandwiches doused in housemade tartar sauce. Bartenders stock their taps with beers from around the Northwest and shake specialty cocktails such as the FBI, whose blend of vanilla vodka, coconut rum, and pineapple juice was specially designed to look amazing in the hand of anyone wearing wraparound sunglasses. While diners take their taste buds surfing, their eyes soak up tropical decorations such as surfboards, palm fronds, and murals of surfers, all nestled comfortably in a dining room that hosts happy hours and jazz performances throughout the week.
Traveling thousands of miles for a great meal might seem extreme to some, but it makes sense to members of the Zhen family. As a group who's passionate about good food, they understand why some people travel just to taste delicacies from around the world. Fortunately, local diners need only travel as far as Taste of China—the Zhen family's second restaurant—to find fresh Chinese food that made the Chinese Restaurant News' Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA list for three consecutive years.
Inside the restaurant, aromas waft from the semi-open kitchen, carrying the promise of dishes such as tender beef in spicy Szechuan sauce or shredded mu shu pork with wood ear mushrooms and savory pancakes. For a taste of something truly unique, diners can ask to to eat from the test-kitchen menu of seasonal dishes made from rare and elusive ingredients.
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.
Located within the Cinetopia theater at Vancouver Mall, Brewtopia adds a gourmet twist to traditional comfort food and American cuisine. With the skill of cattle ranchers weaving new lassos from stalks of wheat, cooks mold half-pound burgers from Snake River Farms beef, craft sandwiches and wraps such as buffalo-chicken wraps and oyster po' boys, and design gourmet entrees such as cider-glazed Carlton Farms pork chops. Beyond Brewtopia proper, the adjoining cinema boasts four enormous GXL screens up to 80 feet with 4096p projection—4 times the resolution of Blu-ray—and an exclusive immersive 64.2 channel Dolby ATMOS sound system, five luxury-themed movie parlors, nine living rooms, and five grand auditoriums with steep stadium-style seating to help guests enjoy a clear view of the screen.
The menu at The Igloo Restaurant is reminiscent of that of a 50s diner. Chefs flip juicy third-pound patties before sliding them atop buns or low-carb lettuce wraps, along with toppings such as bacon, cheese, jalapeños, and mushrooms. In the nearby frier, they also sizzle up chicken strips, onion rings, and the crispy fries that accompany every burger. To round out their menu, they offer a range of ice cream treats. They can plop scoops of ice cream into sundaes, cones, or root beer floats, which can be outfitted with two straws for a romantic interlude or proof that I can have fun all by myself, Mom.