With more than 80 menu items hailing from stir-fried, curried, and benoodled disciplines, Rice runs the gamut of authentic Thai fare, often infusing signature dishes and specialties with its own twist. The wonton pad Thai hurls tradition out the window and into a passing tornado by tossing crispy wontons into a Thai stand-by ($11), while the lemongrass chicken, a house specialty, bathes delicately flavored grilled poultry in a luxurious peanut sauce coating ($9.50). The Indian-style gang mussamun curry, with potato, carrots, onions, and peanuts, stows away a spicy kick just like the other dishes of its kind, while scrumptious stir-fries range from the wholesome veggies delight to the decadent spicy cashew nut. Most stir-fries, curries, fried rice, and noodle dishes come with a choice of pork, chicken, beef, or tofu ($9), although diners can upgrade to shrimp, squid, and scallop ($10.50), or a combination of seafood ($13.50) rivaling the regal bounty of Poseidon's fly rod.
Wind Horse Coffee & Tea is a cozy, personable coffee cabana catering to caffeine connoisseurs. Bolster the break of day with an energy-charging chalice of Caffè Umbria brand coffee ($1.55 for 12 oz), or soothe shot nerves from a night interrupted by the boogieman show choir with a latte ($3.20 for 12 oz). Beard wearers can decorate facial hair with dollops of cream from a milky mocha ($3.30 for 12 oz), and pastry pundits can pepper their morning horoscopes with crumbs from a fresh, locally prepared muffin ($2.35). Wind Horse also provides eaters a menu of noshable breakfast and lunch items, including breakfast toasties ($4.50) and paninis ($5.95).
The hills above Milwaukie bear many secrets, including a turn-of-the-century estate called Amadeus Manor with sloping roofs, heavy wood doors, and stunning views of the Willamette River and Portland skyline. This hidden gem—a three-story stone manor built in 1921—emerges from the bowed limbs of enormous trees and shrubbery, welcoming people inside for a romantic dinner of continental cuisine.
Its menu is culled from European classics, with a focus on the owner's home country, Austria. For the schnitzel Amadeus, the chefs trim pork tenderloin by hand, and for the steak au poivre Madagascar, they paint a grilled new york strip steak in a peppercorn cognac demi glace and pair it with mango chutney. Dinners sweetly conclude with a rotating menu of desserts made in house and a cup of house coffee served with luscious clotted cream.
Guests linger over the meals at tables set with fresh flowers while nearby, a fire roars in a stone hearth. Dusk is particularly enchanting when the setting sun illuminates iron-framed windows and the manor's glittering chandeliers twinkle in the soft pink light.
You might find Li Doyle up very early on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday morning, making all of the breads and jams for Lili Patisserie's ever-changing breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus herself, combining them with cage-free eggs and local, organic produce whenever possible. Her challah bread becomes chicken club sandwiches or Cuban-style sandwiches, and her handmade ricotta gnocchi wind up on beds of sautéed spinach with san marzano tomato sauce.
In addition to fresh, seasonal items such as wild, line-caught coho salmon, Doyle prepares vegan and gluten-free options. Bright-red chairs and vintage-style furniture give the seating area a quaint european vibe, like the butter churn currently haunted by the ghost of Louis XIV.
Your patented rutabaga recipe has been lacking a certain joie de vivre lately that an indirect education in spice is sure to remedy. Today's Groupon gets you $25 worth of Salvadoran and Mexican cuisine at El Palenque for $12. Have a home-cooked meal away from home without attaching wheels and an engine to your home.