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.
Seeking a home for her one-of-a-kind mixed drinks—including lollipop-rimmed martinis—nationally recognized mixologist Lucy opened Mint restaurant in the spring of 2001. Her acclaimed cocktails’ popularity grew so quickly that in 2003, she opened an adjacent lounge where patrons could focus on drinks such as avocado daiquiris and jalapeño-and-pineapple margaritas. Along with its selection of 40 signature cocktails, the bistro has been luring patrons in with chef Brian McElmeel’s Pan-American-style dishes, which are composed predominantly of local and organic ingredients and influences from the Pacific Northwest, Mediterranean, and Latin America.
The chefs at Branch make everything from scratch?including butchering their own steak, curing their own bacon, and smoking their own poultry?to put their distinctive stamp on traditional dishes. Classic comfort foods take on inventive transformations to result in such unusual plates as Maine lobster dumplings and macaroni 'n' cheese gratin with Oregon black-truffle oil. On their side of the establishment, the bartenders take the same artisanal approach by infusing their bourbon with fresh local fruit and concocting their own whiskey liqueurs. The full bar features an extensive whiskey list with more than 150 whiskeys from around the world available in single glasses or tasting flights.
Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, a 104-year-old Portland landmark handed down from fish-loving father to sea-faring son for five generations, boasts extensive menus of locally sourced seafood, a full bar, and an inviting, authentic atmosphere adorned with historical artifacts. Ancient ship wheels, old-timey nautical articles, fading photos, and sexy fishing photos from Davy Jones's high school locker surround diners as they munch on myriad undersea selections.
Backspace is Portland's nexus of music, art, community, and food. To ensure your eyes are open wide enough to read the entire menu of organic fare, order a Stumptown Coffee libation right away. A single ($1.75) or double ($2.25) espresso packs a sufficiently perky punch. Chase it with a buildable quesadilla, which pairs Jack cheese with your choice of fillings such as black beans, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, or peppers ($6), or a ready-built vegan hummus plate ($6.50). All salads––including the broccoli goddess ($5 for small/$6.50 for large) and the kalamata-olive-dotted Caesar ($4.50 for small/$6 for large)––are vegan. For a hand-held helping of fresh greenery, order a turkey avocado wrap, which is stuffed with soy turkey, red peppers, onions, and tomatoes ($7). An all-local beer selection is available for coffee-averse non-insomniacs.
Recently lauded by the Portland Mercury, Record Room invites the vinyl-obsessed and tape-enthused to lounge in its store and peruse the eclectic selection of new and used records and cassettes. Music-lovers can be paired with their favorite efficient producers of eight notes, such as Super Wild Horses, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Mars, Nathaniel Merriweather, and more. Prices range from $1 for used vinyl to $50 for special collectible records, with most records falling into the $10–$20 range, unless they’re signed by all four members of Jimmy Carter’s famed prog-Viking-metal band. Melody mavens can take spins at different listening stations and email poetic music reviews via Record Room's free WiFi.