Seasonal Fine Dining | Award-Winning Wine List | Acclaimed Garden Patio | Late-Night Bar Menu
Where to Sit: Hailed as "the prettiest garden patio in downtown Portland" by Frommer's, Veritable Quandary's flower-lined patio is an idyllic space for summertime feasts. If you wind up inside, try nabbing a seat near one of the dining-room windows, which overlook Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
While You're Waiting: Start mulling over the award-winning wine list. The restaurant stocks more than 200 bottles—plus 35 wines by the glass. This collection tends to highlight global varietals and wines from the Northwest.
When to Go: In addition to changing her menu daily, Chef Annie Cuggino crafts her local ingredients into an eight-course tasting dinner every Saturday at 7 p.m. (reservations required). Each course can also be paired with a glass of wine.
Inside Tip: Attention night owls: Veritable Quandary's culinary team cooks upscale bar bites from a late-night menu until midnight, and the bar itself stays open until the wee hours of 2:30 a.m.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Expand your collection of vinyl LPs, 45s, and 78s with a trip to 2nd Avenue Records (400 SW 2nd Avenue).
After: Rock out to live music—or show off your singing chops during weekly live band karaoke—at Dante's (350 W. Burnside Street).
In the early morning, when many sandwich joints are still shuttered tight, Big Town Hero's bakers are hard at work. Hand-crafting each loaf of bread in-store every morning, they lay the foundation for the day's delicious sandwiches. Out of the oven and sliced in two, the bready canvasses support towering piles of delicious deli meat and fresh veggies, sourced locally whenever possible. A selection of veggie heroes delights vegetarians while gluten-free rolls offer sandwich options for those with dietary restrictions or those who've taken a binding kindergarten oath never to eat anything that starts with "glu."
Start with the beach, then add a disco ball, some tropical drinks, and Hawaiian-style barbecue. What you're left with is Splash Bar Hawaiian Grill, an island-themed restaurant that strives to create a spring-break vibe year-round. They complement this party atmosphere with DJs, flashing lights, and a tropical menu that stars kalua pork and coconut shrimp. The festivities get started after 10 p.m., but before that, guests of all ages are welcome to luau, play free games, and hunt for cursed tiki idols.
Grand Central Bowling Lounge's 12 lanes provide bowlers with all the entertainment they could ask for, but the bowling alley doesn't stop there. Grand Central is also outfitted with couches, HD projection screens, and computerized systems that keep track of scores so players don't have to. After a hard-fought game, take a breather at the bar and restaurant, where you can order up a burger and cocktail while catching the day's joust on TV. And don't forget to head upstairs before leaving; the second floor is stocked with classic arcade games, including pinball machines; Fruit Ninja; Batman driving games; four-way Pac-man; beer pong; Big Buck Hunter; Guitar Hero; ESPN Snowmobiling Multicade Classic Games; Dirty Drivin'; Skeeball; Pop-a-shot; air hockey; billiards; shuffleboard; and Operation Ghost.
By supplying patrons with eco-friendly art supplies in addition to local beer, wine, and artisan food, The Canvas encourages self-expression while eliminating the menace of a noisy, empty stomach. Begin an artistic feast by choosing adornable surfaces, such as 8"x8” canvas boards ($4 each) or 9"x12” stretched canvases ($6 each), and retina-stimulating water-soluble oil pastels ($4) or acrylic paints ($5). Mixed-media offerings such as eco-friendly markers and recycled color papers ($3) will keep clever collagists absorbed, and complimentary graphite, charcoal, and sketch paper are provided for brainstorming over draft beers and local wines. To soak up excess alcohol and artistic inspiration, The Canvas offers soups, salads, shared plates, and hearty sandwiches. The Jackson Pollock splashes fresh bread with apples, brie, and Oregon blackberry preserves ($8), while the Andy Warhol peppers roast beef and campagnolo bread with pops of gouda, tomato, mesclun greens, sundried-tomato aioli, and at least 15 minutes of fame ($8). Some menu items can be made gluten-free, and many are herbivore friendly.