Four nights a week, the notes from live local jazz artists resonate off the high copper ceilings and bronze chandeliers of Wilfs Restaurant & Bar, which has served upscale cuisine within Portland's restored Union Station building since 1975. Head chef Deb Serkoian complements the serenade by crafting seasonal dishes with organic ingredients culled from local and regional farmers, including fresh seafood and meat from sources such as Double 'R' Ranch, Draper Valley, and Carlton Farms. At the bar, mixologists pour classic cocktails and new signature concoctions inspired by the seasons, recalling the annual beauty of a violet bud as it blooms into a glass of cabernet.
Although it was voted one of the top 100 places in the world to hear jazz—Mel Brown, the Godfather of Portland Jazz, keeps feet tapping multiple nights a week—Jimmy Mak’s has more to offer than music. Specifically, Chef Antoine Golden’s Greek-inspired menu. Don’t miss the prawns rumaki, wrapped in prosciutto, pan-seared, and served atop a lemon-dill risotto cake.
When Jeremy Brown's wife was expecting her second child, the couple realized their small house wasn't going to fit a family of four. Upon moving to a 5-acre fixer upper outside Battle Ground, the pair raised their kids as Jeremy nurtured another project: using those acres to create his own winery.
Since starting with his quaint, Tuscan-inspired tasting room, Jeremy has expanded his grounds to include several large patios and a wood-fired oven in the kitchen, where chefs prepare pizzas and small plates. Live musicians grace Rusty Grape Vineyard's stage Wednesday–Saturday, adding soothing tunes that complement the tasting room's draft beers and rotating selection of wine by the glass and bottle. Available pours might include a 2011 riesling or a complex red wine whose hints of cranberry give way to an oatmeal-cookie finish.
When he's not whipping the youth soccer players of the Portland Timbers into shape, Waterfront Fitness's owner Jason Bell heads to the city’s riverside parks to shape up everyday citizens with rigorous athletic drills. He and his team of qualified instructors convene beneath Portland's sky during all but the coldest months, incinerating calories during one-hour boot camps held every morning and evening. These sessions include activities such as strength circuits, Interval training, games, and box fit, which features high-speed punching drills and cardiovascular throwdowns beneath the boughs of mighty park trees. The trainers also provide general and sport-specific personal training for exercisers in search of an intense, highly personalized regimen to build muscle or burn fat.
Nationally renowned tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum's silky-smooth, gospel-soaked jazz nuzzles ears in a Valentine’s Day concert. At a release show for his new album, Romance Language, Whalum commemorates the passionate holiday with saxwork that sends amorous euphonies floating over the audience and foam-tipped darts toward insufficiently lovey-dovey couples. Whalum's decades-long career has taken him to sessions with top singers—including an appearance on Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"—and collected him 11 Grammy nominations and one win. The Hilton’s full bar loosens toe-tapping muscles and lubricates tongues left dry from absentmindedly snacking on handfuls of programs, and guests can upgrade to dinner and hotel-stay packages by registering in advance.