Sports stream from a fleet of televisions that line almost every wall inside The Spot Sports Bar & Grill. As diners root on their favorite teams and shoot pool, the wait staff hustles between high-top tables and stools with pulled-pork sandwiches, enchiladas, wings, and calamari. The eclectic menu also includes deep-fried peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and super nachos that pack a hearty mix of cheese, beans, vegetables, and choice of meat. A DJ busts out the latest tunes on Friday and Saturday nights, and families gather around the giant projector screen for Thursday karaoke, singing favorite hits or reciting the Latin phrase woven into their family crest.
Established in 1982, this neighborhood gastropub infuses visits with an assorted mix of Americana and sports décor. An eclectic spread of comfort food lures eyes from the paraphernalia-strewn walls to the tables, where crab wontons fit right in alongside Baja-inspired shrimp quesadillas, or New England-influenced cups of clam chowder. The entrees sate heartier appetites, and keep close to classic Americana. Chefs hand dip halibut fish and chips, toss together the billed "famous" wilted spinach salad, and fire up sirloin steak and tiger prawns.
The Gilt Club Restaurant caught the attention of national foodies when it hosted a James Beard Foundation event, and won over the public with its cameo on the first episode of Portlandia. Described as "part lab, party swanky James Bond hideaway," by Portland Monthly, Gilt Club's décor swaddles guests in crimson curtains and high-backed booths illuminated by organically shaped chandeliers. Owner and manager Jamie Dunn is often spotted prowling the house in shiny gold shoes while executive chef Neil Everett helms the kitchen. Neil's seasonal menu marries European tradition with gourmet local and organic ingredients—such as tom yum mussels, ricotta gnocchi, and hanger steak—that come from businesses and farms with sustainable practices whenever possible.
Behind Gilt's gilded bar, a pair of bartenders whips up signature cocktails from an impressive list of 125 spirits, including house-infused liquors spiced with ingredients such as beet, habanero, and blood orange. Even in the vintage cocktails, house-made bitters surprise jaded taste buds like a soufflé stuffed with joy buzzers.
It might not seem surprising that a place called Sylvan Zoo House would be filled with animal images, though this theme isn't limited to the decor: proceeds from one of the pub's burgers go to support the Portland Zoo. The burger in question is a monumental half-pound, all-natural Painted Hills beef patty topped with a mouthwatering combination of Tillamook cheddar, avocado, barbecue sauce, and applewood-smoked bacon. While this meal on a bun is one of the kitchen's signature items, the staff's additional talents are showcased on the menu of upscale pub food, including zesty Baja-style fish tacos, gluten-free pizzas, and petit filets dressed in an onion-walnut-gorgonzola cream sauce. Facing down these hearty dishes are local craft beers and wines. And Sylvan Zoo House also provides a feast for the eyes, with 21 flat-screen satellite TVs armed with an array of game packages.