Constructed with wood milled from trees that once stood on the same soil, Riverview Restaurant’s sunlit space boasts high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a stone-front fireplace, all which helped nab it a spot on OpenTable’s list of top 100 romantic restaurants in the country. Walls hung with original artwork surround linen-topped tables where diners savor plated steaks and seafood dishes tinged with miso, sesame, and other fusion flavors. An extensive wine list serves wine by the glass, bottle, or surreptitiously emptied flower vase, and bartenders swirl signature drinks such as pear martinis and pomegranate mojitos. Massive, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views onto manicured grounds, complete with a gazebo where patrons can reenact the scene in The Sound of Music where Rolf and Liesl cleverly disguise themselves as trees.
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.
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.
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 and pizzas. 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. Chefs draw from Asian recipes to sprinkle honey-roasted walnuts and a creamy honey-lemon glaze over deep-fried tiger prawns. A DJ busts out the latest tunes on Friday and Saturday nights, and families gather around the giant projector screen for Tuesday karaoke, singing favorite hits or reciting the Latin phrase woven into their family crest.