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.
The exterior of Blue Moon Diner doubles as a lesson in classic Americana. A neon sign perches atop the polished chrome exterior of the long, low building, which evokes a nostalgia for the 1950s even before you step inside and see the silver-trimmed booths and covers of Life magazine hanging on the walls. The menu is another throwback to yesteryear with its diner-style burgers, rich milkshakes, and Cadillac-size breakfast plates.
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.
Sizzling steak and acoustic guitars battle for attention on Saturday nights at Gaucho's Argentine Cuisine. Argentinian chef Hans's menu is highlighted by traditional dishes, such as empanadas and grilled hanger steak, as well as contemporary cuisine that includes a mushroom Alfredo ravioli. Gaucho's features a full kids menu for children and anyone with a second, slightly smaller stomach.
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.
Portland Prime's claim to fame is its steaks. Each highly marbled piece of USDA Prime beef is aged for 28 days before it’s cooked to achieve maximum flavorization. Wood-fired ovens sear the juices of diver scallops and ahi tuna steaks inside blackened crusts, and locally sourced ingredients enrich every dish, including seasonal desserts. The eatery’s expansive wine list boasts 140 bottles and 40 wines by the glass, which helped it to win Wine Spectator's 2011 Award of Excellence, which is only given to establishments at which it's truly enjoyable to watch other people drink wine.