Nodoguro, Portland, OR., 10/14/17

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entrance

Nodoguro is a small place where Chef Ryan Roadhouse has served cuisine inspired by Japanese cooking for 3 years.  They changed locations about a year and a half ago.  It is a tasting menu only and reservations are by pre-purchase tickets.  They have a regular tasting menu as well as theme based tastings and a SupaHardcore menu, which we were lucky enough to snag reservations for, but each night there is just one tasting served.   The tasting menus change depending on what chef finds freshest and best to work with it, thus we were not surprised to meet some other diners who had been to the place numerous times.  The set up is a U-shaped wooden bar that seats about 16 with a prep table in the middle and a door adjoining to the major part of the kitchen.   Continue reading

Apizza Scholls, Portland, 10/14/17

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building

Apizza Scholls is a medium-sized place with bare wood tables and walls.  Tables are well spaced with one wall having a bench seat spanning several tables.  They also have some bar stools facing the kitchen.  It is expectedly casual with friendly helpful service.  Various pieces of art decorate the walls, some for sale.  This is pizza only spot at lunch and pies have a limit of 3 toppings overall and a 2 meat limit.  All pies are 11″ and are not available as a half and half.  There are a couple of salads available and one dessert, an ice cream sandwich.   The crusts are nicely raised on the edge with a good chew to the dough and while thin in the middle, they are able to stay crisp throughout.   Continue reading

Castagna, Portland, 10/13/17

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Castagna has been in business for 19 years with the kitchen under the control of Justin Woodward for the last 6 years, who has been nominated for numerous awards.  They offer 2 tastings with optional wine pairings or you can order from their reasonably priced wine list.  The tables are nicely spaced  with soft background music and fairly low lighting.  It is a pretty small place but located right next door is their sister restaurant offering more casual fare from the same kitchen. Service is terrific and super friendly and the food is wonderful and memorable for the lovely aftertaste of most of the courses.  Be prepared to have numerous courses not on the menu, but all small so portioning is not a problem even with the larger tasting. Continue reading

Coquine, Portland, Oregon, 10/13/17

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from the corner

Coquine is a tiny spot with about 9 bare wood tables.  Located on a street corner, two sides have windows to let in natural light but it’s a bright spot either way.  We were there at lunch when they offer a daily lunch special of soup, salad and choice of sandwich or for two people it includes a half bottle of wine and cookies, as well as offering an a la carte menu.  The special does get slightly smaller portions than ordering a la carte but it’s the right amount so you don’t leave hungry or stuffed.  The wine list is fairly limited at lunch but I understand it’s bigger at dinner.  It’s a friendly and casual spot but expect a wait.  They have a list when you enter and the tables turned over fairly often.  A large bar dominates the room but it is for service not seating.    Continue reading