A round up of all the best dinner places in Northeast.
3925 NE MLK Blvd.
Named after the founder of the Luddites—a group who vehemently resisted technology—Ned Ludd stays true to its name by cooking everything in a huge brick oven in the center of the restaurant. For most restaurants that feature brick ovens, Ned Ludd is a little on the cheap side, but don’t let that put you off. These guys know what they’re doing for sure. Though their menu largely depends on what’s in season, pork belly seems to come up regularly. That single dish is enough to singlehandedly convert you to the Luddite side.
120 NE Russell St.
Though this news has spread throughout the Portland culinary scene like wildfire since its commencement, a USA Today food critic ate here and proclaimed it “the number one meal in the world in 2006.” Since then, this tapas place has really honed the art of the small plate. Expect a wait if you plan on going, but neighboring bar Secret Society is more than happy to accommodate you as you do so.
2727 NE Glisan St.
There aren’t too many innovators left in the pizza game nowadays. Most recipes call for traditional methods if they want to make a splash in Portland’s pizza scene. Thankfully, Dove Vivi is here to pick up the slack. Their pizzas are made with a thick cornmeal crust that will fill you up better than most other paper-thin crust games in town. Plus, their pesto pie is probably the best in the entire city.
200 NE 28th Ave.
It’s not often that one restaurant tries to blend several different food ethnicities together and hits it out of the park with the skill that Tabla does. The food here is five-star quality at moderate dining prices. But don’t let that fool you; you can get out the door for around $15 per person if you’re not looking to drink, but Tabla’s wine pairings are what sets this restaurant head and shoulders above all others in NE 28th’s “restaurant row.”
5425 NE 30th Ave.
Executive chef Naomi Pomeroy was just on Iron Chef America where she prepared a five-course meal with truffles as the main ingredient. Yeah, as in “not chocolates,” as in “mushrooms that cost more per pound than you make in a month.” Yeah, that’s the kind of place this joint is, so if you have the scratch, you absolutely will not be disappointed. Beast offers a fixed-price menu of five courses that costs $68 per person. Wine pairings? Add another $35.
523 NE 19th Ave.
When Lonesome’s first opened, the food blogosphere was alive with the sounds of Lonesome’s menu, which included such pie titles as “Lou Ferrigno vs. A Shark with Throwing Stars for Teeth.” Quite a buzz was built before the place even opened. Now it’s open…and the pizza rules. Also, each pizza ordered comes with a work of art or DVD from a local filmmaker under the box. Kudos for all of that, but the pizza is still really great.
5365 NE Sandy Blvd.
Way out on the outer reaches of Sandy Boulevard lies a Japanese restaurant that hasn’t defected to sushi like most have. No, this place serves up teriyaki—and tons of it—at prices that won’t kill your checking account. Claimed by some to serve the best teriyaki in the whole city, Du’s has a tiny interior, so take-out is primarily the name of the game. But bring an appetite home with you—Du’s has been known to cram those boxes fuller than most.