Restaurant groupies

Clyde Common: If your aunt likes her martini made just so (so cold it must have ice crystals) or your older sister thinks she knows everything about food, bring them here to show off a bit.

Clyde Common

If your aunt likes her martini made just so (so cold it must have ice crystals) or your older sister thinks she knows everything about food, bring them here to show off a bit. You will certainly need to make a reservation, but if you take that precaution, the community-style seating will seat the biggest of groups. The food is good enough to qualify as special occasion, but Portland enough so no one will feel underdressed.

1014 Southwest Stark Street.

Mon–Thu 11:30 a.m.–12 a.m.;

Fri 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m.; Sat 5 p.m.–1 a.m.;

Sun 5 p.m.–11 p.m.

Blitz Ladd

If your family is more of a burgers and brews crew, they’ll feel right at home here. Since Blitz is used to big, boisterous groups of sports aficionados, your Grandma and four cousins won’t make them wince. Their food is standard bar food, with a couple of creativity highlights like poutine (which is on their happy hour menu) and thin crust pizzas.

2239 Southeast 11th Avenue.

Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.; Sun 9 a.m.–2 a.m.

Nel Centro

This Mediterranean-style restaurant is refined and delicious, and if your family is staying at Hotel Modera, it’s right downstairs. Like Clyde Common, it is important to make a reservation, but once you do, the fabulous staff will treat you swell. When night falls, move the party outside to the gorgeous fire pits to toast under the stars. Some of the menu highlights are the ultra crisp fries, served with Harissa ketchup, the juicy lamb burger, simple pasta dishes like herb gnocchi with gorgonzola and radicchio sauce and the calamari with a

slightly-spiced rouille. Happy hour is daily from 4–6p.m. with $5 cocktails, wines by the glass and beers, and their full wine list is a great place to start your celebration.

1408 Southwest 6th Avenue.

Mon–Thu 6:30 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri 6:30 a.m.–12 a.m.; Sat 7:30 a.m.–12 a.m.;

Sun 8 a.m.–11 p.m.


Long one of Portland’s “inside staples,” you may be on the mailing list and not even remember. Essentially, Simpatica is a “dining hall.” That said, it’s served cafeteria style, which means everyone sits right next to everyone else. The only way to get into this exclusive eatery is by registering for their email list. When they send out a newsletter, you must have your hand on the button in order to edge everyone else out for a spot in their hallowed halls. However, if you do, be prepared for a real treat—Simpatica’s eats are constantly rated as some of the best in the city. Of course, hovering over a computer might not seem the most appealing option for a graduation dinner, but hey, graduation is special! Live a little, gramps!

828 SE Ash, seating by reservation only, e-mail [email protected] for inquiries

Screen Door

For the morning that follows you and your family’s wild partying, you can do no better than Screen Door for a weekend brunch. Although you’ll have to sign your name to one of those gol-darn waiting lists that us Portlanders love so much, the dining room is huge and truly built for groups. Once inside and under the lush glow of their window treatments, indulge yourself in one of their cocktails and their fantastic signature chicken and waffles. For those of you who don’t realize chicken and waffles as a southern delicacy, let me just tell you: salty and sweet have never worked together in tandem quite as well. The portions are huge, too, so don’t be frightened when the waiter brings out the sweet potato waffle with three slabs of chicken impaled on a knife. Also, go liberal with the syrup—don’t be leery of drowning the crispy fried chicken skin in it. You just graduated college; it’s finally time to live a little!

2337 E Burnside.

Tue–Sat 5:30 p.m.–10 p.m., Sat–Sun 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Sun 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m. ?