(Photo courtesy from portlandcitygrill.com)
Portland City Grill. The flubbity-hub for lovers. Awkward to say, but the only dates I have gone on so far are with my family. But who doesn’t love one jolly bunch of Yips laughing their heads off amidst the romantic chatter? The Portland City Grill is a major family favorite. We dine while enjoying a breathtakingly spectacular bird’s eye view of Portland and its glittering city lights. Sitting up there on the thirtieth floor makes me realize how much I’m going to miss my hometown when I’m in college.
As said before, this is the hub for you and your girlfran. Or, ohh-la-la, your beautiful prom date. In fact, we witnessed a beautiful proposal while we were there. The gallant man got down on one knee while the girl just stood there in shock, smiling and crying at the same time. It was better than Nicholas Sparks, and the waiter played his part well, snapping pictures the whole time.
This restaurant flourished with a balance between a seductively charming atmosphere and a buzzing sense of excitement. People were all talking at once, couples leaned forward, engrossed in conversations, friends hollered at the ball game playing on the bar’s televisions or clinked their glasses in time with the jazz pianist’s tunes. I enjoyed people watching as much as the food, actually. I tried pinpointing whether couples were on their first, second dates, whether they were married or celebrating a momentous occasion. The joy and anticipation in the air were almost tangible.
I’d been here a couple of times before, and I noticed my old favorites—rack of lamb, steak, crab cakes. But this time, I was feeling a bit more spontaneous, so I picked the lemon caper, fresh on the new spring menu. My mother ordered an appetizer for all of us to share, a delicious spicy seafood soup loaded with shrimp, clams, squid, and crab. The chili spice woke my senses refreshingly, and so I couldn’t help but steal a couple more spoonfuls for myself. Imagine eating that with some fresh crusty baguette—that’s definitely perfection.
The lemon caper arrived on a bed of squash salad and a pile of salty roasted lentils on top. A heap of thin, crispy fries seasoned liberally with rosemary and green onions served as the side, and I dug in without further ado. I selected this choice because I am very, very, very partial to lemon. Lemon sorbet, lemon cake, lemon tart—you name it. And to my great delight, the fish was also covered in this savory lemon sauce that tasted elegantly with the fries and squash. The fish’s meat was succulent and tender, and thankfully no frenzy of bones got in my way. Everything on the plate touched the right spot on my palette. The hint of sourness of the lemon complemented the squash’s sweet flavor, while the fish and fries reminded me of a classy, high-end twist on fish and chips.
Dining at the Portland City Grill made me feel like royalty. Surrounded by the gorgeous city lights and laughing with my family impressed on me that I am the luckiest girl alive. Savor the time at this magical place–maybe you yourself will witness or experience a meaningful moment.
Note: Reservations are necessary.
Address: 111 SW 5th Ave. 30th Floor, Portland, OR 97204