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“Stick to the Happy Hour"”
Review of Decarli

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Ranked #2 of 399 Restaurants in Beaverton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $100
Cuisines: American, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Farmington
Transit: Watson and Farmington both offer bus stops within a block of the restaurant. MAX is 3 blocks away.
Description: decarli restaurant is where rustic meets modern. Chef/owner, Paul DeCarli, pulls from his Swiss-Italian roots to create a menu that reflects his heritage as well as combine local Northwest ingredients. Polenta fries with gorgonzola butter, mussels in fennel-saffron cream sauce, and espresso-braised shortribs are just a few of the many "must-haves.” Soaring open beam ceilings with rustic brick walls add to the ambiance of this 1924 historic building.
Reviewed October 14, 2011

I should have suspected something when all of the rave reviews were about the "happy hour".. We, unfortunately, opted for the retail dinner. We were very unimpressed. Two of us ordered the brick chicken. It was very good, though it does take 30 minutes to prepare. In the meantime you are drinking not cheap wine. I ordered the pork. I thought, since it was shoulder, it would be braised. But, alas, it was roasted (?) and as tough as shoe leather. Our 4th party ordered the pasta with shrimp....very mediocre.
I guess people on the westside are so desperate for a Northwest Portland experience that they will put up with noisy surroundings, very mediocre service and less than mediocre food. The only attention we had from our waitperson was for her to wax poetic over the very overpriced wines.
So, if you yearn for the brick, wood floor high ceiling, crammed in experience...go for it.

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Thank zlew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 8, 2011

I met a friend for drinks during the week at 4:30 (beginning of happy hour). I had no trouble finding street parking. There were already 8-10 people waiting for the doors to open. This is obviously a popular place. The bar is small and filled up quite quickly. There is outside seating, which also filled. Our waitress was very good, giving me a taste of available white wine and then suggesting a dark beer, which I ultimately ordered and enjoyed. My friend and I shared hors d'oeuvres: bruschetta (3 slices each). I liked the chicken liver pate the best, but all 3 toppings were good. We also shared a caesar salad and regular french fries. I look forward to returning here for dinner sometime. This is a real gem for downtown Beaverton.

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Thank Ewalina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2011

Situated in the sort-of-cool "old" part of Beaverton, Decarli occupies the echelon of restaurants above Bugatti and Pastini but beneath Higgins and Veritable Quandry (though honestly, I think it could hold its own with swankier PDX restaurants.)

It has the exposed beam/ductwork and crooked 80+ year old brick walls that are frequently found in trendy refurbished establishments. It has dimmed lighting and plenty of the ambience you hope for when you select a restaurant that takes reservations, but it's not so upscale that jeans are out of place. Plenty of patrons were in shorts and T-shirts on a warm Friday evening in September.

The seating area consists of two large areas. One side has the bar and some tables, the other side has only tables. It may get kind of noisy, but you'll still be able to hear most of what is said at a table for four. Outdoor seating is also an option.

* You like really good cuisine. The menu changes every day and the chef strives to use fresh, local ingredients. It works. The restaurant classifies itsself as "Italian / Fusion."which I interpret as "Familiar enough to not be weird, but novel enough to be interesting."
* You like even better deserts. This is one time that's worth splurging.
* You appreciate good service. Our sever was very friendly and knowledgable.
* The prices are very reasonable. While not truly inexpensive, the prices for the entrees seemed 10-15% below a comparable meal 10 miles to the east in P-Town. (My wife disagreed and said the prices seemed less expensive because several entrees are mainly pasta dishes. Could be.)

*You have negative feelings about Beaverton.
*You want a quiet, romantic evening. The lack of partitions in the seating area + hardwood + brick can make for a noisy time, but it's unlikely this is the loudest place you've ever eaten.
*You are bothered by other diners wearing flip flops and cargo shorts when you're wearing something that is "dry clean only."

I was taken here by friends. I knew nothing of it other than it received highly favorable reviews on this website and the only knock on it was the noise level. Living near the area probably helped, as opposed to coming from, say, the East Side (though I would say it would be worth the drive.) I was highly impressed by all aspects of my dining experience. Usually I'm able to find one thing I would change. Aside from a little noise (which I expected) I really couldn't find fault with anything.

Decent ambience, fantastic food, great service, and good value. Really, what else do you want? Very highly recommended.

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2  Thank Curlywillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2011

This place has excellent food! Its just what the community needed.

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Thank bissehk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We used to say DeCarli was our favorite restaurant in Beaverton. After our most recent visit last week, we now say it is our favorite restaurant in the entire Portland area.

Very simply, the owners, chef and staff make the extraordinary look simple.

For all of the reasons listed below, we enjoy going back to DeCarli again and again. It's evident other diners do too, because there always seem to be folks waiting to get in when the doors open for happy hour at 4:30 and the restaurant has a steady stream of customers from when it opens for dinner service at 5:00. (Tip: Make a reservation - especially for weekend seating.)

Here are a half dozen reasons why we love DeCarli:

FIRST, a great restaurant is consistent; for imaginative menu, for top notch food quality, for stellar service and for making diners feel welcome. DeCarli has excelled in these things every single time of the several times we've been there for dinner and happy hour.

SECOND, for casual ambiance that has an "all people are welcome here" sense about it. Some restaurants in Portland of this quality are as if "too hipster for the rest of you". DeCarli resonates with a sense of neighborhood and you'll see diners of all ages, from folks who are very aged to young parents with baby buggies (not just strollers but buggies), from families with children and grandparents in tow to couples on obviously romantic dates, to groups of single guy and gal pals, to people with disabilities and people without, from folks in business attire to folks in jeans and t-shirts. It's as if the place gives a "hug" to everyone who enters.

THIRD, great happy hour menu for luscious libations and marvelous food that runs from about 4:30 to 6:00 and again from 9:00 to closing on weekdays and all day (in the bar) on Sunday.

FOURTH, service that is just the right balance of friendly and professional, a staff that knows the menus for food and wine and can recommend both. In an important element, servers that are obviously working together as a team so even if your server is tied up, your food still arrives hot or cold as it should and when it should as delivered by a teammate.

That kind of great service experience for diners doesn't happen by accident. It's an issue of quality service culture nurtured by the folks at the top. It is the product of teamwork that grows out of that quality culture.

Which is not to say food is always delivered lightening fast. Keep in mind that when a restaurant's house is packed, as DeCarli often is after the "Seven O'Clock Surge" and after, it is likely that food coming out of the kitchen will be slower as the kitchen works to keep up with the orders.

FIFTH, the food here is truly memorable for some dishes. (There's a reason for the packed house.) Of the many absolutely delicious items we've enjoyed in DeCarli are included...

... gnocchi with pork sugo and piave,
...brick roasted chicken filled with Italian cheese and served with escarole and polenta,
...mussels steamed in a broth of wine, saffron, cream and fennel,
...tagliettele with wild mushrooms and house cured bacon,
...marvelous pizettes of all kinds,
...buckwheat chitarra with nettle pesto and grana padano,
...gelato of many flavor combinations,
...a ramekin of cheesecake with salted caramel sauce on top,
...Meyer lemon tart

Friends who dined with us at DeCarli raved about one of the house specialties - espresso braised short ribs. So I pass on that tip as you peruse the menu; which changes daily but the short ribs seem to always be a part of the mix.

Added to that wonderful food is a wine list that is both broad and deep, with lots of by the glass options.

LAST, the value is always good. As example, on a recent visit with friends, between the four of us we had two glasses of Italian wine, six delectable cocktails, four entrees, two desserts and coffee for only about $40 each. On other nights, my husband and I have enjoyed treating happy hour as dinner and come away under $20 each.

If you haven't tried DeCarli yet, you should. Downtown Beaverton, where DeCarli is located, may not be the most gorgeous destination, but DeCarli provides inarguably one of the best dining experiences in the entire Portland area.

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Thank piacere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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