While working in the Portland area, my parents were also in town, and so one night, I took my mother out for dinner. Since I am usually dining alone, it is hard to go to certain restaurants and truly enjoy the experience. So, I opted to make a reservation and take her to the Portland City Grill.
Reservations are quite easy, particularly if you also use Open Table, and - based on my experience - can be made on the same day as your meal with no significant issues. Parking is fairly easy, as it is located in the lower level of the U.S. Bank Tower; as such, it is an easy and quick elevator ride to the restaurant on the 30th floor. (Signage directing you to the correct elevator bank are satisfactory).
Let's start with the views from the restaurant, which are stunning. There is a panoramic view, mostly to the north, east, and south, which provide sweeping views of the Willamette River and - on a clear day - the Cascade Range. While you cannot request a window-side table at the time of reservation, you can request it upon arrival, or just go by "luck of the draw". As it turned out, I did the latter, and we were seated window-side. However, both my mother and I agreed that a table in on the main floor would have been just as appealing in terms of view.
As for the meal, there is a good selection of appetizers, soups, salads, and entrees, many of which feature Northwest-bred or grown products. The wine list is pretty good for a restaurant of this type, and - though I did not take advantage of it - I noted that their wait staff seemed well-versed on pairings and varieties.
We both opted for the top sirloin, which were cooked to absolute perfection. It was the proverbial case of meat "melting" in your mouth. We also appreciated that it was lightly seasoned, so as to enjoy the taste and flavor of the beef rather than being overwhelmed by salt, pepper, or the like. The buttermilk mashed potatoes and grilled, seasoned green beans - which are standard sides - were also perfectly prepared and portion size. They were delicious in their own right, but did not take away from the exquisitely-prepared steak. For dessert, we shared a marionberry cobbler, which was also quite delicious, and prepared and served in cast iron.
Service throughout was outstanding. Our waiter was very attentive, but not intrusive. I observed that he and his fellow wait staff were quite good at "surveying" their tables from afar, then attending almost "on-time" without long waits. Also, we never once felt rushed throughout any part of our dining experience, even as it got busier later in the evening.
Prices are comparable, or perhaps a bit less expensive, to restaurants of this ilk.
Overall, this was an outstanding experience. One could reasonably expect a wonderful view and/or location to be let down by mediocre or awful food and/or service. At the Portland City Grill, the food and service rises to the occasion, and will distract you for the stunning views.
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