Portland’s reign in the high art of fine dining rests on a firm, highly regarded reputation indeed; but it may have hit a plateau for a while even as our local chefs keep garnering national acclaim consistently.
And that’s OK with me because sometimes I don’t want to be wowed by the latest chef du jour. Instead I’m after a plain and simple meal out--good food, good ambiance--all at a moderate price. It’s a segment that’s been lacking in Portland until recently.
Harding Smith’s restaurant kingdom is an empire built in fits and starts. Each one comes out of the gate magnificently, spirals to a declivitous edge momentarily — like catching one’s breath — only to return to glorious heights, which is where, more or less, his three establishments have remained.
Figa belongs to a breed of restaurant that used to dominate the
The new Walter’s (www.waltersportland.com) is without exception the most expensively designed restaurant in the city of Portland. Which is to also say it’s like so many other upscale urban dining rooms that you find in second-tier cities across the country/ They’re located off hotel lobbies or in downtown office towers. They’re hardly family dining halls but rather crisply designed environments that howl Metropolitan cool.