Cooly elegant, the dining room at Fenouil (900 NW 11th Ave., 503/525-2225, www.fenouilinthepearl.com , 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. Mon.–Wed., 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–11 p.m. Thurs., 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–midnight Fri.–Sat., 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. Sun., $21–35) is easily among the most sophisticated in Portland , both in ambiance and execution. The dining room overlooks Jamison Park at the heart of the Pearl District , and in good weather the restaurant’s entire facade opens: This is a marvelous spot for dining en plein air. The menu is a masterful hybrid of modern French cuisine and more earthy Northwest cooking. Food this good is worth dressing up for.
You don’t often see a combo cocktail bar and French creperie, but Portland’s not an average place. Le Happy (1011 NW 16th Ave., 503/226-1258, http://lehappy.com , 5 p.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Thurs., 5 p.m.–2:30 a.m. Fri., 6 p.m.–2:30 a.m. Sat., crepes from $4–10) serves a late-night crowd in its tiny dining room, and while classic crepe combinations are offered (Parisian ham and cheese, suzette with flamed Grand Marnier), it’s the more ironic combinations that appeal to the hipster cocktail crowd. Le Trash Blanc combines bacon and cheddar and comes with an optional Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. As for Le Happy’s dessert crepes, can anything with Nutella be anything but delicious? As its name suggests, this is a fun place to meet friends and hang out.