Naomi Pomeroy is a pioneer of Portland ’s dining club scene, and Beast (5425 NE 30th Ave., 503/841-6968, www.beastpdx.com , seatings 6 and 8:45 p.m. Wed.–Sun., 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun.) is her latest restaurant, with a prix-fixe menu that changes weekly. You have a choice of the tasting menu’s five ($45) or six ($52) courses, but not much else. Substitutions, as clearly stated on the menu, are politely declined. Most menus are French inflected, with a soup to start, ending with a salad, a selection of cheeses, and a light dessert. But it’s called Beast for a reason: Pomeroy has a deft hand with pork, and most meals feature a selection of house-made charcuterie and often feature braised pork shoulder or brined chops. With just 24 seats and two seatings per night, reservations are a must.
Despite its name, Lovely Hula Hands (4057 N. Mississippi Ave., 503/445-9910, www.lovelyhulahands.com , 5–10 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $12–22) has nothing to do with Hawaii; instead, it’s the top fine dining room on Mississippi Avenue ’s restaurant row. Tucked into a redbrick storefront, Lovely Hula Hands offers full rich flavors without ostentation—this is Northwest cuisine as comfort food. The dining room has only 40 seats, and there are lines on busy nights, but the food is worth the wait.