Portland Places: DOC

My birthday celebration included an amazing dinner experience with friends. Isaac made the plans and man, did he do good!

There’s this corner up in Northeast which is all kinds of amazing. A mix of bars and eateries that are worth a visit, to say the least. Expatriate, Nonna, Yakuza, Wilder and DOC to name a few. This where we spent our Saturday evening – at the intersection of NE Killingsworth and NE 30th.

Our dinner destination was DOC, but we made a stop into Yakuza for some drinks first. Expatriate was our first choice, because their cocktails are heavenly, but they couldn’t handle our crew. I’m glad we ended up at Yakuza, if nothing else but to pique our interest and land Yakuza at the top of our Restaurants To Eat At ASAP list.

Now, about DOC. While it is a restaurant, it felt more like an experience. A casual, intimate, well crafted and delicious memory. The restaurant is small, just a few tables, with a wide-open kitchen in which you can see every dish the small crew preps, creates and plates. The chef creates a weekly menu based on seasonal, local PNW produce and makes daily adjustments based on availability of ingredients. Diners actually enter the restaurant through the kitchen – a fun twist.

If you visit during the week, you can order off the menu. But if you’re there Friday or Saturday, DOC only serves the tasting menu. That’s what we did. The tasting menu – 21 dishes and some of the most flavorful and creative food I’ve ever had. It was a great mix of vegetables, beans, seafood, grains and meat. While the DOC menu is Italian-inspired, there was only one pasta dish. I know there was a dessert course and cheese too (??), but honestly I can’t remember it. And for that I blame the wine pairing.

Speaking of which… the wine pairing was tasty and fun. But, it was a bit overkill for this light weight. I had to pass on most of the wine served, save for the best reds. If I remember correctly (which is doubtful), we were served 5 – 7 different wines. Where I come from, that’s a lot of wine. Next time I’ll stick to ordering off the wine list. I recommend passing on the wine pairing if you’re looking to:

a.) drive home

b.) keep the bill down

c.) remember the dessert

d.) all of the above

It was a great night with friends and I’m excited to go again and taste the dishes they craft during other seasons. If you’re looking for a special evening-experience, check it out!

Restaurant images courtesy of DOC

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