Food News

Genoa’s Affordable Renaissance

Portland’s bastion of elaborate meals slims down for mid-week dining.

By Benjamin Tepler March 30, 2011

Genoa head chef David Anderson in the kitchen

After nearly four decades of elaborate multi-course Italian feasts, Genoa on SE Belmont Street is embracing changing times. Even “luxury” needs to feel affordable. Beginning next Tuesday, April 5, Genoa will debut a new three-course $40 menu for weeknights.

The dinners are scaled-down versions of the five-course $60 feast, still available on all nights. Chef David Anderson says the move recognizes that fewer diners have the time or the money for a blow-out during the week.

The price tag is still not cheap. Then again, it’s easy to drop the same amount at any number of neighborhood hot spots—a reality often overlooked.

The move follows other recent changes at Genoa. Respected chef and modern French-leaning Daniel Mondok has signed on as Anderson’s sous chef, and Genoa recently broke ground with a bona fide multi-course vegetarian menu, served alongside the standard menu.

The motivation for all this, says Anderson, is “to try to get a broader audience, to be more inclusive to everybody.”

Genoa was one of the first restaurants to bring fine dining to Portland. In many ways, it’s the Rainbow Room, the La Tour d’Argent of P-town. Now it’s at a crossroads in a tough economic climate, with plenty of competition. The restaurant is a gatekeeper of tradition—but for a culinary institution to survive in a rapidly changing foodie town, it needs to evolve and adapt. This is a place to watch.

Open 5:30–9:00 p.m., Tue–Sun

2832 SE Belmont St

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