Lunch at Luce
If you think Luce is cute at night, just wait until you see it midday, when the casual Italian eatery lives up to its full potential as a neighborhood “old man place.” The lunch deal here is one of the best in town: $16 for a two-course feast ($21 with a glass of house wine). Thick, rare hanger steak comes with a huge square of fluffy, olive oil-soaked focaccia, and a fresh, minty salad. Other options include soup (recently it was minestrone with conchiglie noodles); pasta, like thick tagliatelle with beef and pork ragu; and little bites of antipasti, saffron-spiced arancino to farro-parmesan wedges. For a leisurely east-side lunch, this is the place to be.
Sample Portland’s most innovative crêpe at Little Bird Bistro
Gabriel Rucker’s alt-swanky downtown bistro reboots the savory French pancake with visual drama, seasonal twists, and textural snap. The layout includes rings of bright herbs and celery root puree below, and on top, the fresh crunch of pickled carrots and apples. In the middle: a toasty, folded crêpe full of Dijon notes and sweet onions.
Slay the flu with fancy Broth Bar bone broth
Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve slurped it: Tressa Yellig’s rich, long-simmered bone broths (chicken and turkey to beef and lamb) provide a warming depth charge of comfort for the snuffle-nosed flu-fighters. Get crazy and add in some herbaceous confit chicken hearts. Seriously.