Best Restaurants 2017: Ready Your Forks

5 Portland Restaurants We Can't Wait for in 2018

From Russian dumplings to elevated home-style Filipino, get ready to eat.

By Kelly Clarke October 12, 2017 Published in the November 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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Carlo Lamagna plans to open Magna, serving family-friendly, stylized Filipino fare—such as this pork adobo with pig ear chicharron.


Trent Pierce’s seafood microrestaurant (inside another restaurant) once charmed diners with inspired modernist dishes made on hot plates and in sous vide baths. After a few shuttered months, a resurrected Roe upgrades to slightly bigger digs downtown in Morgan’s Alley, with a chef’s counter for ingredient-focused dinners (hello, fresh tuna heads!), a real oven and charcoal grill, and a properly unexpected entrance. “It’s not going through another restaurant,” Pierce says, “but it’s still out of the way and behind closed doors.” ETA: Open!

Kachka & Kachinka

The next iteration of Portland’s bastion of Russian drinking food is a multipronged gastro assault: Kachka, the restaurant, will colonize an entire new building across from SE Belmont Street’s Market of Choice, boasting an expanded menu (including “skewered grilled things,” reports chef Bonnie Morales, who just released a new cookbook), a 40-seat private party chamber, and a mezzanine deli and tasting room where you can sip horseradish vodka and snag “Herring Under a Fur Coat” by the pound. Meanwhile, Kachka’s old digs, six blocks away on SE Grand, will become Kachinka, a cheaper, no-reservations spot to score dumplings every night of the week. ETA: Early 2018

Kachka herring by karen brooks qtauq2

Kachka’s roomier new digs, set to open in early 2018, will include a deli where you can score favorites like the restaurant’s Herring Under a Fur Coat (pictured) by the pound.

Image: Karen Brooks 


Carlo Lamagna’s Twisted Filipino pop-up will spawn a lively, family-friendly restaurant packed with stylized takes on the dishes he grew up with—like Mom’s crab noodles or sticky rice with bone marrow and kalamansi gel. The former Clyde Common chef has his “eye on a space in NE,” with plans for vivid murals and, eventually, live-fire cooking. “I’ve decided I’m gonna be as hokey Filipino as I can,” he says. “It’ll be fun. Exciting. No one does [this cuisine] at the caliber that we’re shooting for.” ETA: Spring 2018


Top Chef fans and fried chicken fanatics rejoiced when chef Doug Adams announced an ambitious restaurant inspired by his Texas roots and informed by Northwest ingredients, in downtown’s Woodlark Hotel (still under construction). Now Adams teases with talk of smoked, chile-marinated birds, scallop tostadas, and “creative meal periods.” “No white tablecloths,” he says. “It’s not gonna be your normal hotel restaurant experience.” ETA: Summer 2018


Before shuttering in early 2016, Jessie Aron’s Carte Blanche food cart was so busy that customers waited nearly two hours for her “crazy, aggressively flavored, labor-intensive” world grub. Now Aron and collaborator Colin McArthur return with Malka, a romantic dining room and bar in a house on SE Division Street. Expect trademark cart dishes and mouthfuls like, say, a za’atar fried chicken sandwich with Thai basil pesto, green apple, chèvre, praline bacon, avocado, and coffee-chile mayo. “People always say our food shouldn’t work. It’s all so cattywampus,” she laughs. “We win them over by the second bite.” ETA: Summer 2018

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