Portland, OR – Aquariva

Mrs. BDB wanted to go out for drinks tonight, OK, she wants to every night, but I usually manage to keep her corralled.  It was one of those few balmy Spring days that we have in Portland (well, balmy compared to Frostbite Falls, Minnesota.)

So we racked my brain to think of a place we could sit outside, have a few drinks, maybe some appys, and enjoy the “Spring-like” weather.

We chose Aquariva, adjacent to the Avalon Hotel and Spa, overlooking the river. (No, I don’t know what river, some big ass river that runs through Portland!).

Although it isn’t really all that far from our house, we punched the address in the Tom Tom to have it tell us there was no such street. (I know note, looking at their website, they have a box at the bottom of the page, that suggests an alternate address for GPS users!)

We managed to find it, and pulled up to the free valet parking in front of the hotel, and walked into a totally deserted restaurant (it was 4:30 though, happy hour begins for us whenever we say it does!)

We opted to sit outside and watch the boats on the river.  A guy came out and fiddle with one of those ‘heater lamps’ next to our table, and it ran for maybe 15 minutes before giving up the ghost, so he got the adjacent one going and we moved to the next table.

A server promptly appeared and offered us the happy hour menu, which had a couple dozen small plates and special cocktails.   Mrs BDB chose a lemon drop, and I went with a lite beer, and we started our grazing with a half dozen oysters, and tempura vegetables with a truffle aioli.

There was a slight mix up in communications in the back of the house, our server came and told us – the kitchen hadn’t picked up on the order, so they were comping us our first round of drinks.   This wasn’t necessarily, but it was a really nice gesture.

After the oysters and vegetables, we ordered another plate – mussels in a nice broth, and then moved on to deep fried risotto cheese balls.   Mrs. BDB had another cocktail, and I had a coffee.

This food was really, really good, and service was attentive without being overbearing.  I’m sorry to have so few pix, we were having such an enjoyable evening,  blogging was far from my mind.

So the pic above of the outdoor patio, is from the restaurant’s website.  My pic below is of the tempura vegetables w/ the truffle aioli.

The food is imaginative without being pretentious.  I’ll be back to work my way through more of the delicious offerings.

Menu is online.

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