Portland has countless new restaurants serving all kinds of “new” cuisine, but if you’re looking for a little and long-established neighborhood restaurant that serves fine and fairly simple Italian food, head for Caffe Mingo. You must arrive early or late, or be prepared to wait for a table (reservations are accepted only for parties of six or more). The menu changes weekly, and all the fish, meat, and produce come exclusively from local producers and purveyors. Mingo’s menu is delightfully limited to just a few choice selections for each course. You might want to start with the roasted artichoke with breadcrumbs and aioli, or one of the fresh salads. I always recommend the pasta del giorno, the daily house-made pasta, because over the years they have refined these specials to perfection. I also love the pizzas; there are only two to choose from, but the fennel sausage with cream, spring onions, and Asiago cheese is outrageously good. There’s a special menu available if the whole table wants to eat family style. Dessert? Try the chocolate budino (a cross between cake and pudding) with berry cream and chocolate cookies. The wine list is as selective as the menu.
Portland OR› Restaurant
807 NW 21st Ave
Our Rating Neighborhood Northwest Portland Hours Tues–Fri 11am–1pm; Tues–Sun 5–10pm Phone 503/226-4646 Prices Main courses $18-$32 Cuisine Type Italian Web site Caffe Mingo
Map807 NW 21st Ave Portland OR
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