Vitaly Paley, the force behind the long-running Paley’s Place ★★★in Northwest Portland, is the chef-owner of this newish downtown hotel restaurant. The name Imperial is a nod to next door Hotel Lućia’s ★★★ previous life as the Imperial Hotel and dining room. But imperial may also have something to do with Imperial Russia, since Paley was born in Kiev and likes to make some of the same dishes his grandmother did. They can be very rich, like the duck meatballs with prunes, aromatic spices, and orange gremolata (duck is featured in other dishes, too). But not all is rich and heavy; offerings like the bay scallop crudo with vinaigrette, grapefruit, and cured steelhead caviar are light, fresh, and still satisfying; a selection of oysters on the half shell is also available. Because Imperial has a big wood-fired grill, grilled and rotisserie meats are a special feature. Try the bone-in pork chop with sage and black-pepper honey, the roasted half chicken, or a dry-aged rib-eye with horseradish butter. After all that, a house-made gelato or sorbet is a perfect way to end your meal.