Le Pigeon is small and cozy, and dining is at communal tables, which is not to everyone’s liking. Since I’m gregarious and never averse to jumping into a conversation, even with complete strangers, the communal table concept works for me. And the food works, too, which is why Le Pigeon has become one of Portland’s top destination restaurants. This is rich and skillful cooking, beautifully presented, and enhanced by wine (let the sommelier guide you with wine pairings). The menu by James Beard Award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker changes weekly, but leans on daring meat dishes such as beef cheek bourguignon, smoked foie gras, and, yes, pigeon. Even the vegetarian options are worth a visit, like the butter lettuce salad, and stuffed eggplant with sweet potato, pear, walnut, and truffle. Sit at the chef's counter and watch your food being prepared, or grab a seat at one of the communal tables to share a bottle off a wine list worthy of a Parisian bistro. Despite the rave reviews, and the five- and seven-course tasting menus, the atmosphere is less formal than you'd expect—this is Portland, after all, where tasting menus don't rule out jeans and hiking boots.