You know how you sometimes want to go to a nice place for lunch but you're burned out on the funky Portland cafe scene and really don't want to head over to trendy-third and it's over-the-top SUV-powered up-scaleyness? Well, now we've got an option over on the cool left side.
The recently opened and terrifically good Nostrana and its wood-fired oven are open for lunch, and if you've had to wait for a table for dinner, try it at noon when the tables are available and the food's just as mouth-wateringly good. Plus, now that the weather's calmed down they can open those sliding windows and let the breeze blow through.
I had the Catalan bean and albacore salad with house-pickled vegetables and it was smashing. The beans were perfectly done, the tuna was sweet and smoky and both were a perfect foil for the vinegary pucker of the vegetables. And you can never go wrong with one of their crispy pizzas smoked and charred in just the right way.
It's the perfect spot to meet a friend or entertain a client, and its location in the unassuming Buckman neighborhood makes it feel like a hidden gem.
Details: Nostrana, 1401 SE Morrison; Phone 503-234-2427.