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Café Castagna, Portland

1758 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 231 9959
view web site ›'s insider take:

It's Sunday night. You want to go out, you want to be fed well and treated nicely, and you may even want a fancy cocktail to prolong the festive weekend. But you're not in the mood for a scene or attitude or overly pedigreed dishes, and you want something more civilized than a burrito down the street. Try Café Castagna. This friendly neighborhood spot in southeast Portland delivers upscale Mediterranean comfort dishes at lean prices: thin-crust pizzas with arugula and prosciutto, a zingy Caesar salad, flatiron steak with fries, and house-made seasonal sorbets. The spare triangular room and garden patio manage to be both chic and casual. Simple, unpretentious, and always spot-on, this is the sort of place you'll want to return to again and again. For special occasions, turn to next-door neighbor Castagna. Chef Matthew Lightner, who ranks among the country's rising culinary stars, creates elegant tasting menus that make excellent use of seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients. The menu is a pleasant puzzle: Descriptions are generally a simple list of ingredients (perhaps green almonds, sour plum, salted black cod, dill, cream) that coyly nod toward dishes whose flavors unfold in subtle yet unexpected ways.—Updated by Colleen Clark

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to close, Sundays and Mondays 5 pm to close.

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