On August 22, Jeff and I hit the three-year mark as Mr. and Mrs. Krass, and that called for a celebration. First, we booked an October trip to Hawaii, which has been top of our to-do list since we moved to Portland. What’s even better is we’re meeting Jeff’s bro Rob and his wife Amy there. Yay! Second, we found a lovely restaurant we’ve never visited: Nostrana, a charming Italian spot that’s been voted Best Italian Restaurant by Portland Food & Drink blog three years running. Our anniversary dinner worked out perfectly, because for people who eat out disgustingly frequently, we LOVED Nostrana. Best meal in Portland thus far. I’m salivating just thinking about my little nest of tomato-butter sauce cappellini and the fresh-baked ciabatta with olive oil.
Two days later, we snapped up some 15th-row tickets to the band Fun. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – lovingly known as “the Schnitz.” It’s been far too long since our last concert, and we’ve been eager to check out the venue that was one of the first Portland landmarks we saw when we first drove through the city in 2007. The Schnitz is home of the 65-foot-high Portland sign, boasts amazing Italian Rococo Revival architecture and comfortably seats 2,776 fans. And Fun., well, I’ve been wanting to see them since I first heard the grossly-overplayed “We Are Young.”
Before the concert we meandered downtown to grab a beer and some dinner. First stop: Departure‘s 15th floor patio overlooking the city. Since it was a blissfully warm Friday afternoon, we soaked up the sun on the posh, futuristic patio. I had to laugh: As much as it felt like a trendy L.A. or New York bar, the Portland vibe was still totally obvious with all the girls (including me) wearing comfortable flats vs. sky-high stilettos. After snagging a bacon-caramel chocolate bar at Cacao, we paid our first visit to the Heathman Hotel bar, made even more famous by its cameo in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Then it was down the block to the concert…
…which I adored! The crowd stood the entire time, the band sounded excellent and the acoustics in the venue were fab. It lit a fire in me to see more concerts – there are way too many cool venues and affordable ticket prices not to.
The rest of our weekend? Lazy. Or at least we stuck close to home. We ventured out Saturday night to the surprisingly rustic Skyline Tavern in Forest Park, and since they didn’t serve food, ended up testing the burgers at Helvetia Tavern (located in the same town as the Roloff farm from the TV show Little People Big World). After visiting at least five new Portland hangouts that week, we were pretty satisfied. 🙂