Portland, OR

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Caffe Mingo & Bar Mingo

807 NW 21st Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
503-226-4646websitePrice: Moderately Expensive
Area: Downtown

This place is intimate, urban and lively.  Caffe Mingo is a quaint Italian trattoria that specializes in "simple Italian cooking".  The small space means you may have to wait, if you do not have a reservation. The upside is that its location on "restaurant row", and two blocks from 21st street, provide plenty of diversion.  You can also check out Bar Mingo which offers a full Italian menu.

The open kitchen turns out simple and rather hearty Italian fare, but you can count on gourmet starter salads, a lighter pasta, vegetable creations and fish for more sensible fare. The menu changes often and its reliance on local ingredients attracts foodie types. Appetizers may include albacore tuna crudo with radish, caperberries and arugula; marinated oven dried tomatoes with fresh mozzarella; grilled asparagus with agrumato, grana and a fried egg; warm octopus and potato salad; and polenta.  There are typically three vegetable offerings such as warm roasted beets with herbed yogurt, pan roasted broccoli with Calabrian chiles and blistered snap peas with whipped ricotta. Other entree like eats include pasta, braised chicken, pan seared beef, several pizzas and the fish special.

Bar Mingo is next door and its menu is as big (in terms of options) as the Caffe. Starters include avocado salad, smoked trout salad, oysters, chopped salad, cheese plate, calamari, mussels, meatballs and savory crepes. Entree type items include six pastas with various toppings such as shrimp, clams, tomatoes and chili. Fish, cioppino, steak and gulf prawns are also available.

Caffe Mingo:  Dinner Tues-Sunday starting at 5p.

Bar Mingo:  Sun-Thurs 4p-10p; Fri/Sat 4p-11p

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