smallwares
smallwares

smallwares

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.smallwarespdx.com/
  • Phone: (971) 229-0995
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Global, International, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Johanna Ware
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: NE 46th
  • Public Transit: Bus #75 & #24
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We are located in a residential neighborhood with ample, free street parking.
A word from smallwares
Smallwares is a forty-seat restaurant with an open kitchen. We serve small plates of inauthentic Asian cuisine meant to be shared, and eclectic wine, sake and cocktails.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
smallwares reviews from OpenTable diners
62 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (54)neighborhood gem (44)good for groups (20)hot spot (18)special occasion (13)vibrant bar scene (13)romantic (12)notable wine list (12)late-night find (7)great for outdoor dining (4)Show More
  • Most interesting menu in Portland!
    Warren
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Small Wares is a small, very popular restaurant in NE Portland with an inspired eclectic menu. Flavor combinations are remarkable. It's so fun to share 4 or 5 plates of food you will not have had before and won't enjoy again until you return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Absolutely fabulous food. The ability to blend so many types of seasonings was incredible. Would highly recommend to anyone who appreciates great food. One of the people in our party who has traveled extensively internationally said it was the best kimchi, he has ever eaten.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty & Eclectic
    Chilly
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Smallwares continues to delight with eclectic, tasty menu options & a lively atmosphere. Would like to see some more local red wines!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great concept but execution so so
    Sojourner
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Very good ambiance, good service. Food concept was great but execution left something to be lacking on some dishes. The fried kale was great until we worked down into the bottom third of the bowl and found the fried kale down there soggy and salty with an abundance of fish sauce on the bottom. Would have been much better if it had been more lighty sprinkled to maintain the crunchiness. And speaking of fish sauce, the heavy hand with it on the oysters made the oysters quite salty. I love SE Asian food and enjoy the taste that fish sauce contributes but it's a condiment, not used to drench food. The Kimchi pork belly stew was tasty and would go back for that!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Oh the flavors you will taste
    PDXdiner
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Smallwares, with their small plates, allows you and your group to try several different selections from their very unique menu. I love the way they find just the right ingredients, spices, etc to transform something like cauliflower, boiled eggs, and other seemingly boring foods. The clam "chowder" had a wonderful coconut broth that was absorbed by your tastebuds and along with the clams, made you feel you were eating fresh from the ocean.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, but.....
    luvfoodVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Not so great if you are gluten-intolerant. Smallwares uses soy sauce in a lot of dishes, rendering our choices to mostly appetizers. Having said that, the chef did make an entree dish for us using rice noodles. Our server was wonderful understanding our issues and helping us navigate the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slammed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    First time dining at this restaurant. We enjoyed the food very much, but the overall experience was difficult because it took so long to get our food and drink. Actually, we never were able to order wine to go with our food at all. And it took so long to get the food there was no way could we were going to wait until our wait person re-appeared to order the wine. Too bad because they had an interesting wine list and many wines by the glass that I'm sure would have complimented the food. But we did have water!!!! I will definitely give it another try, but not on a weekend. Maybe the bar next time....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor service
    Homer
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Last Friday night a group of family went to celebrate a birthday . The food was amazing , the service non existent ,sprinkled with attitude . The staff overwhelmed and understaffed. After being seated in a timely fashion ,reservations made 2 weeks in advance , our drink order taken , water served our waitperson disappeared behind the bar , first round of drinks served 15 minutes later, food order taken , served without delay . Then nothing . Flank steak which was a main entree never delivered . Second round of cocktails ordered but only delivered after one of our party hunted down the wait staff . Great for parties of 4 or less . Dropping 300.00 for casual dining I could do without the attitude .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative and delicious
    pdxknitterati
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Innovative and delicious, as always. Tonight's top pic: Brisket pho banh mi. The combination of textures and flavors was out of this world. This is not always here, so get it while you can. My old standby, chicken lollipops, is a reliable favorite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Large Dining Pleasure at Smallwares
    JimB
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Eclectic dining on Fremont has a great spot at Smallwares! Asian fusion small plates that are creative, daring, and consistently unique blended with a superb bar and unique drinks and efficient, friendly, knowledgeable and professional service. And, all of this at exceptionally high quality and very reasonably priced. Can you spell winner! I spell it S-M-A-L-L-W-A-R-E-S ! Thank you Smallwares; we'll be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Go for the food
    Pogo
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    It was fantastic. The flavors never stopped. The different spices and ingredients were so interesting that I would have liked more but we were full. There were 4 of us and we were all impressed. I'd compare it for originality and unique flavors with Andina's. I'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Asian Fusion
    jacksonVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed Smallwares so much during our recent visit to Portland, that we went back for our last night as well. Both dining experiences were unique as there are a large number of interesting and delicious dishes offered. We especially enjoyed the roasted padrone peppers, the Pho sandwich and the tuna. Both of our meals were outstanding and we recommend Smallwares highly to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Just About Perfect
    KipperSnacks
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We sat in the barwares area: busy, noisy chatter, but quiet enough the three of us to talk. My failure to recall particular dishes may be excused. Two of us in a party of four 2 months back; also great. Two outings; multiplicity of dishes; favorites each time; no disappointments - the staff knows food and how to serve it. This time veered vegetarian but the first time we ran omnivorous / carnivorous. With both outings, I think we sampled a wide range of the menu (a dozen plates?). Very pleasant service, nicely low-key but conscientious and attentive. Minor bit in that my happy hour drink was initially run at full price but quickly and graciously corrected. We definitely plan to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food; the service disappoints
    acababamos
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We really enjoyed our meal here, and the server started off doing decently, but then she just kind of stopped coming around to the table in favor of flirting behind the bar with another server. It was especially annoying since she was directly within view of us, so as we waited, waited, and continued to wait for her to come around again, drop off the check, pick up the check, etc. etc. the meal went from being satisfying to positively enraging. It wasn't even a crowded night, so ignoring a table like that was completely inexcusable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Alon
    Alon
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Great place with very good, innovative and creative food. A very nice surprise in the NE!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nancy
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Always fun, but delicious food! It's a food adventure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • creative and tasty
    AlexRix
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We really enjoyed some of the fresh and tasty creations. Great, creative flavor combinations. Excellent wine and drink choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Smallwares is one of our favorite places but this last visit was not memorable. I think they were understaffed because we barely got the attention of the server and one of the food entrees was forgotten. I hope these kinks can be fixed. The hanger is always delish as are the cocktails.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Group Pleaser
    Karl
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Had a group of out of towners (10 in total, including 3 well behaved youths), some of whom had completed Tough Mudder Oregon the day previous so we came with appetites. Wonderful group table for 10 was provided for us, cocktail list was fresh and inventive, and we did something extraordinary: we ordered the entire menu (of small plates). A great opportunity to sample the entire day's fresh menu. Every dish was inventive, well spiced, served immediately, and appreciated. Peanut allergies were treated seriously. A really great and satisfying time was had by all. Personal favourite was the artichoke plate. This place is a gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • praddaVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Food was salty, not all that good tasting, small plates were super small plates, not overpriced if the food was good but it really wasn't that good. Portland is known for great food and I'd expect to find this in some small town where the owner was trying to be hip. I wish I didn't waste taking my parents out to this place. I can live with wasting $120 (only two drinks) for three people, but I wish I could eliminate the wasted calories I ingested. Sounds strange but really, it was wasted calories...and that's something I don't normally say.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Inauthentic Asian win
    Goatcheeseonly
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    I recently visited Portland on vacation and found this restaurant mentioned in a few "top Portland restaurants" articles and made a reservation. I like that it's tucked away in a neighbourhood outside of downtown, it was great to see another part of the city. My boyfriend and I loved the cocktails and wine lists. We are also picky eaters (lactose intolerant and a bunch of other whiney labels) and we found so many items we loved on this menu! The service was attentive and also laid back, so we never felt rushed. Recap: amazing, creative dishes, great drinks list, pleasant atmosphere, and friendly service. Go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overly salty food
    chifan
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    My friend and I both found the food (fried kale, duck confit/custard, dan dan noodles) extremely salty. Service wasn't that great (slightly inattentive). They did let us stay well past closing, since adjoining Barwares was still open, which we appreciated. But we were disappointed in the food, especially since we'd been wanting to try this place since it had opened.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unique, accessible food pairings
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    My wife and I were in Portland for a day trip and after visiting the Japanese Garden and Rose Garden we were looking for a place to eat. We found a few positive reviews on TripAdvisor so decided to give it a try. We were so glad we did as the experience was great. The staff was quick, helpful and unintrusive. The food was eclectic and delicious. I would eat at Small Plates again and have already recommended it to friends to try if they are in Porland.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Smallwares!
    Chilly
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This is one of our favs! Wonderful dishes, especially the Kale & Cauliflower starters. The cocktails are interesting & well made & the service is spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 38 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 158 reviews are from the smallwares reviews archive.
  • TFry
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Loved the ambiance, you're well attended too and the food was delicious. More of an experience than just a night out for dinner. I liked the approach to stage the food service so you don't get all items at once. High quality and good speed of service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really delicious meal and drinks
    missshella
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The food at Smallwares is out of this world. Be warned though, Smallwares is a completely appropriate name because the portions are tiny. Like really tiny. That said, it's a very cute place, good service, awesome food. Favorite item ordered was the 6 minute egg! Our tab for two came to $84.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We'll be back!
    Whatsforsupper
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Wonderful cocktails, imaginative and beautifully prepared food (the kale! the hanger steak! the DanDan noodles!), and attentive and charming service. Don't be fooled by the simple decor - this is a restaurant that understands complexity and delivers in big and subtle ways.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • smallwares = taste treats
    PdxpizzaboyVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    We have been wanting to dine at smallwares for some time, but the occasion never seemed exactly right. Monday night the fates aligned and we drove across town and found a cute place on Alberta. First, their space is really two separate rooms that join and share a common kitchen. We took a table close to the street. Virtually every item on the menu contained a unique variety of components with many described using terms unfamiliar to us. We started with pickled veggies and pickled halibut (really cebiche), followed with DanDan noodles and chicken lollypops. Dessert was a lime panna cotta topped with apricot jam. Each item was unique and encourages us to return. On the negative side quantity of each item was modest at best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    DhotchkiVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Awesome food: fried kale is still my favorite. Also has the happy hour bao, egg musubi, and the ramen. Drinks are well made, good portions and staff is very friendly (even with kids).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over the top.
    Fet55
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Half the descriptive ingredients on the menu were foreign to us, both literally as well as geographic location. No supporting the local growers here. I found the food too rich, too heavy and certainly not subtle. Kale chips were soggy from being deep fried and drowning in sauce. Clams had a heavy curry type sauce, from consistency. Dondon noodles were okay, but not great, nothing like Taiwan, or China.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The best!
    Kradical
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    This is one of the best restaurants in Portland! The food is phenomenal. Every dish has so much flavor. The cocktails are great as well and I love the ambience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting and delightful food
    foodie5star
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    A great assortment of food and the presentation was quite nice. Enjoyed the fusion of tastes and the shared plate offerings. Lots of good light in the restaurant. And who would think to list libations by the senses, not just the usual "wine," "beer," and "sake." Made ordering fun and easy. Would go again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lots of fun
    Dotsaa
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Food kept us guessing. You get the ingredients but really don't know what shape the food will take. Service hospitable, cauliflower terrific, wine list lacking but the beer was good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A pleasant surprise with every bite
    PDXFox
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Three of us shared six menu items. Each was quite different (from hanger steak to an egg custard) and each greeted us with surprising tastes and textures. We had a hard time and could not agree on which was the "best" because each selection was quite good. Many had a bit of heat, but none so strong that only sensation was a burning mouth. It was easy to eat gluten free and the kitchen even changed out wheat noodles in one dish for rice noodles. The service was excellent and food arrived one dish at a time at just the right pace. This is definitely a place we will return to awaiting our next surprises!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Neighborhood Eatery
    Foodie
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Had a delicious meal! Have already recommended Smallwares to friends. We will definitely go back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A taste sensation!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    I think we could easily have selected any of the dishes off the smallwares menu and been happy, but what I keep thinking about is the spring green pancake and the cauliflower and tahini. Yum! Very inventive and very pleasing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Statuesque
    bradleybonestorm
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Smallwares is a restaurant with an understaded elegence. Beginning with the service, it is friendly but not in your face; very calm. The wine we had was fantastic and the server was a great guide through out the entire experience. The menu is very much seafood focused, all with a Asian-ish tilt as the restaurant promotes. I prefer this over an actual asian restaurant in this context, allowing for great freedom of expression and exploration. If you are looking for a casual experinece with interesting tasting food in a good looking environment this is the place to go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I was rather disappointed
    Marmaduke
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    My Girlfriend and I were in the mood for Asian Fusion type food so we chose small wares. Overall the food really wasn't that flavorful I was very unimpressed. We chose 4 different plates that the waitress recommended and none of then really stood out. If I were to look for Asian fusion type food in the future I would choose: departure, saucebox, aviary, or pok pok as they all have much more delicious food for a similar price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Inconsistent and a bit expensive
    OnceAndFutureFoodie
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We tried smallwares for a quiet, kid free, dinner and made an early reservation. The restaurant was quiet when we showed up. Service staff was impressive and attentive, but the food arrived slowly. We tried four different plates from the menu, two specials (ma po bao and dashi egg) and two from the regular menu (chicken lollipops and curry clams). The dashi egg was truly fantastic. All of the other dishes were lackluster in comparison and not really worth the $10/plate average. I'd have gladly paid the final tally unhindered if all of the plates had been worth their price in taste, but I didn't feel as if I'd really gotten my value. The drink selection from the bar was nice, but again the prices were a bit high there as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous smallwares
    John
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    In a class by itself - Asian fusion tapas(if that makes any sense) - and just marvelous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.