The Picnic House
723 SW Salmon St.
Portland, OR 97205Neighborhood:
Downtown Portland - SW
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
The Picnic House
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.picnichousepdx.com/
- Phone: (503) 227-0705
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11:00 AM - 3:00PM (Mon- Sat)
Dinner: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM (Mon-Wed); 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM (Thurs-Sat)
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, French American, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Jessica Grimmer
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: Please contact us at www.PicnicHousePDX.com for catering information,
A word from The Picnic House
Located at the crossroads of Portland"s Business and Art Districts, the Picnic House is a excellent place for a quick, great-tasting lunch before heading back to work as well as the perfect place for dinner and drinks before or after seeing a show at one of Portland's theaters. Built out of the lobby of the original 1920's Heathman Hotel, the Picnic House offers a great ambiance of 30-foot vaulted ceilings and fluted wood columns along with Steam Punk touches of a monocled bear in a bowler hat and walls covered in moss and mosaics of copper printing plates. Head chef Jessica Grimmer creates seasonal menus that are familiar and nostalgic yet different and daring enough to peak both your interest and your appetite.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
- Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
The Picnic House - Best Restaurants in Downtown Portland - SW ›
The Picnic House reviews from OpenTable diners
160 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (99)great for lunch (71)good for groups (70)neighborhood gem (50)special occasion (36)romantic (23)hot spot (23)notable wine list (12)vibrant bar scene (9)late-night find (9)great for brunch (8)kid-friendly (5)great for outdoor dining (1)scenic view (1)Show More
- Good foodErikVIPDined on 11/24/2014Great place for soup, salad, and sandwich! They offer some great salads and sandwiches you won't find at other nearby restaurants.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Location for Family GatheringOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/24/2014Food and drinks were great, and the huge table for our family group of 12 was perfect. Noise levels were low enough that we could all converse.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unexpected delight!SchmavisDined on 11/22/2014Don't let its name fool you. Picnic House is not about BBQ or sandwiches or chips. Picnic House delivers more casual elegance than the name implies. We've been here several times, each time just as good as the previous. Food is just fantastic--original, interesting, layers of flavors, portions just right. The salmon is always perfect for this salmon snob. The portobello mushroom a truly delicious delight. The espresso dessert a perfect bite of indulgence --we shared it. I LOVE the unexpected, truly charming environment of the former hotel lobby setting, and the polished wood tables granting a nod to the name. Love that it's not too loud--our group of 6 could talk comfortably. Service has always been terrific--warm, friendly, relaxed but still professional. Love that the staff really knows the menu. Wine, beer, and cocktail lists offer just the right variety.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food; focus on good ingredients & flavorEllenVIPDined on 11/22/2014Picnic House was a great surprise find. Everything we ordered was really nice -- from the Charcuterie platter (large, interesting selections, nice little extras), to the great salad with pickled blueberries (also very large & easy to share), to the fantastic boar dish (GREAT sauce), to the steak atop delicious polenta. Menu is not super lengthy or complex, but everything we had was delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Super DiamondOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/21/2014Fourth time here. Food good as always. Everything we had was wonderful! Only problem was kitchen exhaust system backed up into dining area. Gave us all headaches. Did here the problem will be fixed by the new year.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food is great, service is offPDXTevvyDined on 11/20/2014Came here for dinner on my birthday. The menu didn't disappoint but the service muddled our experience. We had planned on a leisurely dinner and ordered an appetizer and cocktailes that we wanted to follow later with wine, salads, and entrees. The server asked if we wanted the salads first, which we did, but within about 20 minutes we ended up with a tiny table filled with plates that arrived in rapid succession. This would have been less of a problem if the tables weren't so tiny, but it was a bit precarious and annoying to have everything piling up. My wife's entree also was delivered less-than-hot which was surprising since everything arrived so fast. When a place is half empty and it's early on a week night, it'd be nice not to feel rushed. Our server was polite and attentive, but I got the sense she is usually a host and was covering for someone that night? The place is not fine dining and maybe it doesn't purport to be, but my overall impression was that of an eager staff that didn't have the restaurant experience to really execute things in a polished way. Endearing, but a little off the mark.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding in every way!TSJAXFLDined on 11/19/2014We visit Portland each month for business, and the Picnic House has become an experience we all look forward to. The staff are exceptionally good at recommending selections, and the food quality is out of this world. I wouldn't change anything, and would recommend PH to any one I know.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, but otherwise...OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 11/15/2014We enjoyed our food (two appetizers & main courses). The sherry was served chilled, not to our taste. Would have preferred the soups to be a little warmer. Soup dish was chipped, fork was for a salad course not a main course, they had run out of wine glasses with stems and we had to use one without a stem - which doesn't work if you have small hands - kind of like drinking wine out of a sippy cup. Too noisy & too fast for a quality restaurant.
- Great food and servicepaulieDined on 11/15/2014Went for lunch once then dinner another day. Both times we found the staff to be extremely friendly and knowledgeable. The food on both occasions was excellent. Can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- terrible serviceLidsDined on 11/15/2014I had my birthday dinner there, I reserved for 12 guests, of course more showed up that didnt rsvp, but it was my birthday I couldnt sene them home. The waitress was really slow but nice. The manager on the other hand was terrible! She didn't talk to me and scared off some of my first. Told them that we are at compacity and some people wouldn't be able to order food, and that I can't have anymore people at the table I didn't aprreciate the fact that she couldn't talk to me personally she just told my guests and made the dinner super awkward, afterwards when the bill came again they didn't come to ask if i was going to pay for the full thing or not! Very poorly communication I wouldnnot recommend for a big group!Special Features:
- Schnitzer Find11AprilDined on 11/15/2014This is a very nice place to have drinks, appetizers or dinner before attending an event at the Schnitzer. Its a block away and the food and drinks are quite good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Picnic fits its NamePortlanderDined on 11/15/2014My first time at Picnic House had my four friends and me seated at--what else?--a picnic table. The food and service were both good, but the noise level was so high that we had to shout at one another to be heard. Why is music even necessary? Or, if it must be part of the atmosphere, this restaurant needs to turn it way, way down. The ceilings are high, and there is a good deal of echo because of the spaciousness, which adds to the problem.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fresh, delicious food. Great lunch options.RhetoricRoxDined on 11/15/2014I love this place. Diners are given many options to choose from soups, salads, and sandwiches. You can do a combo or two or three. There are several vegetarian options. Service is efficient and friendly. We will definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food is amazing, atmosphere loud, service okayOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/12/2014We've taken work groups of between 4-8 people here several times. The food is amazing every time we come, and it doesn't matter what we order - it's ALL good. The high ceilings and open atmosphere seems to make noise bounce, so it's really loud and can be difficult to hear conversations if you have more than 4 people. The service is hit or miss. Sometimes we get great attentive servers, and sometimes we get the one you have to flag down 5 times to remind that you had asked for something. Overall we would definitely recommend, based on the food alone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great balance of food/$/conveniencePDXluncherDined on 11/7/2014This has become a regular business lunch destination because I can make reservations, the food is very good, well-presented, and meets the "Portland foodie" profile, prices are good.Special Features:
- Usually GreatOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 11/6/2014While I usually have great dining experiences at Picnic House, this visit left much to be desired. Food was great as always but service wasn't good. I had a 1:00 PM lunch reservation and wasn't even seated until 1:15. The reason I make reservations is so that doesn't happen. Further, upon entering the restaurant there was nobody at the front. Several groups walked in after me and we all waited. I was standing immediately in front of the host stand and when a host finally walked out to greet, she walked behind me and asked groups that had arrived after me, how many people. Me and my lunch companion were finally seated after those that had arrived after us with no reservation.
- Nice Finddriving2eatDined on 11/4/2014Searched restaurants near the theater and thought the Picnic House had an interesting and reasonably priced menu. Staff was friendly and interior seating had nice ambiance. Menu selection isn't extensive, but between small plates and entrees one can have an excellent dinner. Pavlova dessert is outstanding. Looking forward to visiting again.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/1/2014This was a bit disappointing. The service was fine but the food was just fair. We split a blue cheese salad. It was tasty but a bit watery. The chicken dinner was very overcooked; the chicken was dry but well seasoned. Some of the vegetables were roasted to black.
- Wonderful EveningfoodloverVIPDined on 11/1/2014Super comfortable environment great for casual meal as well as can handle an evening out before a play. Really a delightful surprise. Can't wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DukenpuffDined on 10/31/2014Great restaurant, excellent food, incredible service!!!Special Features:
- Construction delaysomnomymousDined on 10/28/2014Unfortunately, construction in the area forced them to cancel all reservations that night. Apologies were offered. Maybe some day I'll try again.
- Unique saucesviolastarDined on 10/25/2014Besides them trying to seat us up front alone and under a spotlight even though the four of us had a reservation, we enjoyed our time there.Special Features:
- Worst service imaginableDiningDanDined on 10/18/2014If you are looking for a "dining" establishment, this isn't it. If you want to sit on a bench in a loud, uninviting venue - this may be ok. My wife and I were looking forward to a nice Saturday evening meal while visiting our daughter at Univ of Portland. We made reservations an upon arrival the hostess wanted to seat us in basically the lobby looking out windows to the street under a HUGE "OPEN" sign that begged 737s to land here. Much to the annoyance of the serving staff, they sat us next to the bar. However, the bar tender seemed more interested in his errands then making our drinks. They arrived TWENTY minutes later ... TEN minutes after a bare plate of crostini was shoved in front of us. We paid for the drinks and left. Awful service.Special Features:
- Love this placeyumyumDined on 10/18/2014took my family out to dinner here after having a fantastic lunch a few weeks back. The chicken was amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good decor/food. Slow serviceOrangesDined on 10/16/2014We generally enjoy the picnic house and love their creative dishes. However, there are times when they get overwhelmed and the wait time for a meal gets exceptionally long. This is especially true of evenings when there is a popular event across the street at the Schnitz.
- Excellent food and presentation!LovepdxdowntownDined on 10/15/2014Love the lunch plate where you can choose a sandwich, soup, and salad from the menu. They have so many great options to include!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Meh!LorelaiDined on 10/14/2014Mushroom soup was overly salty and the wild boar stew was heavy on the cloves and salt as well. I am always suspect when I taste overly salted foods. Price points reasonable, but not food to rave about.
- Great for lunch-make a reservationFrenchFoodieDined on 10/14/2014Great lunch spot, gets busy during lunch so either come early or make a quick reservation to ensure you don't have to wait to be seated. -During busy times, can wait anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes to be seated. Highly recommend their shaved turkey sandwich with saba and fresh green apple. Best item on the menu! Their Shirley-Temple with house made black cherry syrup is great too!Special Features:
- fun findkaterinaDined on 10/11/2014The Picnic House was delicious! We enjoyed the special with wild boar, reminiscent of our visits to Italy. The brussels sprouts appetizer was very good. The service was outstanding and genuinely attentive, dessert options were varied. I recommend the affogato!Special Features:
- the extra milesewspeculDined on 10/10/2014We came as a party of 10, post wedding. The picnic house had specially purchased sparklingcider at our request, and seated us in an area where conversation was easy. The small plates were to die for, and every entree was great. Kudos in particular to culotte steak and salmon. Service was friendly and attentive and really helped to make us feel special. We will absolutely be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great lunch at the Picnic HousethemusicmanDined on 10/4/2014Our first visit to the Picnic House was delightful. Our wait staff made it a great experience and the food was delicious. We all had different sandwiches and each was on a different type of bread. I had the best grilled cheese that I've ever had along with the tomato soup. It did not have a strong seasoning which I really liked. The desserts were unique. The dark chocolate pudding with marshmallow covered with gramcracker crumbs was quite the treat.Special Features:
- MaxbenderDined on 10/3/2014Service was good and friendly. First time at this restaurant. Prices seemed reasonable and food was very good. Look forward to returning again.
- Fantastic food and ambiencesebell75Dined on 9/27/2014I took my partner here for his birthday. The menu had just enough variety fit many tastes, while also being limited enough to keep one from taking too long to decide what to have! Had the crostini as an app, which I would highly recommend. The vegetarian stuffed mushroom entree was amazing (don't normally like brussel sprouts, but these were delicious), and the pan-seared chicken was fantastic. Dessert was just as good as the meal, and the drinks were well made. They have a great wine list, with a generous pour. If you have an evening planned at the theater complex downtown, I would highly recommend you stop here first for dinner!Special Features:
- lnoahlnoahDined on 9/25/2014Food was excellent — "normal" with a flavorful twist, atmosphere was fun. We will go again and again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Poor Service2014TDined on 9/24/2014I made a reservation for 12:15. We arrived at 12:08pm and was told it would be a few. There was not many people in the waiting area. However, at 12:10pm more poeple came in the door, each time she would ask if they had a reservation and they would say no. We where the last to be seated at 12:20pm. It took over 25 minutes for the waitress to even come over to our table. Then when she did it took her even longer to come back to take our order. The food was great, however service was terrible. I certianly will not be back anytime soon.
- Service Needs Some WorkMaggieOCDined on 9/23/2014The food is very good but so is food all over Portland. Service is uneven and unpracticed. I had a 6:00 reservation on a Tuesday night. Restaurant was close to empty and the very young hostess seated me at the one table next to the kitchen? I don't think so. I asked for a different table and she gave me my pic. Save the bad table for the people who show up when the place is packed and don't have a reservation.Special Features:
- hidden awesomenesslittlePDXrowerDined on 9/22/2014one thing: best grilled cheese and tomato soup EVER. moderate sized portions (I don't like heaps of food, it's "just right" for me), great flavors - our server was a bit overwhelmed with lunchtime crowd but it wasn't so bad (we were not in a hurry). Wine list is small, but selections seemed appropriate for menu offerings. Heard about this place from friends, I'm definitely going back and bringing more friends. Recommend using OpenTable for reservations around lunch and dinner, otherwise you will be waiting for a bit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Gorgeous food, gorgeous restaurant!SamosaDined on 9/20/2014A beautiful restaurant. Decor and ambiance were amazing. The food did not fall short. We had a couple of small plates so were able to try a good selection. The crudités with cheese was phenomenal. The beets were exceptionally tasty and really different. The espresso beef tenderloin had a strong flavor and was cooked to perfection. The best part was definitely dessert. A pavlova oozing with Creme Anglaise and sprinkled with berries. If I lived in Portland I would be a regular here!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Let downHonestDinerVIPDined on 9/20/2014After reading many reviews both pro and con we decided to give this place a try. The decor is a little disjointed and the lighting harsh. Our appetizers were OK, but the entrees were disappointing. The skillet chicken was served in a cold skillet and overlooked. The salmon, slightly over done, and the strawberries were a big miss. The pork chop was under seasoned, and par for the course it was over cooked. The only star was the bar - great mixologist was fantastic and very creative - go for drinks and skip the food.
- fine for the money3foodliesDined on 9/20/20143 of us had a traditional dinner with either soup or salad + main course one Saturday night. The restaurant staff were pleasant and service was good, though not really attentive. Soup portion was tiny, compared to the salad which was definitely enough to share and loaded with fresh berries. Main portions were large. The salmon was overcooked(though not dry) and incredibly hot- certainly it was microwaved! It was not edible until it cooled. The roast chicken was fine. Prices were quite reasonable ($18 for the main course). We saw others sharing multiple dishes- perhaps that would have been more interesting.