Headwaters

4.1
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1276 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest

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Pre/post Theatre
Headwaters is located in the historic Heathman Hotel in Downtown Portland. In fall of 2016 after a dramatic renovation, chef/owner Vitaly Paley, his longtime wife/partner Kimberly Paley opened the reimagined dining room at the Heathman Hotel, their fourth Portland restaurant. The property, which possesses a storied culinary history, was constructed in the early Twentieth Century and is a member of the National Historic Register. Chef Vitaly Paley will be the third James Beard Best Chef Northwest winner to take the helm of the Portland institution, a long running dining destination in the Pacific Northwest. So named for “the source”, Headwaters will showcase local ingredients from Oregon’s diverse bounty, from farm to sea. The soulful menu is an expression and collaboration between Vitaly Paley and Executive Chef Michael Campbell with Pacific Northwest flavors flowing throughout.
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Private Dining

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What 1276 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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G
Portland
4 reviews
Dined 16 hours ago
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Valentines Day

m
Portland
35 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Always thought that a restaurant by Vitaly Paley would be excellent. Couldn't be further from the truth. Originally tried to seat us under the spot light in the corner where the extra chairs are stored, no thank you, as it wasn't the last table in the place.
Order taken, wine arrived quickly and it was not a good wine...........did anyone pre taste these wines or did they just buy what was cheapest to them. Drink took 10 minutes so one person was drinking and one was waiting, tacky.
Food arrived really fast, really too fast, but the salad with crab cakes couldn't have been on a smaller bowl so it was very hard to eat. No table cloths, no place mats, minimum linen charges for them. The steelhead at $34 came with a little sauce, no vegi's, no bread. Good taste with the food but the value was not there. They sell you vegi's as sides so they can keep the price point for entrees down and meet the standards of Open table as a $$ rating. Cheap trick.
Will never go back.
Portland has many good restaurants we'll certainly frequent the others now! This isn't one of them.............

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food2service3ambience5

Super disappointed by the very limited menu selection. I understand during the holidays the need to limit the menu for the kitchen, but there was not much to choose from. Very very disappointed.

BQ
Portland
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service3ambience1

Made reservations two weeks in advance for Valentine's Day. Got seated in the bar area. Service was beyond slow. Took an hour to get our dinner. Skipped dessert because we were tired of being there. Won't be going back

S
Portland
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food5service2ambience4

We left 1 1/2 hours from seating to a show next door. Finally after 1/2 hour after asking bus person a few times fir waiter the manager appeared and took our order. 10 minutes later waitress showed up to assure us we’d have food in time for show. We did nit

TJ
Portland
20 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Had a wonderful evening. Thank you.
We made reservations for this Sunday's brunch.

j
Portland
35 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food is always A +. Lunch menu is plentiful of choices. Ahi poke bowl is excellent.

C
Portland
52 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Well-prepared, imaginative dishes; attentive, knowledgeable servers; excellent (if pricey) choice before a symphony performance next door.

LK
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The paella and mushroom rigatoni were delicious. Large portions, so it would be possible for 2 people to share. Interesting cocktails. Flourless chocolate cake was yummy. Did not care so much for the honey frozen yogurt crouton dessert. Excellent service. Thank you, Matthew.

D
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed everything about our dinner from the expertly prepared dishes to the attentive service and attractively appointed space. An excellent choice before attending an event at the nearby concert and other venues.

PD
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience2

The clam chowder was the best part of the meal, salty but edible.
The tuna tartare was bad - way too salty, full of too much other stuff. If I had known it was chopped up like chopped liver, I would not have ordered it. Excellent fish is not chopped up. It is served sliced and not salted. The coffee was weak and lukewarm. The dessert described as warm, molten chocolate cake was not warm, nor molten, nor very chocolate. I expected dark chocolate. Instead, I got grainy, barely chocolate dessert.
This was supposed to be a special luncheon for my dearest friend. Instead, it was disappointing and embarrassing. I will not return to Headwaters. Vitaly, you have over-extended yourself!

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, great service which made for an amazing date. Going back as soon as we can!

RJ
Portland
28 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

We decided to try Headwaters tonight. Gotta say, it’s just not up to the standard we expect from a Vitaly Paley. The restaurant was nearly empty, and there were a LOT of staff....and timing was an issue. Our server was lovely, but the wait for beverages was odd. Our first course was delayed because one part got burned, which made timing odd. The bread was cooked well on the outside, and soggy on the inside with too much oil. The wedge salad was DRENCHED in dressing, making the vegetables indistinguishable from the dressing. Two of us got the fresh catch, and the steelhead was great, but the snapper was tough—and remarkably, both were dressed with the exact same sauce/vegetables. There was really a lack of imagination—the carrot slaw with the fish and chips was old and basically inedible. Heavy hand with the salt....and whilst some is good, too much just highlights a lack of love in the food. We loved the people, but we don’t think we’ll be back.

JB
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience5

Inattentive service, forgot appetizer, slow for food to be served

FW
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Have been going to Paleys Place for years. One of top 3 restaurants in the city in our opinion. Decided to try a different Paley restaurant, Headwaters, and it did not disappoint. Really had a wonderful experience from food to service. Went for the seafood , which we had for appetizers, but ended up getting lamb cheeks for main. So good. Exec. Chef even came to table and gave us a Brussel sprout side dish for our cheeks gratis. Definitely will go back.

OT
Portland
18 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Given the restaurant group, I expected something that stood out. This didn't. The food didn't stand out. The service was average. The host didn't let me know my party was already there.

PB
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Salty, undercooked, overcooked....awkward. Won’t be back. Seemed like an off night for restaurant but there wasn’t enough potential for me to want to try a third time.

E
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food1service2ambience4

The restaurant was not busy but the food took an unreasonable amount of time. Of the 5 meals, when finally delivered, 3 were unacceptably cold and were sent back. One order of eggs benedict was requested to be "medium/not runny", which it was but had to be sent back because it was not even warm; the redo was totally runny contradictory to the order. The mushrooms in a Sramble with goat cheese were so tough as to require a steak knife and there was no warmth at all to the goat-cheese.

We've enjoyed many meals at Headwaters and assume this was just a freak-event. The Bloody Mary's were wonderful and that there were few patrons (the quiet was wonderful!) allowed our party good conversations and a pleasant time aside from the food temperatures and generally poor quality for the prices. We'll try again, but there are so many other wonderful restaurant options in our Village....

JP
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

Food was tasty. Staff was pleasant. Drinks arrived after our meal by a good 8-10 Minutes , which was disappointing.

NB
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Service was slow in the bar and in the restaurant. Never received items ordered. Food was ok.

DO
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful pre-theatre dining experience! Excellent service, delicious food, creative and tasty drinks, robust wine list. Highly recommend!

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific fish. Some good finds on the wine list.

DC
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Headwaters has a great location for theatre and concerts in Portland. The food was average but for the ambiance and service I felt it was overpriced. The wait staff was mixed - some very helpful and others you could tell did not want to be there. We were disappointed.

OT
Portland
195 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

There are too many disconnects as everything ordered was mediocre and/or significantly overcooked. It was on a busy Saturday night and the place was packed. Given the prices, that is not an excuse. The service was equally rushed as there was no suggestion for appetizers or salads as a first and second course.

Some serious management attention would seem appropriate.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Food was hit and miss. Pasta and crab cakes were excellent. Snapper was rubber and the octopus was poorly prepared and misrepresented. Yogurt cheesecake could have been a chunk of tofu. If the hostess and wait staff were more welcoming and came across less put out simply because they had to be at work, I’d recommend taking a risk and ordering carefully but ... no. You can find lots of amazing food in Portland at a much better value and with much better service. Or you can pay for the convenience of being right next the Schnitz.

OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Our server was a little grumpy and forgot some items we ordered but other than that it was good.

PT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great room, delicious food. Had the grilled octopus and the Paella - both were OUTSTANDING.

TP
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food and service are good, but I preferred the pre-remodel decor and environment

HD
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

My boyfriend and I had made reservations on New Years Eve for two well in advance, as we knew that it would be a busy night. For starters, when we arrived we were told that although we had reservations we needed to wait as it was far too busy and no tables were open. We waited for half an hour before being told that unless we want to wait longer for the table we had reserved, we would need to sit at the bar... We decided to go ahead and just sit at the bar to avoid waiting longer. The food was disappointing, overpriced and came in extremely small servings. The service was not all that great, the waitress seemed to be very irritated and overwhelmed. Not great business, and we most likely will not return.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Delightful server. New Years Eve, noisy and crowded. Reservation, but waited 15 minutes. Food acceptable.

PL
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience1

New Years Eve - family in from WA and NY. The only meal eaten was a Wedge Salad. All other meals were burned and inedible. The kitchen staff put additional sauce on a pae

BH
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience4

I’m saying yes to recommendation however be prepared to spend a pretty penny. The trend now seems to be charge for each roll $2 ea and bit of lettuce $12 wedge which they did. I also think $14 for a glass of Pino Noir is over the top.
Otherwise It was a nice meal.

L
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner with a Vitaly sighting

CH
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a very busy New Years Eve but the staff maintained a positive upbeat friendly attitude throughout the evening.......A lovely way to celebrate yhr coming of 20/20! Lovely evening.....

OT
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Solid experience. The Brussels sprouts stole the show- outstanding!

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience2

Breakfast/Brunch Review-Do not order the eggs Benedict! You will be severely disappointed. I used to come here when it was the Heathman, and now I've been coming here since it's been Headwaters.I went to breakfast here with a friend and we both had the eggs Benedict. They were so bad we sent them back and they came out the Remember everyone, if you get a notice today saying your monthly dues to COAST will be processed in the next day or two, cancel it immediately!

As per previous instructions, January COA dues go to BPM, NOT Coast.

Please also make sure your payment amount is updated/correct as our dues increased starting January 2020. on the English muffin. Both times we asked for the poached eggs with no runny whites and both times the eggs came out with runny whites. The hollandaise sauce was thin and grainy. The entire mess was cold both times, although the second time the potatoes were hot and fresh but the eggs Benedict were still cool. The wait staff was very very nice and accommodating and felt quite bad that the kitchen wasn't delivering quality food. The wait staff gets five stars, but the line cooks and expediter get one star. I love Paley's Place in NW and go there fairly often.... but Headwaters .... no more. It's always disappointing and this morning was no exception.
Update: 9 hours later... Both my friend and I have now been sick all day after eating the eggs Benny at Headwaters.

CM
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Only one out of 3 items were with the money. They had run out of prime rib and new potatoes. The crab cake was salty and the fillet of sole was not hot and a small portion.the drinks were good. It took way too long for my daughter to get her drink order! We will not be returning.

JJ
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Crab cake was burnt on the edges and wet/runny inside, with not much discernible crab. Side salad just okay, same for cauliflower. Servers were nice and attentive, hostesses pouty and not very welcoming. In the bar, the television was playing an infomercial for dental work almost the whole time I was there. I’d been to Headwaters for drinks but had never eaten there before. Seriously disappointing, and not worth the money, especially when there are so many good restaurants in Portland that really care about what they put on your plate.

r
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience2

Food was over salted.Rice was poorly prepared.Seafood in dish was nonexistent. Way over priced for a poor meal

JA
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

I was very disappointed with the service and the value of the meal.

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