Headwaters

4.1
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1260 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 1260 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
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PB
Portland
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
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 6 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience4

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

DO
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
193 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
11 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.

DL
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had Christmas dinner. It was wonderful & delicious. And they even did the dishes. Great way to celebrate Christmas!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience1

Very pretty and festive for Christmas. But unfortunately our dinner was average. We both ordered the same entree and it inconsistently presented and prepared.

HM
Portland
35 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food as always. Good starters, desserts and the entrees were amazing. The Paella serving is huge; sole, surf n turf are more modest sizes.
Note: the tea service and any buffets use the Resy app, not Open Table, as we found out as I had intended to book the buffet; and the party checking in before us had thought they had booked tea when they had booked buffet. So confusing!

J
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience4

The gentleman who served my wife and I, did not provide the best service. Very pleasant man, but not very helpful in the ways of providing an experience for those dining there. He did not provide my wife and I with the proper set to eat and felt unwelcome after a few interactions. We had to ask for plates for our starters, and a proper knife to cut the meat I ordered. Each time we asked for something the minutes between interactions grew longer. He took more orders in front of us... after I had asked for the check. 12 minutes waiting for that check. First and last time visitor.

PD
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience2

I heard great things about this place. We went there on Christmas day. They sat us at a table next to the door. Every time the door opened, we got a cold draft. Not only that, but we had an excellent view of the expo line and got to hear someone yell "hands, hands!" (meaning I need people to run food). The staff honestly did not look that professional. Heading in there I was expecting a Higgins ambiance, rather it felt like a TGI Fridays. The food was so so. Our server forgot to enter in one of our side entrees. Luckily she acted like it was coming, frantically entered it in and we were able to receive it after we finished our main courses. The side was brussel sprouts. They were supposed to be charred, unfortunately all you could taste was the char. Overly done in my opinion. The price of $360 after tip for 3 people (we did get a $100 bottle of champs), I would have expected a better experience. Live and learn.

d
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Nice restaurant. Food selection in the main dining room on Christmas day was very limited. I had the salmon. I think the price was around $35. Other than the piece of fish there was little else on the plate other than a few chick peas. $35 for a rather small serving of fish seems high. Everything else was ala carte. The fish was well prepared. Sorry we didn't go to their buffet. Next time we will.

DB
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Christmas lunch

p
Portland
27 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience5

In the past Headwaters has been wonderful--great service, delicious and yummy fresh food. On Christmas Eve it was marginal. Our server was great, trying his best. So no criticism there. But apparently the kitchen staff was very lacking. Our food took a long time in arriving. My entree of king salmon was absolutely COLD in the center! How does that happen in a first class SEAFOOD establishment? So sorry but Headwaters gets a mediocre, mid-range rating at best.

7
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent crab cake and salmon! The restaurant itself was a little noisy, but that’s understandable. Comfortable! But... Ginger ale in a can? Mildly disappointing. Overall excellent though.

AP
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience2

Our server was awesome, everything else was mediocre at best. Ahi Poke was salty, with saltier chips, and the Saffron Rice Paella was flavorless. Ambience is loud and somewhat clinical. Disappointing considering the high-ish price menu, and Headwaters being one of Portland's top rated seafood restaurants. Very similar to the neighboring South Park Seafood, just not as good.

H
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Maybe the waiter was new...or maybe it was because it was Christmas Eve, but service was slow, disjointed, and overall disappointing since we were looking forward to dining here.

CW
Puerto Vallarta
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious, very attentive wait staff. A very good experience

P
Portland
30 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Christmas Eve menu offered variety, and we especially liked the seafood tower, but the prime rib was overcooked and tough. Also, it was supposed to come with a side dish of cauliflower and potatoes, but the waitress seemed surprised when we asked why she had not brought it with the meat. It was finally delivered near the end of our meal.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Spent the night at The Heathman and enjoyed breakfast at Headwaters in the morning. Everything was beautifully prepared. I only wish they had more gluten free items in the menu.

PM
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had a very nice pre-Christmas dinner with family. I was quite pleased that our table reservation was ready right on time, even though the restaurant was crowded and very busy. Good job!

AA
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Lovely venue, extremely convenient for brunch as it is right across the street from the theater. Waiter was great, food was good. The Bloody Mary was just OK for $10. Kind of a skimpy glass with a measly celery stick where Good Bloody Mary's come in a tall glass with other veggies like olives, beans or onions. Other than a thoroughly unmemorable Bloody Mary the experience was very good.

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