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Nearby points of interest
About Willow Restaurant
We are Willow, a small restaurant in Southeast Portland that offers a multi course menu for $50. With two seatings a night, at 6pm and 8:30pm, we host our guests at an 10-seat Chef's Counter for a dynamic and interactive meal. Imagine a dinner at your friend's house, without any clean-up or fuss--just a great time!
The two Chefs, Doug Weiler and John Pickett, invite you into Willow with a smile and a hand shake as you walk up the steps. With a warm and hospitable environment, Willow is an ideal restaurant for a group, that romantic night out or special events.
Portland, OR 97214
Hours of Operation:
Dinner nightly: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
SE 11th & Harrison Ave.
$50 and over
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
John Pickett & Doug Weiler
Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wine
Willow Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
We had a phenomenal experience at Willow. It started with a personalized menu and ended with german chocolate cake!! Each course was mouthwatering, inventive, and artistic which provoked great conversation amongst the other attendees. The owners were personable and meticulous with their presentations of each course and wine pairing! It was a great experience through and through and we loved it! Book a seat and let them wine and dine you. You won't be disappointed.
Wonderful dining experience. Great food and wines with excellent descriptions of all beverages (including beers) and dishes served presented by a charming front man while we could watch the chef busily preparing our meal in the kitchen. It was such a delightful and satisfying experience that I came home and immediately made a reservation for my friend to take me there in a few weeks for my birthday celebration!
The only slightly negative thing is the sleep, narrow stairs that must be navigated to get to and to leave from the upstairs space.
Willow is a unique dining experience. The Menu is always changing and the multiple course dinner is exceptionally well thought out. The staff will craft meals to avoid food allergies. A lady beside us said "she didn't like mushrooms". She devoured every bite of the dish containing the 'shrooms. This is currently the best restaurant in the Portland area IMO.
Willow is awesome, I have been here twice. Both times were for special occasions, birthdays, and each meal was an experience. I went with my sister, but this is mostly a couples show, not that you will care because you will be distracted by the well prepared food and the the particular personalities of the two guys holding down the restaurant. I'm not much of a drinker but even I enjoyed their unique beverage pairings if you decide to opt in they have two wine pairing options, a beer pairing and a non alcoholic pairing option. They really care about their craft and your dining experience, going to great lengths to accommodate their guests.Each time I have gone one or more of the guests have some diet restrictions gluten, meat or otherwise. They get creative, can't have flour based dumplings that's cool they will replace with chickpea flour. If you find that you dislike restaurants with high noise levels and you really just want a quiet relaxing evening this is a place for you. It's intimate,and entertaining without being pretentious. Your host really knows and enjoys talking about what they do ( the other guy prefers to dance in the back) so you can ask away.
The entire experience was outstanding. John and Doug have created a unique dining experience. The 6 course meal was special, unique, expertly prepared, graciously presented with full descriptions of each course along with outstanding wine pairings. The flavors and textures were expertly combined in each course. And the uniqueness of each was only surpassed by the next course. The setting is small and cozy - very enjoyable. You know from the start that the meal it is all about the food. Wonderful way to celebrate our 50th anniversary of our engagement.
Unique and wonderful dining experience. Only 12 chairs at a beautiful oak counter upstairs in a house, 2 owners right there serving, cooking and giving details. Fresh terrific food, great flavors and execution. Head to living room for coffee. Highly recommend.
NYC food snobs say: Just Go! We were in Portland for five says and happily had heard about Willow and made a reservation. We had healthy expectations based on reviews but it far exceeded them. These two guys are doing something that is quite extraordinary. The whole setting is unique - small group of diners, the two owners serve, explain, cook, cleanup, intimate. The food is amazingly creative. Flavors you would never think to put together. Textures. Presentation. We kept proclaiming each course our new favorite - the turkey confit has now ruined me on any other turkey. I don't know how long they can keep this up; it is labor intensive and under priced. But I am just happy we got to experience it.
Flavorful, thoughtful food that is fresh and creative. Portions are sufficient for someone with a big appetite. Friendly atmosphere, great for learning more about local cuisine and ingredients. Much less pretentious than some other tasting menu experiences, focus really is on food and guests' experience.
Very unique dining experience - bar setup in a converted residence, intimate setting for guests and service, carefully planned menu and pairing (wine, reserve wine, beer, and non-alcoholic options). I think this is a steal of an experience, being very economically priced for what you are getting. Get in before they decide to scale up and/or raise prices! Came with my brother, his girlfriend, and my cousin - we had a GREAT time!!
Absolutely sublime experience. This is not to be missed. It is like being invited into a friend’s, that happens to be a gourmet chef, dinner party. You feel welcome and cozy but also a little awkward as you are dining with people you don’t know. The ambiance is warm and seating is close but not too close. It’s close enough that by the time the 1st course is served you’ve gotten to know some of the other guests a bit better and the conversation starts to flow across all the diners, regardless of who came with whom. The food is so creative and flavorful, every bite was an unexpected mouth present. I hope to dine at Willow again in the near future and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
John and Doug are masters of inventive foods, surprising with simple ingredients that are finished in brilliant combinations. They cook with the seasons, so for this meal, mushrooms and squash, deliciously combined, were the headlines. I'm a vegetarian and the accommodations had my meat-eating friends looking on jealously! I can't recommend this lovely place enough. There are two seatings each evening, 6:00 and 8:30. By the end, you are invited into their living room for coffee and a lovely treat.
Absolutely loved our experience at Willow. We didn't know what to expect and, admittedly, it was a hint surprising walking in, but quickly became a very pleasant surprise. The food was amazing. We both loved the wine and beer tastings. Can't wait to go back!
Overall pleased with the dining experience and tasting menus. As it's a tasting menu only, you should be familiar with the concept to understand Course size and process. The Chef was both attentive and concersational, which should be the standard during a Chef table seating.
As is common with many tasting menus in the Portland, it appears that as most are not accustomed to the style of meal, many of the diners finished a course quickly and did not enjoy the process. The first three courses felt rushed, as in no pause between courses to enjoy the wine or concersation. I don't know if this was to the desire of the chef or simply his attempt to keep up with the pace of the crowd. A tasting menu is about the food, the wine, and the atmosphere as much as it about the experience with whosever you are dining with. Good overall experience, just rushed.
This has got to be one of the most amazing and unique dining experiences EVER!! The menu and wine pairings were absolutely superb. The lighting and music really helped set the tone and made me feel extremely comfortable and ready to indulge. Everything experienced that evening has left a lasting impression on me. Will definitely be returning again in the near future.
Absolutely amazing as always. The sheer quality of food coupled with the intriguingly flat yet welcoming presentation of showrunner/chef John leads to an ultimately ASTONISHING meal presented with seasonal, exciting dishes full of flavor and panache without the pretentiousness that one might expect from a restaurant of this ilk. There is no showboating here except in the dishes themselves; A particularly INSANE recreation of an "avocado toast" involving pickled avocado halves being reconstituted into a whole and then filled with an egg yolk and fried in toasted coconut was presented without a hint of tongue-in-cheek irony (it was insanely delicious, by the way).
John comes to check on you during each course. If you just wanna say "it's great," and move on that's fine; If you want to ask him how they made the tomato sauce for a particular dish he might damn near give you the recipe. He will personally call you prior to your reservation and ask if anyone in my party has any allergies; When I told him my mother was going gluten-free he and chef Doug went out of their way to make a completely different dish JUST FOR MY MOTHER during a prix fixe dinner.
$50 and, if you'd like, a $22-50 beverage pairing. AT MOST you're talking $100/person plus tip for one of the most exciting and fulfilling meals/experiences you will ever have in your life.
Our host/chef, Jon was just amazing. Things that you wouldn't think would blend together, melt in your month, and fullied the palate as well as the other four senses, giving "joy" with each bite. The casual attire and surroundings allows one to relax and appreciate the what can be done with food in small portions. The opportunity to met perfectly new strangers and leave as friends is just wonderful. My hat is off the owner(s) and staff that made this dinner a life remembering event.
My husband and I began our trip to Portland with this lovely meal prepared for us by fabulously talented chefs. They described the dishes in detail and even let us know where the local ingredients were sourced. The portion sizes and wine pairings were perfect, we left feeling satisfied and happy. I cannot recommend this experience enough!
These guys throw a dinner party nightly for 12 friends. True professionals and great food to boot. My only complaint is that it is difficult to get reservations as the general public is recognizing the value and quality of this experience.
Young chef/owners. Great concept/experience. 11 seats at a counter per sitting. Don't be late. Food has great heart from enthusiastic and passionate chefs. They're still learning so the quality and creativity are uneven. But when the dish hits, like the fried avocado with egg yolk, it's Michelin star worthy. Completely underpriced. I mean, 6 labor intensive dishes for $50. I gave a big tip to compensate. Pairings are good, but at least one person in your party has to try the very creative and inspired non-alcohol pairing. Foodies need to support restaurants like Willow and the chefs that own them!
Let me preface our review by saying that despite having eaten at plenty of memorable restaurants, neither of us have felt so strongly about a place to leave a review, until now. Willow is an incredible restaurant in every way, unique to Portland. Discovering Willow in its unsuspecting location in a humble neighborhood made us immediately feel like we had found a treasure. By the end of our evening, we had confirmation of that feeling. John, one of the restaurant's two co-founders and chefs, was waiting to greet us at the top of the stairs and sat us at the end of the L-shaped bar, the backside of which was open to the kitchen entrance and provided space for the chefs to walk in and out of the kitchen, plate our courses in front of us, and serve each very well-thought-out and perfectly executed dish along with its lovely description. The particular aromas of each course being prepared, often lost in larger establishments, were equally comforting--like relaxing in your mother's kitchen as she is making dinner while you get to sit back and chat with family and friends--and exciting. At the end of the meal, we were able to hang out for a bit in the sitting area, enjoying homemade candy and coffee while chatting with our new friends. Each dish was the best we've ever had, and we're so happy to have found out about this little gem while making our plans for Portland. Do not miss out if you appreciate amazing food! The entire experience was second to none!
Tasting menue resturant in casual atmosphere. The food though seem simple executed to perfection . Sea trout and chicken dishes on menue great example of how let the ingrediants shine with out unecessary imbelishments can make dish perfect. The food preparation service and interaction with 10 guests, intimatly seated at shefs counter, are all done by 3 shefs themselfs creating casual social atmosphere. If you want a truly portland expeeiance of casual fine dining visit willow
This was a top-ten best meal of our marriage so far. We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary here last Friday and it was fantastic. The entire experience was so unique, delicious and just perfect! We were visiting Portland from out of town for the weekend, but we'd recommend Willow for tourists and locals alike. We've never had an experience like it, and we wish we had a Willow back home in Minnesota now!!
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