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Portland is awesome for many reasons: Livability, nature, design AND DINING MONTH. During the entire month of June more than 80 top-notch restaurants offer three courses for just $29. Unlike the $1 menu at Wendy's, these plates are are filled with mouth happiness.

Price-reduced set menus also allow more people (those without a large dining budget) to try some of the dished from some of the best chefs in the world.

This post is the first in a two-part series by Jedidiah Fugle, who ate at two of Portland's finest.

First up, Genoa. 

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Genoa was here before the food scene was making national attention way back in 1971. Having a milestone birthday? Celebrating a special anniversary? Just won the lottery? Genoa is traditionally expensive, but well worth each dollar spent.

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First Course: Beet cured salmon, nasturtium pesto, brioche

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Second Course: Cappellini – pancetta, broken egg, black pepper

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Third Course: Moulard duck, sumer squash, tomato jam, melted onion

 

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Dessert: Mini Hood strawberry shortcake

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From Genoa's website: Genoa is a culinary crossroads where the Pacific Northwest intersects with masterful rustic and modern Italian cuisine. The Italian eatery has a rich heritage of acclaimed chefs including Cathy Whims, John Taboada, Tommy Habetz, Daniel Mondok and David Anderson. That tradition continues as Chef Jake Martin’s five-course tasting menu changes monthly and is approached with thoughtful playfulness, reinvigorated energy and seasonality.  Chef Martin runs a collaborative kitchen where the best ingredients and techniques are employed to offer a complex menu with balanced plates full of peaks, valleys and complexity. The menu is expertly paired with a carefully curated list of wines that complement Genoa’s nuanced flavors.

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Local hint: If you're here any other month but June and are on a budget, try Accanto next door to its big sister Genoa. The menu is filled with Italian surprises, but is much more informal. Brunch is your best time to taste everything.

Next up: Biwa.