Portland >Higgins Restaurant and Bar
Absolutely one of Portlands best restaurants.. Higgins is an institution, it doesn't really need my further support with an online review, but I can't help but mention how amazing dining here is. I've come to rely on a wonderful ambiance, knowledgeable staff, and excellent service every time. The food is universally exquisite and the menu rotates a bit, so I recommend repeat visits. I would specifically recommend (if they have it) the Whole Pig Plate, or really any special (fish especially.) Additionally, the bar/bistro has a terrific menu that is less expensive, but includes an awesome open-faced pastrami and a tasty sirloin burger. Dessert is always a pleasure. If you're looking for a more specific dish recommendations, just ask the wait staff, they have never let me down. Finally, the drink list (wine, beer, liquor) is lengthy and diverse - one of the best selections in town without a question. I am so glad Higgins exists, just thinking about the meals I've had there makes me happy.
Go elsewhere for service. The Wait Staff ruined our experience. Waiter snotty, condescending, overbearing, had to be called every time to get service. Go elsewhere for service. I for one do not believe in paying to be insulted. . Meat was good but side dishes were lacking.
Consistently one of the very best places in Portland..
Hot date or important business, I have never been disappointed. My guests thank me every time for going to this place.
The service is as excellent as the food. If you give them a heads up on the nature of your occasion you will always have a successful experience!
If I could make love to a restaurant.... It would be Higgins. This food is AMAZING, some of the best I've had in Portland. Perfect for a long leisurely lunch, over a bottle of wine, with food meant to savor and share with people you enjoy. The perfect day, and the perfect meal.
JUST GO- you won't be disappointed.
When we first moved to Portland, Papa Hadyn was THE place to go. Everything was prepared with care and was delicious. However, it's just not the same anymore, and I would go as far as to say that Papa is now Poopoo! The same with Portland City Grill! What happened to these once essential Portland establishments? But have no fear, because Higgins is here!
Higgins is the new place that you just HAVE to go! I went there with my sister and both of our meals and desserts were mind boggling! The ingredients are fresh and obviously prepared with care. The flavors are amazing, the technique is phenomenal! I have seen fish prepared so perfectly only once or twice before. The restaurant is lively, but quiet enough to have a normal volume conversation without having noise intrude. The staff is wonderfully pleasant, attentive (but not overly so), and graceful in their manner. The whole experience was very comfortable, and elegant at the same time.
If you have out of town guests, someone you want to make a good impression on (by the way, this would be a killer impressive date pick!), important clients, or are just looking for excellent fare in a stellar establishment, just go to Higgins.
make reservations. It's best to make reservations, it's a small place with a great ambience. It's work casual to a romantic dinner. It's pricey but well worth it for great hospitality and a full tummy!
Charming and comforting atmosphere with excellent service.. We went out for our anniversary and I was not dissappointed. The staff was very friendly and personable; we were treated as if we dined there frequently when it was only our first visit there. The menu is limited but the choices are exceptional. My husband had the duck, which is an item he orders often, and said it was the Best he'd ever had. Also the portions are not small as you might expect with fine dining; my husband was very full and he is hard to fill. I enjoyed the sturgeon which was very flavorful and served with roasted root vegetables. The vegetables were roasted to perfection, very sweet. The sturgeon was cook perfectly; it was juicy and well seasoned. They also offer a decent wine and beer selection. There are plenty of local wines to choose from as well, which I always enjoy.
Nice Decor, Good Desserts, Small Menu. The ambiance was lovely . . . multi-levels give the very small space a larger feel. But when the waiter sets down an item entree menu the place suddenly gets even smaller. This is not a place for finicky eaters. I'll try pretty much anything and even I was having trouble finding something on the menu. Luckily there were three specials that offered more normal choices: a salmon, a flat iron steak (too much salt), and a lamb shank (mine are better). The presentation of the food was gorgeous. The beef steak tomatoes with fresh mozzerella for an appetizer was fantastic; a stack of yellow, green, red, sun-dried, and cherry tomaoes, topped with with fresh mozzerella and drizzled with balsamic vinegar was good to the last bite. So I guess I could say the bookends were the highlights of my meal, because the homemade ice cream and sorbet for dessert were fantastic: real chocolate ice cream and a crisp fresh sorbet. I would return for appetizers and dessert, but only with one or two other people because the space is kind of tight. And don't bring children.
Will not be returning.
I will first of all say that the desserts were really outstanding. Unfortunately that's not enough to get me to ever return to this restaurant. My husband and I tried it the first time about 7 years ago and were extremely disappointed. At a friend?s urging we returned last weekend and were again disappointed.
Service: the service was dreadful. We were with a very large group and I believe our server had decided that since he was getting his tip no matter what he would just barely serve us. My husband had to call him back so that he could order. We told him that we did not need him to explain the "big words", as he put it, on the menu, but he carried on with a demeaning explanation anyway. He came back to check on our food, um..Oh that's right, never.
Food: the appetizers were quite good, though I felt the caprese was a little overloaded with olive oil. The bread was outstanding, though I understand it comes from Ken's. Of the 13 people at our table, 1 person was satisfied with their meal. The special was covered in a relish of some sort that was made primarily of vinegar, the taste of which was overwhelming. The duck, which I had, was simply terrible. The duck was tough, the sauce was completely lackluster, the poached peach was drowning in the taste of the wine it was poached in, and the potatoes were so hard after one bite I was afraid I would chip a tooth.
Bill: the bill was not outrageous given the "reputation" of the restaurant, but given our experience the bill was very steep. Our server in no way deserved the 18% tip that he automatically received.
In conclusion, we will not be returning.
Again, a Delightful Experience.
My husband and I dined at Higgins last night after a great deal of hesitation. I had read mixed reviews on line and came close to making another establishment our choice for the evening as we had not been to Higgins for a year or so. Finally we thought, damn the reviews, lets decide for ourselves. And are we ever glad we did. Everything was as we had recalled only better because we were enjoying it in the now. The service was excellent and food, fresh, innovative and beautifully presented. One reviewer talked of the proximity of the tables to one another. I can see where the 4 tops might seem a bit tightly spaced but for couples there are a number of 2 tops that offer a great deal more intimacy than most restaurants these days. The dining room was full and the acoustics were fine....we did not think it was overly loud. Portions were plentiful and the salad and beet soup were wonderful starters. We did feel guily turning down dessert but I told the waiter I had a huge birthday cake at home taking up entirely too much real estate in my refrigerator we we had to decline. He was gracious and had just the right amount of wit and smile.
We would recommend Higgins to anyone looking for the type of cuisine and experience Higgins offers consistently.
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