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3 Doors Down


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#1 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:57 AM

I searched on three. doors. and down and could not find a thread for this restaurant, so I'm going to start one. Last night's dinner...

Last night Loofahgirl and I decided to grab a quick bite to eat around 7:30, but neither of us wanted anything too big. We were at my apartment so we started running down the names of places (or lack there of) to eat at on Hawthorne. She had never been to 3DD, so we decided to sit at the bar and just get appetizers. Not much on the menu really appealed to me last night, so even though itís not an appetizer, I decided to get the penne pasta with the vodka cream sauce and sausage. I know theyíre famous for this dish but this was the first time Iíve ordered it. I actually thought it was the best dish Iíve had there in a couple of years. Normally when I go there I either get a fish filet or a piece of meat and lately Iíve been pretty disappointed. But the pasta and sausage last night were very good with nice flavor to both the sauce and the meat.

This is my fall back place for dinner when I donít want to travel very far and now I know what Iím going to be ordering there.

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

"I'm not a picky eater, but I'm picky about what I eat." ~ Me

#2 hatchetface

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:39 PM

i like this place a lot. it is probably my favorite in town for pasta.

love the vodka penne - but i'm not wild about the sausage. too lean & too fine of a grind for my personal taste.

very comfortable space. always enjoy good cocktails, & very friendly service. their wine list is not bad, either.

#3 machinefunk

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:13 PM

I had one of my best meals of 2007 on December 28th @ Three Doors Down. GREAT service, great drinks, and amazing food served in a perfectly timed order throughout a 4 hour experience.

This was probably my 4th time dining there and I realized that its been consistently great every time.

I really dont understand why this place gets so little attention from the local Portland food media. Probably because they dont do alot of adverstising :(

#4 greycoral

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:54 PM

When we first moved here, our realtor bought us a GC for Three Doors Down, and so we went down to check it out. Everything was so great from the food to the service. We haven't been back yet since I started working nights again, but I would definitely do it in a heartbeat.
--Coral

#5 EatinMachine

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:42 PM

Seems to me they don't need any attention from the local media. They are always pretty crowded when I go there. I''m a sucker for their penne with vodka sauce and the Seafood Fra Diavlo. Good drinks and a more than decent wine list. A little loud at times, but that's about the only negative I can think of.

#6 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:54 PM

Merged topics.

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

"I'm not a picky eater, but I'm picky about what I eat." ~ Me

#7 Laksa

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 09:10 PM

We had not been here for years but went in on st patrick's day, liked the looks of the menu, hated the drunk crowd, and decided to return, which finally happened. It was terrific.

We had soup, a smoked salmon crostini kind of thing, Caesar's salad, pasta with vegetables, and gnocchi with mushrooms and cream. Everything was great--the salad had all the anchovy and garlic anyone could ask for and the smoked salmon and the pasta were really, really good. Service was efficient and straightforward.

Best of all were the prices. This place is a very solid value. Portions are generous. You can split any of the dishes two ways and still walk out stuffed.

But comparing three doors down to other places I like is a bit of a puzzle. It's more down to earth than cafe Castegna or Nostrana, but since neitherr of those places puts on any airs that doesn't say much. Firehouse isn't a terrible point of comparison but 3DD doesn't do the wood oven thing. I liked it way better than Country Cat or Observatory or belly Timber.

Well worth a visit.

#8 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:56 AM

I deleted Laska's double post ;)

Although this does remind me that I haven't been in there for dinner in quite awhile...

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

"I'm not a picky eater, but I'm picky about what I eat." ~ Me

#9 jennifer

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 02:28 PM

I like their arancini and vodka penne. This is someplace I go when I have the rare red-sauce craving.

#10 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 09:39 AM

I hadn't planned on going out for dinner last night as it was suppose to be the maiden voyage for my new cast iron grill pan, but by the time I got home it was a little after 7:00 and I just wasn't in the mood to cook. I decided to go over to 3 Doors Down with the intention of just having an appetizer and a glass of wine. Unbeknownst to me, they are now doing a happy hour menu all night Tuesday - Thursday and Sundays that was fairly extensive and nothing on it was priced over $10.

Last night I ordered a martini that was actually so large I couldn't finish it, the zuppa de mare for my dinner and a glass of wine to go with it all for $19 before tip. The seafood and the sauce were good and a nice sized portion for me. To make this dinner for most folks though, you'd probably want to add a salad or at least an order of bread, both of which I believe were in the $3 - $4 range. They also have a half order of the penne with vodka sauce on there and from overhearing someone else's conversation, it sounds like they are switching up the menu fairly often. It was a pretty good deal and something I'll be back to check out again.

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

"I'm not a picky eater, but I'm picky about what I eat." ~ Me

#11 jennifer

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:47 PM

Their sommelier (same person as owner?) was just written up in the May issue of Saveur magazine for outstanding picks at affordable prices.

#12 ExtraMSG

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

http://www.oregonliv...doors_down.html

In a business where the tide goes in and out constantly -- and where lately it's been constantly heading out -- 15 years is a big birthday for a restaurant. It's an even bigger birthday for a seafood dish whose tide seems never to go out.

Over the past decade and a half, diners have steadily streamed into 3 Doors Down, knowing that the menu would always feature Seafood Fra Diavolo, shellfish snuggled into fettucine in a tomato sauce with a perceptible chile kick. The serving is sizable, the shrimp, scallops and clams are gently cooked, the noodles slick with the acidic tomato bite, and, seeing how tired people can get of cake, it's apparently an ideal dish for a 15th birthday party.


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#13 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:05 PM

http://www.oregonliv...doors_down.html

In a business where the tide goes in and out constantly -- and where lately it's been constantly heading out -- 15 years is a big birthday for a restaurant. It's an even bigger birthday for a seafood dish whose tide seems never to go out.

Over the past decade and a half, diners have steadily streamed into 3 Doors Down, knowing that the menu would always feature Seafood Fra Diavolo, shellfish snuggled into fettucine in a tomato sauce with a perceptible chile kick. The serving is sizable, the shrimp, scallops and clams are gently cooked, the noodles slick with the acidic tomato bite, and, seeing how tired people can get of cake, it's apparently an ideal dish for a 15th birthday party.

Right on! I freaking love that place! Beverage list puts my vote over the top. Fair pricing, too.
Why don't I go more often???
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#14 ooray

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:38 AM

Went here for the happy hour and left pretty happy. My friend got the tuna stuffed piquillo pepper and a beer, I got the pasta w/ vodka sauce, my partner got a bibb salad and the zuppa di mare...all really good stuff.

Not super cheap, but the quality was really good for the price. $46 for us including drinks.

Nice to know it's available all night tues thru thurs, and sunday night as well.

#15 WAfoodie

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:11 PM

Went there last year and enjoyed the Seafood Fra Diavolo as well....glad to hear they are still going strong and serving this signature dish. Wish they were in my neighborhood.

#16 Jamesongrrl

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:46 PM

For all those who love it-
Happy Hour- ALL NIGHT LONG- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Martini's $5, house wine $4.5 and a long list of food items ranging from $3 to $10.

I had a margarita special, a glass of the red, bread & spread for appetizer, grilled corn on the cob and bowl of the infamous pasta with vodka sauce all for $26.

Definitely a good spot to hit for those on a budget but want good food and a glass of wine to go with it.
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#17 Jill-O

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:31 AM

Wow, a 6 year old thread with no posts for the last 4 years or so...almost fitting for a place that has quietly been rocking it out on a side street off of SE Hawthorne for the last 20 years or so.

 

Sue used to go there years ago and I had never been and we were looking for something different, a place we hadn't been to before, at least together, and not too far from home.

 

It was crowded, and considering they do a great happy hour menu on Sunday (as well as pretty much all night Tues. -Thurs.) that's not surprising. Jamesongrrl's post up above this one still rings true.

 

We looked at the menu and though we found things that interested us all over the menu, we kept coming back to the Portland Dining Month Special - 3 courses for $29. For a place where pastas are $18-25 and where entrees run $21-35...it was too good a deal to pass up - plus the pastas sounded good. We could not, however, overlook the $10 Silvies Valley Ranch beef carpaccio...so we added that to our dinner choices.

 

The dinner deal choices were: (I copied and pasted fromt he downtownportland.org site - but corrected the dessert choice to what we were offered)

 

First Course (choose one):
Fried eggplant caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil
-or-
Roasted portobello and Black Sheep Creamery cheese crepe

  • Second Course (choose one):
    Lamb ragù with fresh English peas and mint baked with orecchiette pasta
    -or
    Artichokes pan-roasted with capers, basil, lemon and Parmesan with bucatini pasta
  • Dessert (choose one):
    House-made cannoli
    -or-
    A selection of Batchpdx chocolates Grand Marnier rice pudding with sliced strawberries and whipped cream

So we decided to order one of everything and share it all, along with the carpaccio, cocktails, and wine. Yes, this meant that our meal cost a bit more than twice the dining deal special, but we weren't necessarily there for a cheap dinner, we were there for a good dinner...and our expectations were exceeded.

 

We started with amaretto sours. They make their own sour base from blood oranges, so the drinks are a festive pink - and they are on the sweet side, but amaretto sours generally are anyway. They were really good, not my usual drink order but a guilty pleasure and the execution was very good. I'd try other cocktails there, for sure. They bring a really delicious warm white bean spread (garlicky and with rosemary) with their very good bread and we enoyed this with our cocktails as we finalized our dinner decisions.

 

We decided to start with the carpaccio (and yes, thanks to our server for asking how we wanted our meal coursed out) and asked for a red wine pairing. The carpaccio was tender and beefy, a squiggle of garlicky aioli was on the meat and then a generous serving of perfectly lemony-dressed arugula on top, and nice thick shaved pieces of parmesan on top of that. Our pairing was a lighter red than I might have chosen, but it was the right choice (Silvies raises their cattle to a younger age, it is more like veal than older beef - and so, the lighter red made sense.Sue and I have visited that ranch and I wrote about it here:  http://portlandfood....s-valley-ranch/ - no kidding, happy cows=tasty beef)

 

Didn't keep track of our glass pours, sorry - but they ranged from around $8 to $12 and there were some very nice selections. Our waiter gave great advice at every turn and all of our pairings last night were spot on recs.

 

Then we moved on to the apps. The crepe with Black Sheep Creamery cheese and mushrooms was delicious - crispy crepe, salty cheese, earthy mushrooms. We both liked the crepe a lot, but we agreed that the real winner was the eggplant - a crispy breaded and fried disc of eggplant topped with halved cherry tomatoes and chunks of mozzarella that were perfectly dressed in a very basil-forward vinaigrette - crispy, hot, juicy, cool, herby, vinegar tang - great balance. And like the arugula on the carpaccio - just a perfectly balanced dressing, in the perfect amount. I'd probably never order this given other choices, and that's what, I feel, makes for a great set meal like this - something I might never choose to order is so good that I might actually order it given the chance next time. We finished the wine with these apps, and the wine did great double duty for us.

 

Then the pasta main courses came. Wow - they do not hold back for the $29 deal, as we received very large plates of food. Each plate really held a double serving and right now I am pissed that I left our leftovers in the fridge at home, or I would be enjoying one of them for lunch today. Sigh. Oh well, tomorrow is  another day.  ;o)

 

The pasta were both really good. The bucatini with artichokes, capers, basil, bread crumbs, parmesan was really delicious - like an artichoke picatta on pasta - the pasta was cooked perfectly, just enough sauce, plenty of artichoke and capers - garlicky, lemony, salty, herby...delicious. The lamb ragu was ground lamb and peas and carrots and mint - though it wasn't orrechiette, it was shells. Nice choice as the small shell-shaped pasta held lamb and peas and carrots in every bite. Nice supporting fresh herbiness from mint, some cheese added from the table (nice that they bring you some pepper flakes and cheese to add to your pasta) rounded it all out. Not saucy, very slightly brothy, and though the dish looked a bit bare, the flavor was big enough to make you forget that. We got a couple of glasses of bigger reds, a blend (merlot/syrah + two Italian varietals I never heard of) and a barbaresco - and both were very good, and were good paired with both pastas - we shared the wines as well as the pastas.

 

We though we had stopped eating the pasta in time to save enough room for dessert...but we should have stopped a but sooner.  ;o)  We soldiered on, though!  ;o)

 

We guessed that, although we thought we might share the desserts, that Sue would prefer the cannoli and I would prefer the rice pudding...well, Sue preferred the rice pudding, and I liked them both equally. I decided to go with a pairing of a 10 year tawny Kopke (which also did well with the cannoli), and Sue had a Spanish coffee. She was disappointed that the flaming of the booze did not happen at the table, but they top it with a housemade whipped cream, so that happens at the bar and it comes to the table sans flames...you are warned.  It was a very good Spanish coffee though, nonetheless.  I don't know why Sue didn't like the cannoli - I thought it was very good - a bit sweeter on the filling than it should be, but that is a minor quibble - they fill them to order, and the shell was crisp and filling tasty. The rice pudding was an excellent version - very thick, lots of rice, really rich and the fresh strawberries were a great juicy/tangy/sweet partner to the rich pudding. The whipped cream on top was gilding the lily, but I am not complaining.

 

So yeah, lots of wine/drinks add-ons for the Dining Month special as described above (plus the carpaccio), brought us to a bill of just shy of $150. Oh well, it doesn't change the fact that the $29 deal is, in fact, a great value here. You have about 6 more days to take advantage of it - and I suggest that you do.

 

And if you want a great deal here after June is over, hit that happy hour - you can still order dishes off the regular menu if you sit in the bar area/room...so you can add on that carpaccio, if you want.  ;o)


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