Updated: December 2017

Simpatica Dining Hall:

For the past year and half my wife and I have been involved with a supper club that we started with 3 other couples that we enjoy eating food with. Each month one couple hosts the dinner at their house and the other couples bring salad, appetizer, or desert. The host is done on a rotating basis so we all get to do something different each month until it repeats itself again. We had a good idea that we should go out one month and enjoy a nice dinner at a supper club style restaurant. We are fortunate to live near Portland, Oregon where food and dining is a mainstay of the city. We found Simpatica Dining Hall, located at 828 SE Ash, to be our choice for this event. Simpatica does an excellent catering business and their dining hall received great reviews from local culinary writers. They host dinners by reservation only on Friday (7:30 PM) and Saturday (7 PM) nights with a brunch on Sunday mornings. The menu is fixed so you don't get to decide on what you are having, but trust me when I say the food is absolutely delicious.

The whole idea behind a supper club experience is that everyone sits down together at the same table and enjoys food and wine over some quality conversation. Simpatica Dining Hall has their restaurant setup with long tables that will accommodate large groups of diners. We had 8 people so we took up our table but some tables had various groups of strangers sitting next to each other for the dining experience. It's a way to get to know your fellow diners over a great meal. The dining hall menu changes each week and they post it online a few days before the meal. The dinners are 4 courses and cost between $40 and $45 per person. You can bring your own wine and their is a corkage fee for doing so. When we went the waiter didn't even charge us for half the wine that we opened which was a nice touch. Their official website is located online HERE - you can make your reservation right online and email to them. What I found unique about the dining experience was that the chef came out during each course and described the ingredients, cooking style, and where they had came from. He even answered a few questions that patrons had about the meal. The kitchen is literally a few steps from the dining hall, but the noise of the diners outweighs any sounds emanating from the kitchen area.

Menu Samples - The Food:

There's no doubt that the food served is of the highest quality and one thing that my wife liked is that the produce is seasonal and locally grown. The night we were there, the lamb they served had been raised in southern Oregon so you know the meals are from loca regions whenever possible. The menu at the time of this article included items like salt cod croquettes with roasted savoy cabbage, pork rillettes with pork-stewed prunes, veal blanquette with baby carrots, chocolate and challah bread pudding, and zuppa di cippole (onion soup). Since the menu changes each week, our supper club will return in a month or so to dine on the new treats that Simpatica creates. The sommelier, or wine steward, will help you pair your wines with the proper parts of the meal which was a nice aspect of dining here.

What Others Have to Say:

Albeit I'm not the most saavy food critic, but others who are culinary experts have had excellent things to say about Simpatica Dining Hall. We found writeups from the USA Today, Bon Apetit Magazine, GQ Magazine, and Portland Monthly. You can find other personal reviews on sites like Citysearch.com, and Yelp.com. As we mentioned above, the noise of the patrons can be a little loud and we found several reviews that noted this and said it was too noisy to enjoy themselves. The food, however, has never been in question and almost all that go to Simpatica Dining Hall appreciate the time and effort put into a good meal.