Food & Drink

From Venice with love, and catfish ravioli

Despite being half a world away, Portland and Venice have a lot in common: both are located between two major rivers, are overflowing with modern art, and have residents who travel by waterway, though Venetians don't get rusty bike chains as a result. Now, they're even more similar, thanks to the arrival of Trattoria Carpaccio

Just opened in the long-vacant digs on MLK & Fremont, Carpaccio's the Portland debut of a Venetian gourmand who racked up Cali cred by running an eatery with Jason "Hair" Priestley before opening this sunny, spacious, 80-seat PDX spot. The menu's as authentically Italian as James CaanSnooki someone actually Italian, with season-specific veggies and meats hitting dishes like catfish ravioli, sea scallops w/ celery root sauce & yellow foot chanterelles (the most cowardly of the foot mushrooms), and made-to-order risottos exploding with sweetbreads, wild mushrooms, prosciutto, and squid. At the bar -- which's topped by an awning made of old barrels -- you can pick from an impressive wine list, sip housemade limoncello, or hold it down with a classy cocktail such as the Carpano Antica/rye Il Padrone, and the gin-loaded Raultini, which Mr. Julia must have been drinking before agreeing to star in Street Fighter

Not content to just dominate dinner, Carpaccio's also offering brunch featuring Italian sausage omelets, plus a daily 4-8p happy hour where mussels, caprese, and chicken marsala are all less than $6 -- ideal if a wet month has you allocating all your funds to bike chains