Named in honor of Abigail Scott Duniway, local icon and suffragist, The Duniway Portland offers luxurious boutique accommodations in the heart of Portland’s business and entertainment district. Within a few blocks walk, you’ll find yourself at the picturesque waterfront where festivals and concerts are common, as is yoga in the park, a children’s splash fountain, and gorgeous views of Mount Hood in the distance.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the concierge and reception and couldn’t help but admire the sophisticated and welcoming lobby. There’s plenty of cozy seating, as well as a coffee bar and wine bar neighboring in-house Jackrabbit Restaurant. Though the hotel is in a popular neighborhood, the lobby and main level offered a quiet retreat to immediately feel relaxed and at home.
My pampering had only just begun, as guestrooms at The Duniway provide luxurious Waldorf Astoria bedding, contemporary and chic décor with a flare of local culture, and plenty of amenities including a mini-fridge, in-room espresso maker, monstrous 65” HDTV, and comfortable seating and work areas. Plus, with the ideal downtown location, top floors offer fabulous views of the city.
Business guests will appreciate the availability of on-site printing and copying services. Leisure guests will want to take advantage of the heated indoor lap pool and a fitness center with plenty of cardio and strength training equipment. Nearby attractions include Portland’s Chinese Classical Gardens, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry), Oregon Zoo, Portland Art Museum, Rose Gardens, and many more family friendly activities. On-site parking is a breeze, with self park and valet options in an attended garage. There are also several light rail options just around the corner, and PDX airport is just 30 minutes away. Our drive time from Seattle was less than three hours.
There is an endless variety of food and beverage options neighboring The Duniway, but one must-try venue is the on-site Jackrabbit Restaurant. Inspired by “Top Chef Masters” winner Chris Cosentino, the menu features shared plates and local ingredients from breakfast through late dinner. Chef Cosentino and Chef DiMinno highlight Pacific Northwest options with a creative culinary twist.
My partner and I visited Jackrabbit during lunch and there was a pleasant buzz of activity with other diners enjoying their meals, a little light music to add to the atmosphere, and the perfect amount of sunlight streaming through street-front windows. Our server shared a few specials of the day along with menu highlights, and we ordered a nice variety of dishes to share and sample.
For light starters, you’ll find Pig’s Ears with herbs and lime and a seasonal Bruschetta, but we couldn’t resist the Toasted Nuts & Herbs with smoked almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews with sage and rosemary. We also enjoyed a wonderfully fresh Little Gems salad with strawberries. Of note, Jackrabbit Restaurant is the only venue in the United States to house a Bertha Oven—a charcoal oven designed and made in the UK—so I was excited to try the Charcoal Roasted Fish. During our visit, the daily catch was rainbow trout and we both loved the flaky, tender texture and taste resulting from the charcoal roast. We also shared Grandma Rosalie’s Italian Dip, a hearty meatball, provolone, and marinara sandwich. For sides, we sampled Lemon Ash Potatoes, Duck Fat Cauliflower with chili, garlic, and mint, and Gnocchi with sage and brown butter.
There’s a beautiful flavor palette at Jackrabbit and the bounty of local ingredients is presented in creative, crave-worthy dishes. Based on the rainbow trout alone I’m already thinking of my next visit to this new Portland restaurant and I’m certainly not alone in that verdict. I overheard guests at the table behind us raving about how this was their second time dining here in less than twenty-four hours. I don’t blame them. Jackrabbit is new to downtown Portland, but I suspect their reputation in the making will soon mean reservations are a must. One thing’s for sure: Jackrabbit Restaurant and The Duniway Portland make an excellent pairing for a weekday or weekend retreat.
Lobby image © The Duniway. All other images © CT Shier.