: Decarli by Justin Bailie

Five Top Italian Spots in the Tualatin Valley

Savor special occasion dining, casual pasta nights and Tuscan-inspired wines.
March 4, 2024

Italian food is soul-satisfying all year round, from warm sunny days to dark rainy nights. One of the best places to enjoy this inviting cuisine is Tualatin Valley, just minutes west of Portland, which is home to a thriving community of restaurants and wineries steeped in Italian tradition. Here are five Tualatin Valley hot spots where you can twirl handmade pastas, savor a slice of hand-tossed pizza or sip complex sangiovese — no international flight required.

Decarli (Photo by Justin Bailie)

Classic Meets Inventive at this Date Night Hot Spot

Each dish at downtown Beaverton’s Decarli delivers on the restaurant’s promise of rustic yet sophisticated cuisine. Husband-and-wife team Jana and Paul Decarli dish up crowd-pleasing plates like bruschetta with seasonal vegetables, pizza topped with shaved fennel and pistachio panna cotta dotted with fresh berries.

With Swiss and American influences, the menu includes classic Italian dishes like pasta and hand-thrown pizza alongside meatier choices like wild-boar ragu and beef short ribs bathed in espresso. Don’t miss the wide assortment of scrumptious desserts, too, like house-made gelato. Featuring tall ceilings and exposed brick, the large new location is a great setting for both large group meals and date nights alike. Or drop in for happy hour and soak in the atmosphere at the comfortable bar. 

Don’s Favorite Foods (Photo by Carter Hiyama)

A Prix-Fixe Fine Dining Experience Highlights All Don’s Favorite Foods

Fans of Portland’s Burger Stevens will be pleased to learn the “Don” of downtown Beaverton’s new Don’s Favorite Foods is Don Salamone, the chef behind the highly lauded burger cart. While he’s become known locally for his tasty cheeseburgers, his newest project is a prix-fixe, fine dining restaurant that harkens back to his experience in fine dining and the Italian cuisine from his childhood. 

Served in an intimate setting, the menu at Don’s Favorite Foods includes Salamone’s take on Italian- and French-inspired dishes — and it changes monthly, so you’ll have plenty of reasons to come again and again. Dishes draw from Salamone’s family recipes, such as his mother’s eggplant parmesan and his family’s layered cassata. Sommelier Adam Galbraith has designed a carefully curated cocktail and wine menu to pair with each evening’s menu. Reservations are required.

Brooklyn Trattoria

Experience Italian-American Vibes in Bethany

When you walk into Brooklyn Trattoria in Bethany, a friendly community in north Beaverton, you might feel as if you’ve been transported across the country. Each detail of the restaurant adds to the cozy atmosphere reminiscent of Little Italy, from the authentic, upscale Italian fare to the string lights that make you feel as if you’re dining at a late-night bistro table.

While the atmosphere may send you elsewhere, the locally sourced ingredients and hand-selected regional wine bring the culinary experience back to Oregon. Choose between classic dishes such as lasagna, seasonal ravioli or osso buco. Or opt for saffron seafood linguine and veal piccata. While the intimate lighting and modern flair make this a great location for a night out with your sweetie, it also caters to the whole family with a kids menu and gluten-free options. 

Dine Al Fresco on a Dog-Friendly Patio

Tucked in the heart of Old Town Sherwood, Mason specializes in fresh pasta, seafood and imported wines, though the menu features other Northern Italian-style cuisine alongside some classic French menu items, such as escargot and coq au vin. 

Aside from the restaurant’s delectable menu, visitors return to Mason again and again for staff that treat you like family and an extensive wine menu, featuring Italian favorites such as barbera alongside local choices like malbec from Sherwood’s J. Rallison Cellars. On sunny days, enjoy an Italian soda on the dog-friendly patio seating while nibbling on a dessert, including the not-to-be-missed cake of the week. 

Apolloni Vineyards

Play Bocce While Sipping Sangiovese

Alfredo Apolloni developed his passion for wine growing upon his family’s vineyard in Italy. Today, he melds that love with a deep appreciation for his current home in Oregon at Apolloni Vineyards, which creates authentic Italian-style wines made from locally grown grapes. The Forest Grove winery sources fruit from the Pacific Northwest to craft limited-production warm-climate wines, including sangiovese and nebbiolo. You can taste these Italian favorites along with Oregon’s noteworthy varieties, such as pinot noir and chardonnay. 

Grab a bite and sample all of Apolloni’s creations with a flight at their tasting room, which has both indoor and outdoor seating. Or buy a bottle and bring a picnic to spend a sunny afternoon at its bocce courts, where children and well-behaved leashed dogs can join the fun. Walk-ins are welcome at the tasting room, but the bocce ball courts require reservations. Check the winery’s calendar for fun events throughout the year.

About The

Emily Gillespie
Emily Gillespie is a travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, CNN Travel and Afar magazine. She’s lived in three of Oregon’s seven regions, currently calling Portland home. She and her husband look for every opportunity to hike to a view, bike through wine country and eat their way through a new city.

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