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“Fun and unique”

Mediterranean Exploration Company
Ranked #13 of 4,850 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$60
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: A restaurant serving innovative cuisine from the eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Drawing from extensive research and travels to Israel and surrounding areas, the menu features exceptional plates that are culturally diverse yet cohesive, paying tribute to the exploration of people across the Mediterranean throughout history. In an open and vibrant atmosphere with an industrial-meets-refined décor in Portland's Pearl District, M.E.C. encourages family-style dining and features a playful beverage program with nods to the flavors of the Mediterranean.
Reviewed 20 September 2018 via mobile

Stopped in around 5:30 on a weeknight and were seated right away despite not having a reservation. Service was excellent - attentive but not hovering. We decided to order a la carte instead of doing the $50 pp tasting menu. Between two of us, we ordered the challah, falafel, mujadarra, lamb kebab and octopus. The falafel and lamb were out of this world. The mujaddara and challah were very good and the octopus I thought was just OK. We could have gotten away with ordering one fewer items. Baklava made with pistachios and hazelnuts for dessert was the perfect finish. Definitely a special occasion kind of place, but ultimately worth the $$$. However, on the check you are expected to tip both the server and the “kitchen staff.” Which is weird and at this price seems a bit nickel-and-dimey. Not the best way to end a fabulous meal.

Thank SushiFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 16 of 238 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2018

I would have passed on the seasonal Watermelon & Feta Salad because I thought it was too late in the season. But, the waiter suggested it & it was wonderful. We also enjoyed bacon wrapped dates, Muhammara (roasted red pepper spread w/walnuts, pomegranates & molasses) with pita and Kafta (Moroccan meatballs). We sat at a window table & watched people while we enjoyed our small plates. Just wonderful.

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Thank Lynne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2018

This trendy, crowded, noisy restaurant, offers a wide variety of small plates, "Tapas-like" to the happy crowd eating at the tables or those anxiously waiting for a table. Have a tasting mentor $50.00 and a corking fee of $25.00. Good wine list, many cocktails and beers. The food is quite good:the Lamb, the steak, calamari, octopus.....and many others. Service is good, not obtrusive. Reservations needed.

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Thank Carlos A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2018

Our dinner was amazing! Every dish was delicious, interesting and beautifully presented. The cocktail and wine list is fantastic. And the service is attentive, charming, but not invasive. We loved it. A particular favourite was the fried cauliflower with labne - so delicious. We couldn't get a reservation but their website says they always have tables set aside for walk-ins - and it was true! We were seated within minutes on a busy evening. Now I can't imagine visiting Portland without including a trip to MEC.

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1  Thank tartangirl51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2018 via mobile

Small plates that are to die for, a combo of Mediterranean specialties rushed out fresh from the kitchen. Amazing cocktails, friendly service, this is one of my favorite repeat dining experiences when visiting Portland.

Thank FloridaAuthor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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