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Oregon restaurants and wineries
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  • Oregon restaurants and wineries

    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2006, 9:44 am
    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2006, 9:44 am Post #1 - May 2nd, 2006, 9:44 am
    I'm taking a trip out west in the next few weeks, and would love to get some recommendations for great places to eat in Portland and Ashland. Would also love to hear if anyone has recommendations for wineries to visit in Pinot country.
  • Post #2 - May 2nd, 2006, 10:44 am
    Post #2 - May 2nd, 2006, 10:44 am Post #2 - May 2nd, 2006, 10:44 am
    You are in luck, my friend.

    Search for posts by extramsg and follow the links to his site.
  • Post #3 - May 2nd, 2006, 12:25 pm
    Post #3 - May 2nd, 2006, 12:25 pm Post #3 - May 2nd, 2006, 12:25 pm
    JeffB wrote:You are in luck, my friend.

    Search for posts by extramsg and follow the links to his site.


    Wow, neat - thanks! Now I'm going to wish we were spending more than just a couple of days in Portland.
  • Post #4 - May 2nd, 2006, 12:46 pm
    Post #4 - May 2nd, 2006, 12:46 pm Post #4 - May 2nd, 2006, 12:46 pm
    shameless plug alert:

    The family of one of my best friends owns the Bethel Heights winery and vineyard outside of Salem.

    Their tasting room is open Saturday & Sunday from 11-5 during the spring. They are great people and their Pinot is very good as well.
  • Post #5 - May 2nd, 2006, 8:07 pm
    Post #5 - May 2nd, 2006, 8:07 pm Post #5 - May 2nd, 2006, 8:07 pm
    I don't know Ashland as well as I should, but I can give you any recs for Portland you might want. You should start with my tip sheet:

    http://www.extramsg.com/uploaded_misc/p ... sheet.html

    You can also post on PortlandFood.org, essentially LTH Forum in Portland. Also, the Chowhound for PNW is pretty good and you'll get lots of recs for Ashland there.

    If you have anything specifically you're looking for I can help more. I don't know how many days you have, your specials loves, etc. Also, there have some been many recent big changes to the culinary landscape.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #6 - May 2nd, 2006, 8:12 pm
    Post #6 - May 2nd, 2006, 8:12 pm Post #6 - May 2nd, 2006, 8:12 pm
    Us too!

    Whoops, meant to add that in Ashland last year we went to Amuse and loved it. There are widely divergent opinions, seems to vary with which staff member serves you. But the food was great and we found the service to be good too.

    We also went to Peerless and liked it a lot too, they have a new chef, so I don't know if that's changed things a lot...
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #7 - May 3rd, 2006, 7:58 am
    Post #7 - May 3rd, 2006, 7:58 am Post #7 - May 3rd, 2006, 7:58 am
    extramsg wrote:If you have anything specifically you're looking for I can help more. I don't know how many days you have, your specials loves, etc. Also, there have some been many recent big changes to the culinary landscape.


    We're only going to be there for 2 nights. We've got some friends who live there, so one night we're going to the original McCormick & Schmick's at their suggestion. We're staying at the Hotel DeLuxe (formerly Hotel Mallory). Would love to get recommendations for a dinner restaurant (anything we shouldn't miss while in Portland?) and breakfast and lunch recommendations in that area of the city (near Powell's, on the way to Saturday Market).
  • Post #8 - May 3rd, 2006, 2:05 pm
    Post #8 - May 3rd, 2006, 2:05 pm Post #8 - May 3rd, 2006, 2:05 pm
    The original M&S, called Jake's Famous Crawfish, is more about charm and an extensive seafood list than truly good food. But it's decent. Surprisingly, Portland doesn't have a truly good seafood restaurant, although we have plenty of places that serve good seafood.

    If you're going to the Portland Saturday Market, you should first go to thePortland Farmers Market. Earlier the better at the PFM. Imho, one of the best in the country, and I've visited a lot. They're very good about limiting who can be a vendor so it's very much about local food, not about mediocre arts and crafts or touristy crap. I believe it's not TOO far from where you'll be staying. And if you're walking, it would be more or less along the way.

    I believe Park Kitchen still has lunch hours. They're down near Powell's. (As is Pearl Bakery if you just want something quick and light.) They're one of the better restaurants at making simple yet interesting dishes using local ingredients, very much represents the soul of Portland's food scene. Dinner would be more interesting, but you can compare the menus online. Right across the street from Powell's is Mio Gelato, btw, which makes good gelato.

    There's a growing number of eateries in the Pearl District which is just north of Powell's. A lot of them are very trendy, but still good. Andina is one of the more interesting, open for both lunch and dinner. I prefer the ceviches, causitas, and tapas which are available in both the main dining and bar. They're cheaper and more consistent.

    I always recommend Wildwood for lunch or dinner. You can sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen, which is fun. And they do a very good job of using local and seasonal ingredients in interesting and tasty ways.

    Get familiar with both the Max and Streetcar before you go and you can easily get around downtown, the Pearl, and NW Portland.
    Last edited by extramsg on June 20th, 2006, 10:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #9 - May 4th, 2006, 10:38 am
    Post #9 - May 4th, 2006, 10:38 am Post #9 - May 4th, 2006, 10:38 am
    extramsg--

    Altho' I haven't been to Portland for a while, I've always loved Jake's for its--as you note--charm and ambiance. But one thing also should be mentioned (if it's still true!) is their rather deep and wide selection of Oregon wines, whites esp. It was always a pleasure to wade into their wine list, tryhing things that were hard to find otherwise.

    As for wine recommendations, here's a couple of 'something different, but excellent' suggestions:

    Airlie and Ch. Lorane both make a Marechel Foch, a pinot-family grape, that is lovely and fruity. Look for them at the Made in Oregon store.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #10 - May 4th, 2006, 9:20 pm
    Post #10 - May 4th, 2006, 9:20 pm Post #10 - May 4th, 2006, 9:20 pm
    I don't really drink, so I never pay attention to wine lists. If you search around the various boards in the PNW, pay special attention to Marshall Manning's posts. Major wine geek and from everyone I've talked to who has seen his wine, cellar, it's terrific. He's a nice guy, too, so I'm sure he'd be happy to answer any questions regarding wine lists in Portland. I used his recs for my wine stores on the tipsheet. You should, of course, stock up on Oregon pinots while you're here. A fun trip might be to Square Deal on NW 23rd and Thurman (more or less). Very helpful when I've bought gifts for people, plus there's a cheese counter inside that specializes in domestic artisan cheeses. They're very liberal with the tastes.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #11 - May 5th, 2006, 8:48 am
    Post #11 - May 5th, 2006, 8:48 am Post #11 - May 5th, 2006, 8:48 am
    Thanks very much for the recommendation. Really looking forward to exploring Portland and Ashland. Will report back after our visit.
  • Post #12 - May 6th, 2006, 8:17 am
    Post #12 - May 6th, 2006, 8:17 am Post #12 - May 6th, 2006, 8:17 am
    Hi LTE, can't help with wine up north, but don't forget to sample some Clear Creek Pear Brandy-
    http://www.clearcreekdistillery.com/
    As you reach Roseburg, Abacela is a nice break-
    http://www.abacela.com/
    On to the Rogue Valley.
    New Sammy's in Talent is the place to go.
    Vernon & Charlotte are wonderful hosts. They are usually booked, but give them a call and maybe you can slide in.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... M73357.DTL

    Peerless is better than ever.
    http://www.peerlessrestaurant.com/

    Arbor House in Talent is a warm atmosphere where you would be treated well.
    Our hidden gem.
    here's a list of this year's Taste of Ashland participants. Lots of links and stuff-
    http://www.atasteofashland.com/commerce/diningpage.html

    Jacksonville Inn
    http://www.jacksonvilleinn.com/rest.htm

    Pilaf
    Tabu
    Amuse
    >all good<

    The Winchester Inn has a great wine bar where you can get a feel for things-
    http://www.winchesterinn.com/winebar.htm
    Farmer's Markets
    Tuesday-Ashland
    http://roguevalleygrowersandcraftersmar ... /index.htm

    Thursday-Medford
    Both in The Armory parking lots

    http://www.risingsunfarms.com/
    These guys sit on 99 between Talent & Phoenix.
    These guys are in Central Point-
    http://www.roguecreamery.com/
    Paschal Winery is in Talent-
    http://www.paschalwinery.com
    others are scattered through the lower valley-
    these folks are right above us a ways:
    http://www.triumwines.com
    http://www.southernoregon.org/fun/wine_farm_tour.html
    lots of tiny wineries-
    http://www.southernoregonwines.net/wineries/index.html
    http://www.sorwa.org/

    And finally, a nifty wine drive if you have time is through the Applegate Valley between Jacksonville and Grant's Pass, with
    stops at 6 or so places.
    Hope this helps.
    PS: 2 more places:
    http://www.lilliebellefarms.com/
    http://www.garywest.com/
    black pepper jerky, mmmmm
  • Post #13 - June 6th, 2006, 5:47 pm
    Post #13 - June 6th, 2006, 5:47 pm Post #13 - June 6th, 2006, 5:47 pm
    Here's our Portland report -

    Dinner at Park Kitchen - very nice. Crowded, and our waiter kept being taken by a table that couldn't make up their mind about wine. They do a tasting menu, though as far as we could tell it was just things from the menu in combinations the chef liked. Props to a restaurant trying Lamb Tartare. We did a bunch of appetizers and shared, those seemed more interesting than the large dishes. 2 salad dishes were extraordinarily salty.

    Breakfast at Bijou Cafe, very nice homey place, good food. They had good coffee, too.

    Dinner at Paley's Place. This was much more formal than any other place we ate - white tablecloths and very proper service. We felt a little under-dressed. Good food, nice cheese plate!

    We had a few morning breakfasts at Peet's - close to the hotel and convenient. The vegan marionberry muffin was gummy, but the marionberry scone was very nice.

    Last evening we at at the bar at Higgins. Very good beer selection! We got a nice salad and house-cured pastrami. It was not very pastrami-like, there weren't many spices. Perhaps the regular restaurant food, not the beer food, is better. You can order from the regular menu at the bar.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #14 - June 7th, 2006, 7:04 pm
    Post #14 - June 7th, 2006, 7:04 pm Post #14 - June 7th, 2006, 7:04 pm
    Actually, I prefer the beer food at Higgins. Their pastrami isn't very much like NY pastrami, but for what it is -- their own thing -- it's good, but spendy. I prefer their housemade charcuterie and pickles, though.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #15 - June 20th, 2006, 10:43 am
    Post #15 - June 20th, 2006, 10:43 am Post #15 - June 20th, 2006, 10:43 am
    Just returned from the 9-day trip out west (Portland, OR to San Jose, CA).

    Here are the places we dined, with comments:

    Portland, OR --

    Henry's Tavern - http://www.henrystavern.com/index.cfm
    "Trendy" place, great beer selection and lively bar area, a bit dark (especially for 2 visitors still on Central time), food was good. Tasty grilled salmon (available several different ways), and scallion mashed potatoes were very good.

    Island Joe's - http://ijcoffee.com/
    This was a random stop-off - looking for a quick breakfast between our hotel and Saturday Market. They have Mightly Leaf teas (which are really tasty) and good strong coffee. We each did "create your own" omelets, which turned out to be quite good. They served them with very buttery toast, and star-shaped tater tot-like potatoes.

    McCormick & Schmick's -
    http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/ind ... id=96&id=3
    The original. Great classic atmosphere and great service. Between four of us, we had fried calamari, salads, seared sea scallops, grilled mahi mahi, and ? (can't remember what my husband ate because I was engrossed in the seared scallops). Everything was quite good, including the featured white wine.

    Ken's Artisan Bistro - http://www.kensartisan.com/
    Stopped here for a quick breakfast before heading out of town. Great
    atmosphere, very nice looking breads. My husband had quiche with sopressata and a nutty cinnamon roll, and I had a grilled vegetable quiche. I was expecting more of a breakfast menu, but it was limited to what was in the case. They had some nice-looking fruit tarts also. The leaf tea was nicely brewed in a personal tea pot.

    Ashland, OR--

    Alex's - http://www.alexsrestaurant.net/1_alexs/bar.html
    Very close to Shakespeare festival. Cool old-time saloon atmosphere. Nice outdoor deck, but not waterproof when it rains. Pretty good service. Excellent salad of romaine, pear, and gorgonzola. Very good pork tenderloin with mustard/herb sauce and tasty bacon-braised red cabbage. The roast duck breast fettucine had a really tasty rosemary/mushroom cream sauce that wasn't too heavy.

    Zingaro - http://passport2ashland.com/article_1576.html
    Spanish food. Good mojitos. The paella valencia and the flank steak were very tasty with some nice heat. Neat, romantic atmosphere.

    Calistoga, CA--

    Calistoga Roastery - http://www.calistogaroastery.com/
    Loved this place last time we were here 5 years ago. Had a bit of a scare when we couldn't find it, but realized that they had opened up a new store in the heart of downtown Calistoga (as well as another in St. Helena). Had my favorite California breakfast - a toasted bagel with cream cheese, fresh tomato, and red onion. It is also my husband's favorite coffee.

    Sonoma, CA--

    Both of these restaurants were on the Sonoma town square.

    The Girl and the Fig -- http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/html-sonoma/index.html
    Comfortable but elegant atmosphere, with food at reasonable prices for the area. Wine flights were creatively served in different types of antique-style glasses. Nice cheese plate recommendations. Bistro fare was prepared very well - excellent mussels, steak, and frites with tarragon aioli.

    Della Santina's - http://www.dellasantinas.com/
    Beautiful/cozy outdoor patio reminded us of being in Italy again, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Wine recommendation was great. Grilled halibut special was excellent, wild mushroom pasta special was pretty good but could have been more flavorful.

    St. Helena, CA--

    Dean & DeLuca -
    http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonom ... -0018.html
    Great stop for picnic fare (highly recommend this option). Excellent cheese selection and helpful staff. The fruit is expensive for what it is, but what can you do - you need something sweet and refreshing to go with the cheese.

    San Jose, CA--

    Straits (Santana Row) - http://www.straitsrestaurants.com/SJ/SJ.html
    This place was selected by family for a birthday dinner. It was "trendy", the staff was a bit flighty, creative drink list but the drinks were expensive and sounded better than they tasted, but the food (mussels, garlic noodles, sea bass, different flavors of rice) was pretty good. The tables were kind of uncomfortably crowded together, and parking was difficult (although we were there on a Saturday evening).


    We also visited the following wineries:

    Dundee, OR--

    Rex Hill - very friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, wines were very good for the most part. The Chardonnay was particularly nice.

    Erath - wines ranged from ok to pretty good. The Gewurtraminer was particularly nice. Felt a bit rushed with the tasting.

    Napa Valley, CA--

    Clos Pegase - really nice grounds (post-modern structure, gardens, grapevines you can see up close and personal), informative staff, some very nice wines (whites and reds).

    Cuvaison - unexciting grounds, didn't enjoy the wine.

    Rutherford Hill - nice picnic area, ok wines.

    Niebaum-Coppola - we didn't go in, because they now have a $25/person admission charge. That was pretty off-putting.

    Domaine Chandon - very nice grounds, crowded, was not impressed with their varietal wines or their reserve sparkling wines. Tastings were expensive ($10 to $20) but you do get to keep your flute (if that's any consolation).

    Stag's Leap - nice wines, grounds and tasting room were classy. The staff was helpful. Tastings were a bit pricey ($10 or $30) but again, the wines are high quality.

    Sonoma Valley, CA--

    St. Francis - pretty commercial, nice picnic table area, wasn't too impressed with the wines except for the Old Vines Zinfandel.

    Chateau St. Jean - beautiful grounds and tasting rooms, very informative staff, really nice wines (especially the reserves). Reasonable tasting prices.

    Arrowood - classy country-style grounds, informative staff, very nice wines. Well worth the visit.


    Thanks again to everyone who provided recommendations.
  • Post #16 - October 17th, 2006, 5:39 pm
    Post #16 - October 17th, 2006, 5:39 pm Post #16 - October 17th, 2006, 5:39 pm
    I'm a little late on this, but since I specifically referenced Extra MSG's post when I went to Portland on a week long trip (for the Brewer's Beer Festival actually with my bf who also wanted to show me around the city and persuade me I wouldn't mind moving there), I felt I owed everyone. I went to Park Kitchen, Wildwood, Andina, Higgins, and some others. I remember those particularly because of the food porn I am about to share. :D

    First, I'll start with a dinner of small plates from Park Kitchen. Technically it is located in the Pearl District, but it sits in the North Park Blocks which basically are almost the same as the South Park Blocks in the southwest PSU area we had explored on our first day. Portland actually has many parks interspersed throughout the city as a refuge to nature, but the Park Blocks are almost like a promenade because of the large sidwalks within the park and the way the parkways are lined up and towered by neat rows of huge trees. Walking in the Park Blocks, it doesn't really feel like you are the city because you just are surrounded by the green. The table outside I sat at for dinner had a view of people playing bocce ball and a guy practicing shooting hoops.

    Started off with a small cold plate of summer beans, roasted peaches, almonds, and fromage blanc, and also a salad of mixed garden lettuces, caramelized shallot vinaigrette. The beans dish was awesome, particularly the roasted peaches and the light cheese, but the salad had a slight saltiness to it.

    Next to appear were the warm plates of salt cod fritters with malt vinegar and also the fried green beans and bacon with tarragon aioli. Both of these were tasty if a bit too much for one person to eat all on her own (share the fried-ness!). Sadly, I had enjoyed Tokyo 21's tempura peapods just the weekend before so the fried green beans just didn't have the same flavor and paled in comparison (not sure if the fact I had them at 3am after drinking and dancing enhanced the flavor more than normal as I haven't been back to test the theory). I didn't really eat the fried bacon, that was just too much conceptually for me.

    The highlights of the meal were presented last: the gnocchi with fresh corn and sage which was just incredibly creamy light and melted on your tongue, and the beet tartar with 8 minute eggs and goat cheese toasts which melded the slightly tart with crunchy and creamy goat cheese and toast and threw in a smear of egg yolk.

    Image summer beans, roasted peaches, almonds, and fromage blanc

    Image salad of mixed garden lettuces, caramelized shallot vinaigrette

    Image salt cod fritters with malt vinegar

    Image
    Image
    fried green beans and bacon with tarragon aioli

    [url=http://www.spong.org/members/pechluck/Food/ParkKitchen/gnocchi.jpg]Image
    [/url] gnocchi with fresh corn and sage

    Image beet tartar with 8 minute eggs and goat cheese toasts
  • Post #17 - October 17th, 2006, 10:03 pm
    Post #17 - October 17th, 2006, 10:03 pm Post #17 - October 17th, 2006, 10:03 pm
    Nice pics and report.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #18 - October 18th, 2006, 1:41 pm
    Post #18 - October 18th, 2006, 1:41 pm Post #18 - October 18th, 2006, 1:41 pm
    On another day we headed to the trendier Northwest Nob Hill area. We left our hotel during lunchtime so the first thing we did once we got there was eat, and then walk around to see the little shops. For our Saturday lunch I had picked out Wildwood whose menu changes weekly and whose menu IMHO was the most innovative of all restaurants I dined at in Portland during my trip. Started with a Chilled beet and blueberry soup and also a Citrus and arugula salad with orange and grapefruit supremes, pine nuts, and mozzarella. If you know me you know I don't often rave about salads, but I ate every single little thing off the salad plate, the dressing was awesomely tangy to counteract the slight bitterness that arugula can have. The soup was good too, almost like a smoothie it was so full of just fresh juice.

    For lunch entrees I was seriously tempted by their offering of a housemade pork sausage pizza with garlic puree, fennel, and grana parmesan, but since this is a usual lunch offering and the rest of the menu rotates, so instead chose the Braised lamb with housemade fettucine, tomatoes, and peas, and also the Tomato and summer squash stuffed crepes with basil, baby greens, and tomato vinaigrette. That lamb was so soft and tender and succulantly juicy yet not fatty, it was heavenly.

    The crepes were unusual because they were crispy, almost like a tortilla, rather then softer like a normal Parisian style crepe, but still good. Again, plates were totally cleaned off. Every bite was delicious and I felt comfortably full but not overstuffed. The bf also liked this place, not just because of the food but because of the laid back atmosphere- again, we came during lunch and ate inside while most everyone was outside, and who knows what this is like for dinner. This was a big bonus for me: he usually finds the restaurants I like for the food are "too trendy" for him and/or limit his selection (he is vegetarian bordering on vegan). [Sidenote: I know, I know, I need to seek out more hole in the wall places but given our lack of car/reliance on public transportation and worry what he can eat, it seems like so much work I tend to go to restaurants I hear about and find a website so I can peruse the menu online to see if it is suitable.] This was one thing I noticed in Portland in general though: everywhere we went I didn't have to worry if he had something interesting to eat (not just the regular pasta with marinara or steamed veggie plate), restaurants are much more vegetarian friendly then Chicago.

    Image Chilled beet and blueberry soup

    Image Arugula salad with orange and grapefruit supremes, pine nuts, and mozzarella

    Image Braised lamb with housemade fettucine, tomatoes, and peas

    Image Tomato and summer squash stuffed crepes with basil, baby greens, and tomato vinaigrette

    It was a perfect beginning to shopping in lots of little boutiques on 23rd street in this trendy area... not that I still didn't browse the various menus for the restaurants on 21st street, which is a "Restaurant Row" for the city, on the way also. I discovered I actually liked the style of many of the clothing stores in the area, it was a mix of artsy hip and trendy, which I liked.

    After all the walking of the past few days, we were tired and took the trolley home to the hotel and watched TV and ordered Hot Lips Pizza delivered to our room. It was really good pizza- we had 3 thick roasted garlic parmesan breadsticks (but each breadstick was a foot long and broken in half, so it was really too much) and the seasonal special pizza with Local Tomatoes, Ricotta + Organic Hazelnuts in Organic Pesto was good but also too big. The hazelnuts added a good taste to the pizza, though the ricotta we both thought was a little too weird. I've always been a big fan of pizza with lots of dough and cheese and thus adore Chicago style deep dish pizza and loathe New York style pizza, but I am a big fan of this Northwest kind of pizza with a bunch of organic weird combinations. I just won't get ricotta next time!
  • Post #19 - October 20th, 2006, 8:55 am
    Post #19 - October 20th, 2006, 8:55 am Post #19 - October 20th, 2006, 8:55 am
    Higgins Restaurant was dinner for another night. Started with a fresh cows-milk mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Those tomatoes were sweet and juicy, and I appreciated the slight difference in flavor of the two red tomato slices from the green one and the yellow one. Entrees were Summer squash fritters with saffron-garlic potato puree and tomato and olive compote and also Magret & confit of duck with cheddar polenta, apricot and green peppercorn compote, and braised greens.

    Both were rather good, but just happen to pale in comparison in boldness of flavors of Wildwood and Park Kitchen. However, that saffron was genius, appreciated the beer selection (had lambic framboise and lambic pomme), and the magret was perfect which unfortunately highlighted the poorer cooked overdone confit.

    Image fresh cows-milk mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, basil, and extra virgin olive oil

    Image Summer squash fritters with saffron-garlic potato puree and tomato and olive compote

    Image Magret & confit of duck with cheddar polenta, apricot and green peppercorn compote,and braised greens

    The highlight for my palatte was was our day to visit the Pearl District. I had asked for directions to the trolley, but bf didn't believe me and we ended up walking the whole way there because we never did find the trolley until we were actually already there. It did make me realize Portland is a city you can walk one end to another.

    We were hungry so we set off for Andina. It is a Peruvian restaurant, I've never had this type of food before, and there was nothing I didn't love about this place. The lighted space that is a good combination of privacy of your own eating space but still surrounded by everyone for interesting people watching (at least for my Friday lunch), the large variety in the menu of offerings, the food that is a mix of subtle and not so subtle flavors, the enticing drinks, everything was perfect.

    To start with, the drinks are very tempting, and I had the best mojito here (here made with Appleton white rum shaken with pressed lime juice, mint, water, cane sugar, served on the rocks with a sugar cane spear). If it wasn't lunch I would have had more alcoholic drinks, but I was already having alcohol daily during my vacation as it was (remember, I was here for the Beer-fest too) Non-alcoholic drinks such as this chicha morada (purple corn) drink and the supersweet Inca Kola were pretty good too

    Image Lunchtime mojito

    Image Inca Kola

    Image Chicha Morada, Purple Corn drink

    To start, we had the Tortilla de patata y alioli de aji amarillo, a Spanish-style potato fritatta with aji Amarillo aioli, was pretty good, and it was a huge appetizer. Even more, I loved the Yuca rellena, cheese-stuffed yuca with an aji Amarillo and cheese sauce. I was wiping up that aji-cheese sauce as much as I could.

    Entrees were the Locro serrano con granos andinos, a vegetarian stew of squash with Andean grains and cheese, served with fried quail eggs, botija olives and garlic rice, as well as the Ahi de gallina, pulled chicken in a cream and aji Amarillo based sauce served with yellow potatoes, white rice, botija olives and hard-boiled egg. I could have just eaten the soft creamy and tender chicken alone with nothing else: rice, egg, potatoes were unnecessary. The quail eggs that came with the Locro andinos was also really good.

    Sure, it looks like a lot of yellow food, but believe me it was really really really tasty and oddly tasted homey. We enjoyed these accompanied with Quinoa Bread with three rockin sweet/spicy sauces that came with it, peanut and mystery herb, a passionfruit/mango/habenero, and a jalapeno mint. Finally, we finished this off with the sorbet of the day, a very light mango strawberry, to cleanse our palette

    Image TORTILLA DE PATATA Y ALIOLI DE AJI AMARILLO Spanish-style potato fritatta with aji Amarillo aioli

    Image YUCA RELLENA cheese-stuffed yuca with an aji Amarillo and cheese sauce

    Image LOCRO SERRANO CON GRANOS ANDINOS vegetarian stew of squash with Andean grains and cheese, served with fried quail eggs, botija olives and garlic rice

    Image AJI DE GALLINA, pulled chicken in a cream and aji Amarillo based sauce served with yellow potatoes, white rice, botija olives and hard-boiled egg

    jalapeno mint, passionfruit/mango/habenero, and peanut-based salsas, with french baguette style bread

    Image strawberry mango sorbet
    Last edited by pechnmew on October 27th, 2006, 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #20 - October 20th, 2006, 11:40 am
    Post #20 - October 20th, 2006, 11:40 am Post #20 - October 20th, 2006, 11:40 am
    I've added this thread to my tipsheet.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #21 - November 1st, 2006, 5:50 pm
    Post #21 - November 1st, 2006, 5:50 pm Post #21 - November 1st, 2006, 5:50 pm
    My girlfriend and I are going to be in PDX for new years, and would really appreciate thoughts on a nice, romantic "special occasion" place for us to go either the night of NYE or the 30th.

    doesn't necessarilly have to be white tablecloth or anything, but we don't get to spend much time there, although her family lives there now, and well, I'd like to make this trip memorable.
  • Post #22 - November 1st, 2006, 6:04 pm
    Post #22 - November 1st, 2006, 6:04 pm Post #22 - November 1st, 2006, 6:04 pm
    I have a special occasions section on the tipsheet. But it kind of depends on what you're looking for. What's your definition of romantic? What kind of food?
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #23 - November 1st, 2006, 6:16 pm
    Post #23 - November 1st, 2006, 6:16 pm Post #23 - November 1st, 2006, 6:16 pm
    mersmann wrote:My girlfriend and I are going to be in PDX for new years, and would really appreciate thoughts on a nice, romantic "special occasion" place for us to go either the night of NYE or the 30th.


    Many years ago, I spent a very memorable New Years Eve at The Benson Hotel. It's very old school elegant (think The Palmer House). They had a deal for a suite and a prix fixe dinner. After indulging to your heart's content, they will happily wheel you up to your suite in a wheelchair. It was one of the best New Years I have ever spent. Keep in mind that this was approximately 30 years ago, so YMMV, but it might be worth checking out.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #24 - November 2nd, 2006, 11:35 am
    Post #24 - November 2nd, 2006, 11:35 am Post #24 - November 2nd, 2006, 11:35 am
    extramsg wrote:I have a special occasions section on the tipsheet. But it kind of depends on what you're looking for. What's your definition of romantic? What kind of food?

    Yeah, I started there first (of course! Tip sheet is so great and I've already used it to plan out our time with her much younger siblings while we're in town, thank you so much!)

    My definition of romantic is pretty fluid. I guess it has to do with the room and the service, the feeling that you're somewhat isolated from the other patrons, and left alone enough to enjoy each other.

    Food I'm not too picky about (in terms of type). I'd love for it to be a local, unique experience so Paley's really appeals to me. What's the room like there?
  • Post #25 - November 2nd, 2006, 11:57 am
    Post #25 - November 2nd, 2006, 11:57 am Post #25 - November 2nd, 2006, 11:57 am
    Hi

    Paley's is in a house, and the vibe is subdued - white tablecloths and so on. I would say it could be considered romantic.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #26 - November 2nd, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Post #26 - November 2nd, 2006, 1:29 pm Post #26 - November 2nd, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Paley's is definitely one that would fit your definition more than most. Another would be Hurley's. Fenouil could also fit the definition, especially if you were upstairs. I'd say that as I've listed them they're in descending order of local-ness. You could try Wildwood, but you'd want a booth for some seclusion. It's one of the most local menus.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #27 - September 26th, 2007, 8:22 am
    Post #27 - September 26th, 2007, 8:22 am Post #27 - September 26th, 2007, 8:22 am
    good article today in the times hyping Portland's foodie community:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/dinin ... &8dpc&_r=1
  • Post #28 - October 31st, 2007, 11:23 pm
    Post #28 - October 31st, 2007, 11:23 pm Post #28 - October 31st, 2007, 11:23 pm
    Just got back from Portland and hit many of the places noted in the NYT article that's linked above.

    Pok Pok is a gentrified, yuppified version of TAC, with "small plates"-sized servings. The menu is intriguing, though the food lacks the multi-dimensionality of TAC; still, it's food you want to eat, and it's the perfect drinking food. I'd recommend the guinea hen, hacked and chopped like peking duck and infectious eating; a salad, such as the catfish or steak (both good); and a pork or offal-meat dish (I had a boar collar curry that was rich and perfect for the cool night I was there). The cocktails are fun and imminently drinkable; service was personable. Nothing here will knock you out, but it's a great place to go with a group of people, get drunk, and eat some food that's tailor-made for getting drunk.

    Le Pigeon is Portland's Vie/Blackbird equivalent, though it's only contemporary in the sense of its focus on local ingredients and porkiness. Lots of bacon and big fatty meat flavors: venison with juniper and marrow bone; duck breast with lamb bacon; foie gras ice cream, etc. Food was intriguing but nothing more than okay--and that includes the apricot/bacon/cornbread dessert, which is an interesting conceptual attempt at incapsulating breakfast as dessert...but not much else. Good wine list. The small room is intimate and sitting at the kitchen bar was good fun; the communal tables are really tight and uncomfortable, so go early or request the bar seating.

    Lunch at Dan & Louis Oyster Bar was simple and spot-hitting: oyster samplers, and rich oyster stew. D&L has fantastic sourdough bread, too.

    All this being said, the two best food experiences i had in PDX were not in a restaurant. One, you must attend a farmer's market when in town--there are several, and the vendors are phenomenal. I tasted some phenomenal pears and apples, and a fig-anise paninino bought from one of the bakeries (several to choose from) was seriously tasty; the produce here rivals what I've had at markets in Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties.

    The other was coffee. In spite of my general distaste for the beverage,
    an NYT article on Stumptown Roasters (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/12/dining/12coff.html) intrigued me enough to swing by the downtown location and try a cappucino, which was immensely complex and admittedly delicious. Almost enough to convert me, really. Skip the shave, grab a copy of Heeb, and waste away the afternoon here...it feel good.

    Great beer at Laurelwood, too.

    And the Coast...we stopped at South Beach Market in Newport(http://roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1803) for some quality fried seafood (but weak chips). Halibut and scallops are very nice but go with the special fish of the day: the ling cod we had last week was particularly good.
  • Post #29 - November 1st, 2007, 1:22 am
    Post #29 - November 1st, 2007, 1:22 am Post #29 - November 1st, 2007, 1:22 am
    Pok Pok is a gentrified, yuppified version of TAC, with "small plates"-sized servings. The menu is intriguing, though the food lacks the multi-dimensionality of TAC


    This strikes me as a very cursory and shallow take on Pok Pok.
    Unintentionally retired early by the pandemic, but without the golden parachute.
    Formerly Mi Mero Mole
    Formerly Zapapizza
    Formerly Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen
    Artisan Jewish Deli at Home Cookbook
  • Post #30 - November 1st, 2007, 10:29 am
    Post #30 - November 1st, 2007, 10:29 am Post #30 - November 1st, 2007, 10:29 am
    This strikes me as a very cursory and shallow take.


    So was your response. You're a resident of Portland, after all--why don't you discuss the restaurant a bit more so that my review becomes, in fact, shallow?

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