Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Our Portland trip


Recommended Posts

Henry and I thought we'd celebrate our one-year anniversary doing what we do best--eating. And what better time than spring to check out a brand new (to me) city that's known for their local produce/meats?

We rolled into downtown Portland at 12:30pm, then got lost on the freeways on the way to Pok Pok. We got there half an hour later. Henry was pretty grouchy because he was about to pass out from hunger.

For those reading along who aren't from Portland, Pok Pok is apparently one of the very few authentic Thai restaurants in the U.S. They've certainly cultivated a loyal following of food-lovers and chefs (the entire kitchen staff at Clarklewis, for example, is in love with Pok Pok's food.)

442256928_99509c0ef5.jpg

I believe they started out as a take-out shack, then expanded to the Pok Pok Whiskey Soda lounge when business exploded.

This is the menu for the shack. People can get take-out here, or sit at one of the outdoor tables. The menu inside the Soda Lounge is more extensive.

442256810_731ba0ddd6.jpg

442257807_7d864f30dc.jpg

The flank steak salad comes highly recommended on the food boards. It's billed as a "spicy and sour Cascade Natural flank steak salad with dried chillies, shallots, lemongrass, toasted ricepowder, fish sauce, lime juice, mint". Henry liked this dish, but I didn't enjoy it quite so much. It tasted full-on spicy to me, and I didn't get much complexity from the fish sauce and other aromatic ingredients...so I thought the flavours were a bit off balance.

442258083_baeda0cb47.jpg

Here's their signature game hen/papaya pok pok. The hen was very moist and the sticky rice we got was great as well. Overall, I would say it was an enjoyable lunch, but I think I've had more flavourful green papaya salads and similar flank steak salads in the past.

442257999_2680b17017.jpg

The portions aren't huge, but appropriately-sized. So we had no trouble finishing everything.

442257903_ceaebfdd81.jpg

We checked into our hotel, and walked over to Cacao and Sagahun, two of Portland's best-loved chocolate shops.

442257549_2e0b1028f9.jpg

Cacao offers a dizzying array of chocolates. You've got your usual suspects like Pralus, Valrhona, and Michel Cluizel, and then some that are harder to find in Seattle, like the Amedei line.

442255872_5cdf158c48.jpg

442257363_6ce4bf6c5b.jpg

The only thing they make in-house at Cacao is a selection of hot chocolates, including three that are European-style (very thick.) I got the spicy one with Arriba chocolate, various spices (ginger, cinnamon, etc.), and coconut milk.

442255532_ca7c11457f.jpg

442255390_478f1da67d.jpg

Here are the chocolates I chose from the case. I got one each of John DePaula's chocolates (he's on EG as well). They were offering his brandy, his grappa, and his hazelnut chocolate. I liked the brandy one best. I also got an olive oil chocolate (the one with the gold brushstroke) from another Oregon chocolatier, and an apricot chocolate (top right) from Chocolat Moderne in NY. The apricot chocolate was my favourite of the bunch, but Jesse also gave me another coconut chocolate (not pictured) from the same manufacturer that I didn't enjoy so much.

442256855_dd4cbb3295.jpg

Also, I bought a bunch of Valrhona bars that aren't easily available up here (Récolte from Venezuela, Ampamakia, Gran Couva, and the Chuao). We talked to Jesse, the owner, who used to live in Seattle. (He used to work at Fran's, then moved down to Portland to open Cacao.) He recognized us from the "No Reservations" show. :laugh:

Edited by Ling (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sagahun was up next!

442256781_e5abaa4e31.jpg

Sagahun is a tiny, very charming shop with a pretty small selection of truffles. They also do hot chocolate that's apparently very different (lighter and frothier) from what Cacao serves. Alas, I didn't know this at the time and decided to skip the hot chocolate at Sagahun when I noticed they were using the same Arriba chocolate I drank 3 minutes ago at Cacao.

442255106_1e5e48821b.jpg

My selection...

442255006_623b00b4a9.jpg

The one with the hazelnut on top is their salted caramel. It was my favourite of the bunch. The shell was very thin, and the caramel was very fluid and much saltier than I expected it to be. It had probably twice as much salt as any salted caramel I've tasted in the past. I enjoyed it a lot. The other truffles are jasmine and chilli.

442254400_4e83fd7abb.jpg

The original plan was to hit a third chocolate shop (Alma), though I mistakingly thought it was located near Sagahun. So we'll have to visit Alma on our next trip.

This is the new Stumpton coffee location in the Ace Hotel. A lot of places serve Stumpton in Portland. I've had it in Vancouver (BC) once as well. I got my usual 3 shot Americano in a 12 oz. cup.

442256199_312a767f8c.jpg

442254748_d281c1bcb4.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apizza Scholls was featured on Tony Bourdain's PNW episode that aired recently. I thought their pizza looked incredible, and I don't even eat (or enjoy) pizza very much. I remember Bourdain saying that they knead the dough by hand everyday. Wow.

They open at 5pm, and apparently there's a line out the door everyday. We parked the car at 4:42 pm outside their door. No line. We decided to go poke around in a vintage shop across the street. 5 minutes later, we walked back outside to see a line of 15+ people outside Apizza Scholls. WTF? I ran across the street and by the time I got there, another 15 people appeared from nowhere to line up behind me.

441575112_505cc37d84.jpg

We met up with Nick and Pam and shared the following:

Caesar salad with anchovies

441574543_2e4dbbc58c.jpg

Tartufo Bianco...gorgeous! This is the best pizza I've ever eaten. The crust had a delicious chewy-airyness and every bite of crust was perfectly crackly-crisp. Absolutely delicious, and probably the most memorable thing I ate on this trip. I previously thought I just didn't like pizza that much, but now I know I just don't care for mediocre pizza!

441575220_88592c1fc0.jpg

We also got the Amoré, which is hot capicollo, mozzarella, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, fresh garlic, tomato sauce, and basil.

441575264_86909011c9.jpg

We each had 3.5 slices of pizza. If you know how big these slices are, you'd know that this is quite a feat. :raz: With dinner done, thoughts turned to dessert...

Edited by Ling (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had an incredibly fun time in Portland and hope to make the short trip again soon.

Pok Pok came highly recommended by almost everyone. Therefore, i think my expectations were a bit too high. Although I enjoyed the meal, I probabley was looking for a transcendant Thai food experience. The Flank Steak Salad was my favorite. The sticky rice accompanyment was a nice foil to the very spicy sauce. I enjoyed this dish very much. The game hen and green papaya salad didn't do much for me. I found the sauce to be a bit sweet for my taste.

I'm not really into chocolate, but really enjoyed meeting Jesse, the owner of Cacao. He really has a passion for what he is doing and the shop is very nicely designed and well stocked and organized. The hot chocolate we tried was incredibly rich and flavorful. I think I would have loved it if I cared at all about chocolate. I thought Sagahun provided a very nice counterpoint to Cacao. The two shops could not have been more different. Where Cacao was refined and stylish, Sagahun was dripping with personality. And both (according to Lorna) serve great selections of chocolates.

I was really just saving my stomach for dinner at Apizza Scholls. I have been looking forward to trying this every since I heard about it. The crust really is a revelation. Its not about the super thin Neapolitan style so prevalent in Seattle these days. Also not about wood burning ovens and certification crap. It seems to be about making great pizza. Which is a by-product of making great crust. I think the gas oven at 800 degrees does wonders for this style of crust. It's consistent and the char on the bottom was very evenly distributed. I was amazed at how stiff and crunchy the crust stayed. I'm sure the lack of tomoato sauce helped the crust from getting soggy on the Tartufo Bianco (my favorite!) but the Amore also held its form very nicely. It really is one of the best pizzas I have ever had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, by now I've tried all the other Valrhona bars. My favourite of the group is the Palmira. The Ampamakia is also is pretty acidic with red fruit flavours and reminds me a bit of the Manjari bar. The Gran Couva is really sweet for a 64% bar, and I taste a lot of hazelnuts. In fact, if someone told me it was a hazelnut chocolate bar, I'd believe them. It kind of has a cheap candy smell/taste and is my least favourite. I like the Chuao.

Anyway, the original plan was to go to Pix after dinner, but we got some suggestions to try the desserts at Carlyle instead.

441574735_6e8645a353.jpg

441574701_76db25d30b.jpg

This is the lemon ricotta cheesecake. 2/5 diners chose this as their favourite, one of them being Nick (Extra MSG). I said I liked the grapefruit/strawberry mousse dessert better, and Nick informed me that I was wrong. :laugh:

441574767_7f2db918f9.jpg

Here's the grapefruit/strawberry mousse dessert. It reminded me of Asian-style mousse cakes. It was definitely the least sweet of the desserts. Some people found the grapefruit in this dessert a touch too bitter. 3/5 diners chose this as the best of the bunch.

441575458_fa55010918.jpg

chocolate chip cookies and a little milkshake

441575496_2d1a843693.jpg

This is the baked apple dessert, and it was my second favourite of the bunch even though it was the sweetest one. (I tend to prefer less sugar than most people like in desserts.) I thought the fruits were very nice, and I liked the textural contrast with the puff pastry twist on the top.

441574863_ba314afa02.jpg

Here's the chestnut souffle with nutmeg cream and persimmon. I love the flavours in this dessert, but it needed something crunchy or crispy.

441574917_71a3db338a.jpg

The desserts were beautiful.

After dessert, we said good-bye and drove around downtown Portland. It was about 9pm. I didn't see many people on the streets at all, so we went back to the hotel and called it an early night.

Edited by Ling (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you had a Voodoo donut before?

441575732_3d2cef191f.jpg

Apparently, they're quite popular. The guy in front of me at the coffee shop was raving about them.

I couldn't get a really clear shot from outside the plastic dome.

441575049_cd29ec9d4a.jpg

Anyway, I had more Stumpton coffee from...

441575858_bf8a14a218.jpg

Stumpton coffee is everywhere! Not that that's a bad thing. I like the coffee quite a bit.

Cool space.

441575790_b92b8510e2.jpg

But we didn't have time to sit because we had to get to...

441575902_bacc1f4884.jpg

(BTW, I apologize for all the cheesy pics of me. We were on vacation, and didn't really think to take pics of restaurant signs without one of us popping up in them.)

wall of bread

441575948_3db971b4a9.jpg

Oohhh...samples. I tried their hot cross bun and an Italian bread similar to panettone, which was quite good.

441576006_3f8966b34e.jpg

Pam recommended this last night when we were talking about Pearl bakery, but it didn't look fattening enough...so I passed.

441575557_1e87787878.jpg

441576170_3a14a6392c.jpg

I wanted to take a picture of the sandwiches too, but I was scared about pissing off the customers in line so we just ordered.

Henry got the asiago/apple pastry. I got the almond croissant (my default breakfast pastry at any bakery). We also got a small baguette. I gotta say I was really disappointed with our choices that morning. The pastries were over-proofed and underbaked for me. The baguette was fine, but no better or worse than most of the baguettes found in Seattle bakeries. Nick told us afterwards that Pearl does the Italian breads better than the French stuff. So perhaps we just ordered wrong. These were the only items we ordered and didn't finish eating on this trip.

They photographed beautifully, though.

441575705_4eea8bb221.jpg

441575759_547584e010.jpg

441576300_a672f1b404.jpg

We'll go back on our next trip and try the olive ciabatta.

Edited by Ling (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For lunch on Friday we tried the highly recommended (Abra!) Andina in the Pearl District. The Peruvian Restuarant also has an outpost in Seattle called Mixtura. We had yet to try either.

The room is simple and colorful without being overly assaulting on the senses.

441575899_910147e2c4.jpg

We started with two cockails. The Pisco Sour:

441576303_2a0accea3f.jpg

And one made from vodka, passion fruit and habanero peppers:

441576095_868de20659.jpg

I loved the passion fruit cocktail. Very unique and had just the right amout of spice to it. The Pisco Sour was also good, but not unlike any othe pisco sour I've had (maybe that's a good thing)

We were told that we had to try the ceviche. We ordered the classic Andina preparation with Hawaiian Ono.

441576482_56166d3f68.jpg

It was nicely prepared. I found the flavors a bit too subtle for me.

Next, we shared a series of tapas style dishes.

Stuffed, fried, yucca

441576712_9cdbeb9985.jpg

Very tasty dish. I love most things breaded and fried. This was stuffed with cheese. Even better!

Grilled Octopus

441576764_a67ff9c313.jpg

With rocoto capered chimichurri. Very nice texture to the octopus. Grilled perfectly. I loved the piquillo peppers.

Stuffed Piquillo peppers:

441577058_a6ebcf74e0.jpg

441576463_87abead299.jpg

they were stuffed with quinoa, cheese, and serrano. I would have liked to taste more serrano.

Chiccarron de pollo

441577000_e2e6b49bd1.jpg

thinly sliced chicken piced breaded in quinoa and deep fried. I wasn't very keen on the quinoa breading. It wasn't as crispy as I would have liked. Not a very memorable dish for me.

All in all, I enjoyed our meal and Andina and was happy we treid it. Although, it was not an exceptional meal for me. I am always excited to try new restaurants from cultures I am unfamiliar with. Maybe we did not order correctly, but I found many elements to be repeated throughout many dishes. I also expected bolder flavors.

We'll try Mixtura in Seattle in the near future to see how it compares.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been wanting to go to Ken's Artisan Bakery ever since FoodTV ran a profile on the bakery when it first opened years ago. We walked there (well, Henry walked, I kind of ran ahead in excitement) after lunch.

macaroons

441586478_8fc19d5393.jpg

canneles

441587040_9501b03c01.jpg

cinnamon rolls

441587412_85c4e28a5d.jpg

various pastries

441588040_a6e7a7180d.jpg

441588721_e713bb1a51.jpg

441589333_1c2237c96b.jpg

441589826_0e4f0ece21.jpg

441590465_da362280e4.jpg

441593982_f5bbaba90f.jpg

441595258_e8262b96a1.jpg

441593411_770be243ca.jpg

Some of their tarts are very large. I think tart molds this size is usually used for small quiches!

441594676_910c85d12d.jpg

441592705_3dfef09931.jpg

441591820_d9d605afb6.jpg

I got the almond croissant and it was very flaky and delicious.

441585709_5190f34c20.jpg

Henry got the ham and cheese, but was too wussy/full to finish it, even though he said it was excellent. Oh well, more for me! I liked this a lot. The sauce had a nice amount of herbs.

441584467_754244921b.jpg

The opera cake (v. dense almond cake layers, coffee buttercream, ganache) was excellent as well. I inhaled this. Henry kept saying: "I thought you said you weren't that hungry at lunch!" as he watched with a mixture of horror and fascination at the speed at which I consumed these pastries. :laugh:

441585095_f96940d4eb.jpg

We didn't get any of Ken's bread because we knew we would have some at Clarklewis at dinner.

At this point, we waddled around the Pearl district some more and checked out Powell's again, which had such gems as this book:

441628440_c074ec7e29.jpg

Edited by Ling (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry you didn't love Andina! We've never been there for lunch, and we've only ever had one of the dishes you had, so I guess it's a case of YMMV. Ken's looks fabulous, as does Apizza Scholls. Those are both on our list for next time, as was Pok Pok, although I'm not as sure after your lunch there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lorna & Henry,

Save some time at the end of July for the Oregon Beer festival! J & I visit Portland every year for the fesival, and to check a few more of Portland's "musts" off our list. Eating through Portland with you guys with a beer buzz would be TOO MUCH FUN!

I'm with you guys on Andina. Good, but not great ... which really surprised me as every time we passed the place it was slammed! You MUST do Voodo Donuts, if just to say you have. Being Canadian we're spoiled on the donut front (actually spelled doughnut, eh), but Voodoo has a great sense of fun that I really appreciated.

Another reason to do the trip again is the Farmer's Market which would have been closed when you were there IIRC. That's where we discovered Pearl Bakery ... and met Nick, and Lowe's BBQ (I'm still missing them big time).

Thanks for the Apizza Scholls review. We'll have to make the trip (4th try's the charmer??). A quick question ... where does the name come from? I feel like I should know ... like Muscle Shoals or something?

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For lunch on Friday we tried the highly recommended (Abra!) Andina in the Pearl District. The Peruvian Restuarant also has an outpost in Seattle called Mixtura.

Unless something has change, I believe Andina and Mixtura have different ownership.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm totally going by memory, but doesn't Mixtura have the former chef from Andina?

Yes, my understanding is that a different ownership group made it worth his while to make the move....

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll let Henry do the Clarklewis pictures since it was his friend who did most of the cooking for us, and I'll skip ahead to brunch on Saturday morning at Le Pigeon.

We had brunch with Henry's friend Jason, who cooked our meal at CL the night before. He used to work at Mistral up here in Seattle.

The ever-classy Jason started off with what our waitress billed as the "East Burnside Mimosa"--essentially orange juice, Miller High Life and Mad Dog 22. :raz:

441615509_239964d5d0.jpg

Le Pigeon is a really popular local spot that does a good brunch. Their food is pretty simple, Frenchified stuff and it's modestly priced. I can see why it's so popular. We got there at 9:30am and waited half an hour for a table.

Jason had the steak and eggs and I'm guessing that's hollandaise. I had a bite and it was good.

441616750_749081bfe1.jpg

Henry got the duck confit hash. It was pretty tasty. No surprises here.

441617745_ed8e4e02e8.jpg

I got a dessert-like item--apricot cornbread with maple ice-cream and bacon. The maple ice-cream wasn't very sweet at all, but it was a little icy. The cornbread had a nice crust on it. Tasty, and this works.

441617144_65b80729eb.jpg

Can't say I was blown away by the food, but I guess I don't expect to be blown away at brunch, especially at these prices. I think most of the items on the menu were around $10. It was an enjoyable meal. The restaurant is small and definitely has character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Apizza Scholls review.  We'll have to make the trip (4th try's the charmer??).  A quick question ... where does the name come from?  I feel like I should know ... like Muscle Shoals or something?

I think Nick explained the name to us while we were eating, but I was too busy stuffing my face with pizza to pay much attention. :raz: Maybe he'll chime in.

(more pictures to come tomorrow!)

Edited by Ling (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, can you guys eat!

I'm glad that you enjoyed your visit.

I know what you mean about Pok Pok, I think your expectations were a little high. We live a few blocks away, and have been once, right when they first opened (and within a year of a 3 week visit to Thailand). I think it's a great place for people to go who have only been exposed to Thai food through typical American Thai restaurants. And Andy has the good taste to love our favorite bahn mi sandwich shop in Portland. But we tend to do a better job for our tastes at home, which isn't surprising (we like more chillies, more sour, more fishy, more herby, more street, basically... ). I think the som tom is hurt by the lack of prime tomatoes, chillies and long beans right now. I don't bother making it until they're in season (at least in season in Cali!)...and I like it with crabs.

As for Pearl, I've found the same lack of care throughout the years I've tried them. I hate it when something is under-baked and they under bake everything for my tastes. I don't find their "Italian" style stuff any better, but it does taste like the same crap bread I ran into in Italy! And our friends from Dijon always preferred their bread over Ken's because it tasted more like the bread they were used to eating, so go figure... (of course, he didn't like cheese either, so not trustworthy, foodwise).

Apizza Scholls kicks ass in the pizza dept. If only I didn't hate standing in line...

regards,

trillium

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahahaha. I love it! I'm so glad you had a great time in Portland. :) People coming to visit and then taking away great stories (and pictures!) makes me smile. It's a foodie thing I guess. :)

And Ling, with Apizza Scholls, never be afraid to be the first person in line. Never. As you found out, it's amazing with which the speed that the line forms as the hour approaches. I'm glad you like it and I hope you come back soon.

You'll have to throw together a list of must see places in Seattle for all of us at portlandfood.org so we can come try out your suggestions. Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was really looking forward to our dinner at clarklewis. My good friend Jason had recently been promoted to sous chef and promised us a fabulous meal. He did not disappoint.

First off, I love the space. Industrial, yet comfortable. I can just imagine how lovely it must be on a sunny summer evening witht he garage doors all open.

Jason greeted us at the door and told us we would be having the Chef's menu. We sat down, ordered a bottle of Argyle Brut, and the parade of dishes started coming.

They arrived in waves of 2 and 3.

First wave:

Radishes with sweet cream butter and sea salt.

441609086_7ed2ff7bfb.jpg

I'm not a big fan of raw radishes. But, I'm a huge fan of butter and salt!

Sage and parmesian mineral water battered asparagus with spicy aioli.

441609037_41920f2d75.jpg

I really liked this dish! Perfectly fried, not too greasy. I'm not sure if I ever had deep fried asparagus before. It's a good candidate for the fryer!

Ken's artisan demi levain with leonforte olive oil, sweet cream butter, and sea salt.

441610134_535bd2b24d.jpg

Glad we got to try Ken's bread, as I was way too full from lunch to even consider buying a loaf that afternoon (and Lorna was busy eating her THREE pastries!) The bread is very good. I thnkn I would have prefered the crust to be a bit crunchier, but that would be my only complaint.

Second Wave:

House made buffalo mozzeralla on grilled ken's bread, with salt and olive oil.

441610692_bb04359b54.jpg

This dish was really incredible. There is something to be said about really great ingredients simply prepared to celebrate the ingredient. In one bite, I could get the freshness of the cheese, the grassy olive oil, the perfectly grilled bread, and of course, the salt!

Bulls blood beets with caper cornichon salsa cruda, and shaved ricotta salata.

441610603_9d0185b7c0.jpg

Again, great ingredients simply prepared. All the flavors compliment each other well.

Belgian endives with dungenous crab, wild fennel pollen, chive, celery hearts, lemon cream.

441611181_5b7cc3a47b.jpg

This was I dish that I enjoyed, but maybe had a bit much going on. Unlike the two other dishes on the table. The individual flavors were not distinct in the dish. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it very much.

Third Wave:

Asparagus and ricotta ravioli with toasted pinenuts, black truffle butter, and parmesian.

441612370_d0e3345c41.jpg

My favorite dish of the night. The pasta was perffectly cooked. Each flavor was distinct, yet complemented each other perfectly. I loved, loved, loved, this dish!

Cavatelli with braised pork shoulder, calabrese salami, rosemary, and tomato conserva.

441613036_615c073dd0.jpg

All the pasta was house made, and it shows. The pastas were all perfectly cooked, and had a good tooth. The cavatelli might now be my favorite pasta shape. It holds the sauce well, yet is still meaty and you can get a good amount of pasta in each mouthfull. This particular preparation was good, but the kind of sauce I've had many times before.

Risotto with house made fennel sausage, onions, sage, english peas, and pecorino romano.

441613632_e6a4ec4ba5.jpg

Such wonderful flavors in this dish! I like bolder flavors in my food. This dish stood up and took a bow before the nigth was over! There was a hint of red pepper flakes in there as well. We were at first disappionted with the dish because we thought the risotto was too dry, not creamy enough. It had almost a fried rice quality to it. Obviously this is not what you expect when the server calls it risotto. Even though I enjoyed the dish immensely, I couldn't help but thinking (the whole time I was devouring the dish) why it was so dry. It was only the next morning at brunch with Jason that we found out the the dish was prepared exactly as they wanted it. It seems they fry the rice with the ingredients first then add just enough brodo for the rice to absorb a bit of the flavor. They do not keep adding liquid to get the creamy consistency the one expects from risotto. I think it would have been nice for the server to explain this to us. Lest we wonder if the kitchen messed up the dish.

Fourth Wave:

Alaskan Halibut with butter stewed baby carrots and leeks, and a tarragon prosecco sauce.

441614228_5b36634104.jpg

I wasn't too excited about the halibut dish, but enjoyed it very much. The fish was poached in the butter as well. Which is probabley why I enjoyed it so much. I didn't really traste much tarragon or prosecco though.

Braised Buffalo short ribs

441614119_e1d984475e.jpg

I found the meat itself to be a bit tough and chewy. I think it may have benifitted from a longer braise at a lower temp. Or maybe the cut of buffalo just needs more fat. That being said, the buffalo was served on king oyerster mushrooms and bruschetta. The oyster mushroom, on a piece of perfectly grilled bread, dripping with reduced braising liquid was one of the best things I've eaten! I remeber thinking that I have to make this dish for me vegetarian friends! Then I remembered the braising liquid. Of course! That's why it tasted so good!

Fifth Wave:

Desserts. I'll let Lorna write about these. I was a bit too full and still reminiscing about the oyster mushrooms.

441615416_0a6ee03af9.jpg

441615033_45dd4a372b.jpg

What a fantastic meal at clarklewis! I'd say that every dish was good to very good, with a few outstanding dishes.

Thanks Jason!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I have a thought. Me, I'd rather eat a good quinoa-breaded yucca root than another, however stellar, crostini with buffala mozz or piece of halibut. I think I'm more looking for "interesting" than "exquisite" in food.

So that's probably a big part of the YMMV equation - expectation. When I eat out I want to eat something I haven't made, or don't or can't make at home, not necessarily a perfect rendition of something familiar. It's a different style of restaurant-going. I think I'll start being clearer on my reviews, to account for this difference and not mislead anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I eat out I want to eat something I haven't made, or don't or can't make at home, not necessarily a perfect rendition of something familiar.  It's a different style of restaurant-going.  I think I'll start being clearer on my reviews, to account for this difference and not mislead anyone.

AMEN SISTER!! :laugh:

I'd put my olive oil poached halibut from last weekend up against any restaurant rendition.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I have a thought.  Me, I'd rather eat a good quinoa-breaded yucca root than another, however stellar, crostini with buffala mozz or piece of halibut.  I think I'm more looking for "interesting" than "exquisite" in food. 

So that's probably a big part of the YMMV equation - expectation. When I eat out I want to eat something I haven't made, or don't or can't make at home, not necessarily a perfect rendition of something familiar.  It's a different style of restaurant-going.  I think I'll start being clearer on my reviews, to account for this difference and not mislead anyone.

I tend to agree, Abra. I usually only order items that I can't make at home, or sounds interesting to me (hence the quinoa breaded chicken.) We got the fried yuca because Nick said it was one of his favourites on the menu. No, it's not adventurous, but it tasted good, and I'm glad we ordered it. However, as interesting as the quinoa breaded chicken might be, it still didn't taste very good (it was underseasoned, and the quinoa was kind of flabby instead of crispy on the chicken.) I get more pleasure from eating fresh, milky mozzarella on grilled bread even though it's "safe". Reading something like the quinoa chicken on the menu would get me thinking about how I might incorporate that idea in dishes I make at home in the future, but I'm not into creative food for the sake of creativity, unless it's executed well. (Not that quinoa-breading is remarkably creative compared to the things other chefs are doing around the country, but you get my drift.) :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I have a thought.  Me, I'd rather eat a good quinoa-breaded yucca root than another, however stellar, crostini with buffala mozz or piece of halibut.  I think I'm more looking for "interesting" than "exquisite" in food. 

So that's probably a big part of the YMMV equation - expectation. When I eat out I want to eat something I haven't made, or don't or can't make at home, not necessarily a perfect rendition of something familiar.  It's a different style of restaurant-going.  I think I'll start being clearer on my reviews, to account for this difference and not mislead anyone.

I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying Abra. "Interesting" is always of utmost importance to me when looking for places to eat and menu choices. However, "interesting" must also be excecuted well, or it just doesn't win me over.

Take the quinoa breaded chicken for example. Like I said earlier, the breading does not lend itself well to the crispy texture one expects when ordering a fried dish. The fact that it is breaded with something out of the ordinnary does not make up for this fact. I'm the first to order things that I've never tried before, but I'll also readily admit when intersting items just don't work for me.

Given your example above (and having not tried either item yet), I'd order the quinoa breaded yucca root over the buffala mozz every time. But in this particular case, I enjoyed the buffala mozz much more!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...