{Restaurants} Urban Farmer— Holy Cow!

Disclaimer: This post features a local Portland restaurant and PR company that invited me to a meal at the restaurant and a tour of their facilities. A post was not promised in exchange for the visit. I did receive the meal and tour free of charge. However, all opinions are my own. Warning, those who do not like images of meat should skip reading further in today’s post. Those who enjoy a good steak… be prepared to get very hungry!

A couple of weeks ago I visited Urban Farmer with other Portland food bloggers and a couple of representatives of Little Green Pickle PR company. Oh me, oh my… was it a fun night! I will try my best to summarize my evening and share only a portion of the many fun photos taken that evening. At the end of the post is a list of bloggers that I got to spend my evening with… check out their posts about the evening as well!

Pickled veggies that surrounded the dining room we were eating in

Urban Farmer is a Portland restaurant, located on the 8th floor of The Nines hotel, with an emphasis on “local, organic sourcing and simple straightforward presentations.” 

A yummy shrimp salad appetizer that went perfectly with bubbly

All I knew about Urban Farmer before going to the restaurant was that it was above The Nines hotel, supposedly had good food, and that I wanted to go. When I got an email inviting me to join in learning more about the restaurant I jumped at the chance! I love discovering more about the great Portland restaurants out there. 

Chef Matt discussing how they check for “doneness”


When you go up to the eighth floor of the building you are greeted with beautiful, lush pink/purple carpet and great curtains. You walk around the corner and see a very open floor plan where the restaurant and bar reside. At first I didn’t know for sure I was in the restaurant because of how open the floor plan was… but, after I was sure I was in the right place I fell in love with the simple, modern decor with farmhouse touches. The room we sat in was surrounded by shelves filled with jars of pickled items and candles. 

I was greeted with a glass of champagne… so, that pretty much started things off right in my book. We were able to meet with the sommelier, manager, pastry chef, and chef throughout the evening. Such a treat for the food nerds in the room (I’m including myself in this group.) 

I was even more excited to get to tour the back of the house and see what goes on in their kitchen. I’ve worked for a lot of restaurants in my day…. not one would have let a group of bloggers tour their kitchens with cameras in hand. I also made it through their entire kitchen area wearing heels without falling once, which is a huge tell to how clean their floors were.

Yep, he is using a saw.

This post would be a crazy amount of long if I shared everything I loved about this evening. I’m going to try to quickly highlight some of my favorite parts of the evening at Urban Farmer:

  • We discussed how Urban Farmer uses whole cow butchery in their restaurant. They order other cuts that are used often. But, they also order whole cows and use EVERY part of the cow in their work. They even found uses for all the excess liver fat that they had on hand from the cows… they made candles that were actually used in the dining area that we were seated with the fat and chef Matt made some soap from it as well. We even got to take home a bar of cow-fat soap at the end of the evening! It was a great example of using sustainable practices.
  • Chef Matt Christianson was a real treat. He explained the entire process of what he was doing from why he chose to use the whole cow, how they sourced their products, and tips on how to prepare the perfect steak. 
  • I tasted cow tongue…. and, I liked it! 
  • Celery Sorbet…. OMGeee! I never thought about making something like celery sorbet. But, it was amazing and I will be making it this Spring. 
  • The bathrooms were AMAZING. Each stall was an individual room. I know it is silly, but I really like cool bathrooms. 
I know I’ve been singing the praises for Urban Farmer. I had a great experience. I should also add, for honesty’s sake, that I would have never been able to afford a meal like this on my own. The menu prices for Urban Farmer are on the “only once a year for a very special occasion” side for me. However, after learning about the processes at Urban Farmer I feel like the price is worth the product. 
Yummy, yummy food.

Our menu for the evening:

  • UF Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Hama Hama Oyster
  • Dungeness Crab Cake with Pear, Butternut Squash and Mustard Aioli
  • Roasted West Coast Duck with Beets, Wild Rice and Amaranth
  • An Amuse-Bouche of Celery Sorbet with Truffle Honey, House Coppa, and Tangerine
  • New York Steak from Dry-Aged Laney Classic Beef
  • Ribeye Steak from La de Route Farms’s 100% Pure-Blood Wagyu Beef (what we butchered!)
  • Brussel Sprouts with Molasses Pecan Butter and Quince
  • French Curry Cauliflower with Apple and Tarragon
  • Twice-Baked Fingerling Potato Tarts
  • White Cheddar Grits with Stinging Nettle Butter
  • A Dessert of Spiced Chocolate Panna Cotta and Mascarpone Ice Cream
Portland-area bloggers in attendance:

We tasted many great wines… however, Mari brought a couple from Soter Vineyards that were delicious and I just had to share them with you:

  • 2011 Soter North Valley Chardonnay, $30— Went really well with the Crab Cake
  • 2010 Soter Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir, $50— Paired nicely with the steak and with the duck
See the cow tongue?
You didn’t think I’d forget to post a picture of a cow tongue, did you? 
This experience, and the meal, was probably up there at the top of my “best meals ever” list. 
What is the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
* This meal was provided by Urban Farmer and Little Green Pickle. It was not, however, in exchange for a positive review. The above opinions are my own.
  1. Kayla Moothart
  2. Sarah @ Will Run for Pasta
  3. michellelo2009
  4. Karen Locke

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