Tomorrow, Saturday, October 4, is the Autumn Harvest fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Some of Portland’s top chef talent will join together to give a progressive Autumnal tasting in hopes of raising funds and awareness for the hospital. The evening will feature live entertainment, flights from local mixologists, and an auction and the chance to experience St. Jude first-hand through local patients. It will also showcase Portland’s finest during a tasting led by 2014 James Beard Award recipient Naomi Pomeroy of Beast. Other featured chefs include:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a hospital where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel or food. They believe that all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Personally, I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is… this last year we have been dealing with possible health problems with my toddler son. Our doctors thought he had Cystic Fibrosis . We spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and even more time on the phone trying to get in to see specialists and dealing with insurance. Now we will be paying off those bills. It has been a lot of worry and stress in our lives. We recently got the news that he does not have Cystic Fibrosis, but they aren’t sure what is causing him to get sick so often and so badly. I felt a small (minuscule) part of what many families are feeling and my heart will be forever changed because of it. Any and all support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will go far in helping families who are in a world of hurt and worry.
I’m excited to be able to share my experience with readers. Look for a blog post about it soon! But, in the meantime… check out more information about St. Judes by visiting the St. Jude website or click over to donate to this cause today.
**Lots of pictures of meat coming up. My vegetarian readers may want to jump back in to the mix another day… unless you think photos of delicious, well-prepared meat may sway you to the dark side!**
Recently I had the pleasure of trying out Fogo De Choa. Fogo De Choa is a Brazilian restaurant chain with a gaucho-style steakhouse feel that recently came to Portland, Oregon. My husband and I were invited to try out the restaurant for their recent opening. It was fun getting dressed up and heading out for an evening of fun… it isn’t something we get to do often!
I have always been the person that googles “theme restaurant” or “restaurant with an experience” when I search for special occasion dinners. I like enjoying the whole she-bang of an experience (give me fondue or traditional moroccan cuisine over a fancy schmancy restaurant that I enjoy a dinner in an hour and leave). Fogo De Chao is an experience! It isn’t just sitting down to order a meal and leave. You get to be a part of your meal experience in a dynamic way.
The meal started off with signature caipirinhas and a trip to the salad bar. This is not just any salad bar. There are mounds of vegetables, meats, cheeses, and sides. Guests go and grab their own selection of side items… beware, don’t fill up on all the sides! There will be so much meat that you’ll kick yourself if you’re too full. I was glad that I chose to fill my plate with things that I wanted to eat with my meat and I waited as meats came around so that I could enjoy it all together. We also ordered a shrimp cocktail that was one of the largest shrimp cocktails I’ve seen in my life. Big, beautiful pieces of shrimp!
And then came the MEAT. Oh me, oh my. Meat that is seasoned with sea salt and prepared over the fire is brought around to the tables and sliced right onto your plate. You simple flip over a small coaster when you want meat and flip it back over when you don’t. Flip as many times as you like! Nearly all the meat was made to perfection. One of the chicken dishes I tried was a tad dry– however, I tried it again when a different skewer came around and it was great! So much amazing meat though…
And, then… when we didn’t think we could eat ANY more came the dessert menus. My husband’s face in the photo below entirely describes how we were feeling about this whole dessert thing.
Whatever you do… save room for dessert! I had one of the best key lime pies I’ve ever had.
I obviously enjoyed my experienced at Fogo De Chao. The food was great and it was a lot of fun. Some things you should know if you are going:
* Disclaimer: I received a complimentary dinner at Fogo De Chao to experience the restaurant for possible review. All opinions are my own.
Holy heck y’all… Acadia was JUST the thing I’ve been looking for in Portland. I love me some really good cajun food. Soothes the soul and sets fire to the palate. I’ve been to a couple of places in Portland, including the well loved le Bistro Montage, and they’ve been good. Acadia took it up a notch in my humble opinion.
The simple but fun ambiance of the restaurant made it a much easier place to have a conversation than some of the competition. Tasty dishes were presented with thought to how they looked visually…which pleased the Instagrammer in me.The flavors blended well, but always had a surprising pop of flavor.
The above pictured Corn-Meal Fried Louisiana Soft Shell Blue Crab with Jalapeno Tarter, English Pea, and Mint Salad is the perfect example. The peas, mint, and perfectly cooked crusty-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside crab made for a surprisingly fresh and light tasting appetizer…perfectly rounded out by the surprising bite of jalapeno at the end.
Also highly recommended is the Louisiana Barbecue Shrimp with lemon, black pepper, white wine and butter. Seriously… save all the bread for yourself so that you can just sop up this sauce.
The entrees were just as drool worthy as the appetizers. The pork tenderloin with cornbread puree and rhubarb chutney was a favorite. They bake the cornbread and then puree it! Who would have thought?
Obviously, I enjoyed Acadia. But, it wasn’t just for the food. I was thrilled to be able to try a variety of the cocktails as well. From savory to sweet the cocktails worked as a starter before the meal, accompaniment during the meal, and an end of night topper. My favorite was the Mint Julep topped with a beautiful dusting of powdered sugar.
Study Retreat- cucumber vodka, blood orange, byrrh, port wine, salt. Any easy sipper whether you’re hitting the sand or hitting the books.
Young Sarandon- union gin, fresh rhubarb, house-made rhubarb sorbet. Frothy and live,just a touch of sweet. Surely an Oscar-caliber performance.
Portland Caprese- white rum, fresh basil, clarified tomato, cane vinegar, honey, lemon, salt & pepper. Somewhere between drinks and dinner, you’ll find this epicurean delight. Savory and smooth, get ready to fool your palate, signora.
Julep- bourbon, min, sugar. Nothing is better than one of these for helping pick your Derby winners. Ours has a secret ingredient that we think sets it apart.
Commander La Croix- Tequila, lemon, honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger beer. For easing out of your Master Cleanse…
If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch a group of food blogging women be served three decadent desserts then you are missing out. The entire table moved as we all stood up to see the desserts as they were being prepped with garnishes and passed around for photos. I’m pretty sure everyone in the restaurant was wondering what the heck the crazy gaggle of women were doing taking photos of these desserts instead of just digging in! But, dig in we did. We tried the following amazing sweet treats:
Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding- with white chocolate-brandy ganache, toasted pecans and thickened sweet cream
Tropic thunder: the dessert- banana cake with maraschino drizzle, coconut frosting, passion fruit cheesecake, and golden graham-macadamia crunch
Chocolate esspresso layer cake- with burnt marshmallow, fudge icing and white chocolate crumb
This dinner was provided by Acadia with purpose of potential review. My thoughts are my own. I will be going back!
A few years ago, when I was very pregnant with my son, my husband planned an elaborate night out for the two of us. It began with appetizers and drinks at a little art bar in Portland (no longer open) and then went on to dinner at a new-to-me restaurant called Serratto Restaurant and Bar. The date ended with dessert and drinks at a third destination that I can’t even remember now. While the whole date was amazing, and huge deal for the husband that never plans anything, the highlight of the evening was our dinner at Serratto. I had the most amazing Pork Ragu that I have tried to recreate a thousand times to no avail.
This past Fall I was invited to a blogger dinner to try out several of Serratto’s many different dishes. I jumped at the opportunity to try out the restaurant again. My evening did not disappoint! I can’t wait for my next date night at Serratto, but it sure did make for the perfect Girls’ Night venue as well.
Any meal that begins with a good, dry sparkling wine is my kind of dinner. We started the meal with a delicious prosecco and caught up on everyone’s busy lives. This meal was about two weeks into me starting my new full-time job… the glass of prosecco was just the thing to end a busy work day!
The meal that followed included a multi-course menu and wine flight. My favorite parts of the meal? Well, it was all pretty great (just how I had remembered it) but, my favorites were:
Beet salad with shaved fennel, orange supremes, Portland Creamery chevre and lemon-tarragon vinaigrette
Braised Carlton Farms beef cheek with porcini-potato gnocchi, smoked cipollini onions, braised leeks and carrots
Ravioli with forest mushroom, caramelized onion and goat cheese filling, grilled asparagus and preserved lemon cream
Vanilla Crème brûlée with candied pecans and fresh berries
More about Serratto: Serratto is a lively and elegant neighborhood restaurant serving authentic and innovative dishes from Italy, France and the greater Mediterranean region. The menu, which changes seasonally, is built around a commitment to using hand-made pastas, natural meats, the freshest seafood, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Serratto is located at 2112 NW Kearny Street (at 21st) in Portland, OR. Visit Serratto on Facebook and Twitter.
Sometimes I struggle with putting way too much in a post. I try to get down EVERY little thought I had about a place that I’ve visited, an experience I’ve had, or item I love. I thought that for Fifty Licks the photos above spoke volumes. I had the fortunate opportunity to join several other bloggers in trying out Fifty Licks, a Portland small-batch ice cream shop, for a tasting last November. Since then I’ve been back to share the adorable little shop with friends and family on several occasions. Both the ambiance and the flavor deliver each time I’ve gone.
Flavors and toppings may change on a seasonal basis. If you’ve tried Fifty Licks I’d love to read (and try) your favorite flavor or order. Comment your suggestions below!
A Well Crafted Party received a complimentary tasting for the purposes of review. All opinions and thoughts are those of Jenni Bost of A Well Crafted Party.
More about Fifty Licks: Fifty Licks began in 2010, as an innovative ice cream company, in a mobile food cart. Today Fifty Licks has a mobile cart available for events and catering, a stationary cart at the Good Food Here Pod at SE Belmont & 43rd, and scoop shop at 2021 SE Clinton in Portland, Oregon. Visit Fifty Licks on social media: Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.
I’ve now had the pleasure of trying Pronto Pizza in SE Portland twice. It is one of those places that I was thrilled someone told me about, because I had never heard of it and probably wouldn’t have thought to look for a local-loving, in-house making pizzeria and kitchen in a strip mall on 82nd.
The first time I visited I brought my family out for a meal. My second visit was as blogger visit to sample and learn about the kid’s menu. I brought my husband and fairly picky 2-year-old to taste test the new menu items. It was difficult pulling him away from the kid’s area filled with toys and a train table. (Whoever that first person was that thought restaurants should have train tables and kid areas was a brilliant, brilliant person.)
In both visits I found that Pronto Pizza does a great job at being the type of family restaurant that I would frequent. So, I thought I’d share WHY I think Pronto Pizza is a great Portland-area restaurant for families.
I cannot go out to a family meal and enjoy myself if I am spending a full day of pay! On my family outing to Pronto Pizaa my husband and I were treating visiting relatives to a meal out. Four adults and one toddler enjoyed an appetizer, large Brussels sprout salad, two pizzas, wine, beer, and beverages, and a dessert all for under $100– just over with a tip. The meal served all four adults and the kiddo with leftovers. The prices were entirely reasonable and the value was high from our experience.
I like to have a variety of quality items to choose from (without so many choices that I am stuck reading a menu for an hour) when I go out with my family for a meal. On date nights I am much more likely to order a “chefs choice” or “prix fixe” menu that has very little choice involved. I’m all for trying new things… but, when I am going out with my toddler, it is nice to have a good variety of menu options. I will inevitably choose a restaurant with choices of both healthy items and gooey-cheesy goodness when we want a nice, easy family meal. I was very happy with Pronto Pizza’s menu selections. They had interesting and tasty salads (could be ordered in large or small sizes), pastas, pizzas, and more. The menu changes up based on availability and season (LOVE THIS) but, if you go and they have the Brussels Sprouts Salad on the menu you must try it! The salad had perfectly cooked (in my book) Brussels sprouts, thick pieces of bacon, and a house-made vinaigrette.
Nowadays, when we are thinking about restaurants, convenience of location and ability to reserve a table or get seated quickly are very high on our list of needs. Pronto Pizza has a large seating area and we never had to wait long either time we’ve been. Now, we would have to have visited several more times to be totally sure, but our experience so far was great. The SE location may not be super convenient to all our Beaverton friends, but it is GREAT for us! Plus, it is right off a highway, so that works for those who are making a trip out.
Portland is pretty great about kids in most restaurants. I never really thought of it much before kids, but I really appreciate it now that I do have a child. Enjoying a nice meal out every now and again is important to me. It would be terrible if I couldn’t bring my toddler out to a meal! Pronto Pizza is one of the Portland-area restaurants that really bring that kid-friendliness up a notch with their play area for younger kids, video games for older kids, and Monday night screenings of cartoons. Hey, and the fact that kid’s eat free on Monday evenings* is pretty sweet too.
Have you seen kid’s menus at most establishments? Mac & Cheese, chicken nuggets, pasta/butter/cheese… oh, and don’t forget the sides of french fries and bread! Typically the healthy option is a side of apple slices or grapes. My son definitely eats pasta and pizza on more occasions than I’d like to admit. But, I really do try to get him some nutritious food items in EVERY meal. Limited kid menus make me want to pack a lunch for him from home. We will often just have to get food items for ourselves that are healthful and more kid-friendly. But, I really appreciate it when a restaurant puts thought into the nutrition, taste, and kid-friendliness of their kid’s menus so that I can have the meal I like and order my son a meal that he wants and that will be good for him!
So, this is the part about Pronto Pizza that I am MOST excited to share with readers…Pronto Pizza partnered with Jacki Abbott, medical educator and nutritionist with Northwest Primary Care, to help create their new kid’s menu. Pronto Pizza also invited 12 youngsters in to do a taste test of possible kid menu items when developing their new menu to ensure the food offerings weren’t just highly nutritious, but also palatable for kids. My kiddo totally loved the baked cauliflower sticks and marinara sauce. (Check out the new kid’s menu below)
The entire menus is something that I did as well. Besides the food being good. It is filled with ingredients purchased from local farms and farmer’s markets; seasonal pizza toppings with imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes, double zero flour and olive oil; and daily handmade pastas.
* Kid’s EAT FREE at Movie Night on Mondays starting Monday, February 10th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Kids under age 12 are invited to enjoy a complimentary pizza with one topping with the purchase of an adult meal.
Classic Cartoons playing on the big screen!
A Well Crafted Party was provided a free meal with purpose of review of the kid’s menu. All opinions and thoughts expressed are those of Jenni Bost of A Well Crafted Party.
More information about Pronto Pizza: Pronto Pizza, formerly Sunshine Pizza Exchange, located off highway 224 and 82nd Drive, offers deliciously simple Neapolitan-style pizzas, fresh house made pastas and farmer’s market salads. There is a private banquet room, ample space for large parties, a kid’s playroom and various retro arcade games to keep the younguns’ entertained. The overall philosophy of Pronto Pizza is to serve fresh, local, organic, seasonal and sustainable food to families at an affordable price.
Well all know how much I LOVE Portland restaurants. I’ve been fortunate enough to sample dishes at many of the local eateries. I love that I get to post reviews of restaurants– discuss what restaurants do well and such things. Daily I get emails from my favorite restaurants sharing their specials and promoting new menu items. My inbox has been especially full with the upcoming holiday of love, decadence, and dining out– Valentine’s Day. I’ve gathered a list of some of the specials that I thought would interest local readers. Check them out this weekend if you don’t have plans yet! These specials are for Valentine’s Day 2014… the restaurants are good all year long!
Sidestep the downtown crowds and sneak away to your favorite neighborhood New Orleans Bistro for a candle-lit, soul-satisfying Valentine’s meal prepared by chef/owner Adam Higgs. He will prepare a wonderful five-course feast with plenty of options from which to choose. Select the prix fixe option for $75 per person, or order a la carte off the same menu. Reserve now - this menu will be available on Valentine’s Day only!
Join Andina for Dia de los Enamorados this Valentine’s Day for a Peruvian celebration of food, music, and wine! From 5-10:30 pm on February 14th, indulge in a sumptuous 3-course prix fixe menu that includes a half bottle of premium Champagne, sparkling or red wine. Live musical entertainment will be provided by Portland musicians Danny Romero and the Toshi Onizuka Trio throughout the evening. Reservations for Andina’s prix fixe 3-course dinner start at $90. For reservations please call 503-228-9535.
Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s at Aviary this year. Combining classic French technique with exotic Eastern flavors, the special four-course menu designed by Aviary’s trio of chefs will feature delicious specialties such as Tasmanian sea trout with blood orange, roast lamb leg served with zucchini tart and spiced apricots, and more. For dessert, Aviary will offer a rich chocolate torte with quince sorbet alongside crème fraîche cheesecake with blood oranges and matcha shortbread. Reservations for the romantic four-course dinner are $65 per person with optional $25 wine pairings. Call Aviary at 503-287-2400 for reservations. (Check out my review of Aviary)
The Northwest restaurant will be serving the full menu as well as a special couple’s four course pre-fixe menu at $80 for two that will run Thursday, February 13th through Sunday, February 16th. The menu features seasonal dishes such as Oregon black truffle, Carolina rice grits, Oregon black cod, and chocolate pudding cake with Salt & Straw malted buttermilk ice cream for dessert. Please visit The Bent Brick online or call 503-688-1655 for reservations and more information. (Check out my review of The Bent Brick)
Enjoy a cozy, romantic dinner in one of Portland’s classic restaurants this Valentine’s Day. Besaw’s will be serving the daily dinner menu as well as a number of mouth-watering specials, including fresh oysters on the half shell with a blood orange gastrique, and dungeness crab cannelloni. The restaurant has a wonderful selection of Willamette Valley wines, local brews and a couple of signature Valentine’s Day cocktails. For reservations call 503-228-2619. (Check out this great review of Besaw’s from my pal The Spicy Bee)
Start off February 14th with a fresh breakfast, brunch or lunch with special Valentine’s Day drinks and treats. Specialty cocktails including strawberry hibiscus mimosas are available all weekend long. On February 13th and 14th stop in to pick up Valentine’s Day sweets in festive packaging for those you cherish at home, school or the office, such as chocolate covered honeycombs, bags of mini-cookies or Block’s signature chocolate pudding for two. For more information call 503-234-5689.
A meal that will pay you back! Cocotte wants to make sure your Valentines Day will be an amorous one. So chef/owner Kat LeSueur will be creating a sumptuous, 6-course meal around the best aphrodisiacs the culinary world has to offer: Mussels, oysters, lamb, chocolate, chilies and avocado will all make appearances on the 6-course tasting menu. Join us: Friday, February 14th or Saturday, February 15th–Six courses $75 Reservations: (503) 227-2669
Join Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery on Valentine’s Day evening for a For or Against Valentine’s Prix Fixe Menu! The menu is three courses and has choices for each course– great for couples that want to try (and share) different items! Three courses for $30/person (does not include beverages or gratuity). Wine pairings available for an additional $15/person. Reservations Encouraged! 503-206-7862 or email@example.com (Check out my review of Cyril’s Restaurant)
Take in one of the best views of Portland from sky-high Departure this Valentine’s Day. Chef Gregory Gourdet has prepared a five-course meal with a selection of Departure classics and eight dishes created just for this special night, including a decadent and sweet dessert duo. The Valentine’s Day menu at Departure is $69 a person and will be served alongside the bar menu available all night. For reservations please call 503-802-5370.
Celebrate February 14th in style with Imperial’s specially designed Valentine’s Day menu. Specials include grilled foie gras and pineapple in a brown sugar and rum glaze, and lamb tartare dressed in crispy sunchokes and mint. For dessert, indulge in a tasting of chocolate confections including: salty caramel ice cream bon bons, red velvet sweetheart cake, bourbon soaked cherries and more. Treat your date to Imperial’s new cocktail, St. Valentine’s Sbagliato- a honeyed chamomile Plymouth gin concoction designed by bar manager Brandon Wise. For reservations please call 503-228-7222.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this Valentine’s Day, Kerns Kitchen will be serving simple and fresh, full flavored Italian dishes. As a special valentine to their customers, the restaurant has partnered with neighbors Missionary Chocolates and Happy Cup Roasters to treat guests to a gift bag containing specialty truffles and 1/4 lb specialty roast coffee beans. Reservations are suggested for Valentine’s Day at Kerns Kitchen. Please call 503-477-7779.
Enjoy the rich flavors of French-Arabesque twists on modern Middle Eastern fare this Valentine’s Day at Levant. Open from 5-10pm, Levant will serve the full, à la carte menu in addition to a special four-course prix fixe dinner for $55 a person or with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25 a person. Please call 503-954-2322 for reservations.
Make your night memorable with a delicious meal at Life of Pie. On Valentine’s Day, Life of Pie pizzeria will serve a special menu for two with personalized arancini and kale salads, two wood-fired Margherita pizzas and your choice of either a bottle of sparkling wine or sparkling cider for $30 a couple. Please call 503-719-7321 for more information.
Treat your date to a special night out with a elegant flair at Little Bird. The French bistro inspired restaurant will be serving the inventive yet comforting dishes Little Bird is known for and will feature a Valentine’s Day Pink Champagne Cocktail ($14), a sparkling rosé with a Peychaud bitters-soaked sugar cube and grapefruit peel garnish. Little Bird is open this Valentine’s Day from 11:30am – 12am. Call 503-688-5952 for more information and reservations.
Ned Ludd provides a one-of-a-kind rustic dining experience for you and your loved one this Valentine’s day. With care and a culinary focus on the bounty of Oregon and the greater Northwest region, Ned Ludd will fire the wood fired oven for an aphrodisiac inspired à la carte menu or a prix fixe Valentine’s menu with an optional wine pairing. Reservations for two are $110 for dinner only and $160 for dinner and wine. Please call the restaurant at 503-288-6900 for reservations.
For an intimate night out, Oso Market + Bar is teaming up with Chef Abby Fammartino of Abby’s Table to serve a romantic dinner with menu items including Kumamoto oysters on the half shell with remolde, peppercorn crusted Painted Hill beef tenderloin with wild mushroom reduction, and coconut crème bruleé. The dinner menu is also available 100% gluten, soy, and dairy free. Reservations for the dinner will be pre-sold only for $48 plus gratuity and with a wine pairing for $65 plus gratuity. To purchase and RSVP please visit the Oso Market Shop.
New Italian pop-up, Project Grace, will be serving a five-course menu at Trinket both Thursday, February 13th and Friday, February 14th. Italian dishes will be featured such as Pesce Crudo with local albacore, citrus, fennel and Capezzana olive oil, grilled lettuce hearts, black pepper cavatelli with Manila clams, pork belly and pangattato, “Terra e Mare” with pan seared strip steak, dungeness crab zabaglione, and spinach crushed fingerlings, and Woodblock chocolate polenta cake with blood orange, and caramelized white chocolate. Seatings for Project Grace’s five-course dinner are from 6-10pm and are $45 a person. Please call 503-805-1345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve.
Stop by Remedy Wine Bar for a comfortable and intimate night out on February 14th. Remedy will be serving the full menu in addition to Coq au Vin for Valentine’s Plat du Jour. Special dishes include oysters on the half shell with Champagne mignonette and chocolate pain perdue with banana mousse and caramel with recommended wine pairings. Call 503-222-1449 for more information. (Check out this great review of Remedy Wine Bar from my pal at Urban Bliss Life)
Taste the decadent, chocolate themed flavors of Valentine’s Day with a Salt & Straw twist this February. Salt & Straw has collaborated with many of Portland’s small-batch chocolatiers including Sahagun Chocolates, Xocolatl de David, Missionary Chocolates, Alma Chocolate and Woodblock Chocolate, to showcase each artisan’s unique style and flavor. On Valentine’s Day, stop by any location for a scoop of ice cream or flight of all five flavors and visit the Salt & Straw photo booth to take pictures and support Oregon United for Marriage. Throughout the entire month of February, Salt & Straw will donate a portion of sales from the Valentine’s Day flavors to Oregon United for Marriage to support same-sex marriage rights in Oregon. For more information please call 503-208-3867.
SE Wine Collective offers multiple opportunities to celebrate the holiday of love. Those in an amorous frame of mind can cozy up in the Collective’s Tasting Bar for a classic Valentine’s special of wine and food for two whenever the mood strikes them Wednesday, February 12th through Sunday, February 16th. Wine options include Champ Divin Crémant de Jura – Sparkling Brut Rosé NV and 2011 Chateau Peybonhomme-Les Tour – Côtes de Blays, Cru Bourgeois. Special food items are a Baked Camembert with a spiced hazelnut crust and Pinot poached Oregon cranberries, served with Little T baguette and fresh apple slices along with a flourless chocolate fudge cake a la mode with Salt & Straw’s Black Walnuts and Bow and Arrow (SEWC Alumni) Gamay Jam ice cream. Celebrate Valentine’s an evening early during SE Wine Collective’s new collaborative Supper Social featuring The Cheese Bar with Steve Jones on February 13th at 6:30pm. The event will showcase an Old World, New World Menu where guests can choose between a French Classic Raclette and pairings of French wines and beer, or Swiss “Nachos,” paired with local Portland wines and beer. Reservations for Supper Social with the Cheese Bar are required and tickets are available online for $30 a person. In addition, on February 14th SE Wine Collective will host Whiskers, Wags and Wine – a fundraiser for Animal Rescue and Care Fund. Starting at 5 pm, the fundraiser will be a fun evening of raffles, local wines, small bites and chocolates all in support of Animal Rescue and Care Fund (ARCF). Admission is free and proceeds from the evening will go to ARCF. Please call 503-402-8692 for more information.
The stylish, “inauthentic Asian” eatery will serve eclectic, yet refined dishes for a prix fixe four-course at $50 per person with an optional beverage pairing for an additional $30 per person. In addition to the prix fixe menu, an abbreviated menu of Smallwares favorites will be offered. For reservations please call 971-229-0995.
Head to St. Honore’s SE Division location this Valentine’s Day for dinner, romantic dessert offerings, and two glasses of Jean Louis Denois Cremant de Loire for $19.95 in addition to live music on February 13th and February 14th. The dessert special is available February 12-16th from 4 to 10 pm. Musicians from Hot Club of Hawthorne will play French-style gypsy jazz from 6 to 9 pm on February 13th and Nancy Curtin’s duo will play Brazilian jazz and bossa nova, accompanied by Emmy-award winning composer Vince Frates on piano on February 14th from 6-9pm. Those looking to pick up sweets and treats will find a wide selection of popular love themed pastries, each available in festive wrapping. For ordering information and store locations visit please visit www.sainthonorebakery.com.
For Valentine’s Day 2014 Urban Farmer will be offering their full dinner menu in addition to specials for two such as oysters with Champagne mignonette and steamed butterfish for $30. A five-course tasting “Farmerdisiac” menu will also be offered at $70 per person from Friday the 14th through Saturday the 15th. The “Farmerdisiac” offers decadent, seasonal dishes such 21 day dry aged New York steak with foraged mushroom risotto. Please call Urban Farmer at 503-222-4900 for more information and reservations. (Check out my review of Urban Farmer)
Join Wildwood for a romantic and elegant meal featuring dishes such as gnocchi with smoked trout, Meyer lemon and hazelnuts and pomegranate marinated lamb with green curry collard greens and pickled fresno. Open for lunch from 11:30-2pm and dinner 5-10pm, Reservations are required for Valentine’s Day at Wildwood, please contact the restaurant via email at email@example.com or by calling 503-248-9663.
Have you ever visited a restaurant in your area that you’ve never noticed before, or heard of…and then, BAM, you realize you’ve been missing out for way too long? That is exactly how I feel about Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery. Cyril’s restaurant is located in SE Portland (my turf, yo) and I just now discovered its awesomeness.
The gorgeous, open layout of the restaurant is hidden on the corner of SE Oak and SE 8th Street in Portland, Oregon. The restaurant is connected with the local micro-winery, Clay Pigeon Winery. I loved the open layout of the restaurant, the simple menus, and the excellent attention to detail in menu creation.
While the whole restaurant had a neat, clean, almost modern feel to it, the food had more of a down-home appeal with a Portland-twist. The food was comforting and made with many local and sustainably sourced ingredients. We had so many amazing dishes while we were there.
The menu changes seasonally, and features creations such as their Garlicy Greens (pictured above) which are sauteed greens with garlic, grana padano cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice served on toasted bread. The meal off with a cheese board and a meat board, glasses of wine, and the Garliky Greens. These simple items were elevated by the selection of really great ingredients and sources. Two of Cyril’s entrees came next– one a special on the menu and the other the Boeuf Stew off of their Fall Menu. The Boeuf Stew was rich and tender.
Somehow there was still room for dessert.
I’ve always been a big fan of dessert. The menu reads “Sweet Thing” instead of a list of desserts. At the end of the meal you simply ask the server about the desserts for the day. The desserts were expertly paired with some delicious dessert beverages on request. I could go on and on about the desserts… but, I’ll spare you just in case you go and they don’t have these items.
Instead, let me take a moment to praise the waitstaff. The restaurant front of house was staffed by a small team the evening I visited. Michael and Sasha (the owners) were there as well as the server that waited our table. She was AMAZING. Years in the industry makes me feel like I’m an expert on this–She was stealthy in her clearing skills, quiet when needed, and she knew the menu (and ingredients) backwards and forwards. Which that cannot be a simple task when the menu changes as often as it does! When you visit Cyril’s Restaurant I’d highly recommend asking the staff for their opinion and recommendation. We were not sorry that we did.
And then there is the wine…
You can’t talk about a restaurant that is connected to a winery without mentioning the wine. Right? I had the opportunity to try the Clay Pigeon Winery Syrah. It was smooth, and rich in flavor. Not too dry and not too sweet. It hit that middle ground of fruity that I enjoy. I typically stay away from Syrah wines to be completely honest… but, I’d buy this one again. I was fortunate enough to be able to tour the winery side of the venue to see and taste future vintages in production.
Reading this blog you might think that I love every restaurant I go to… but, that isn’t true at all. There are plenty places that don’t make it on my blog. There are places that are wonderful, but too expensive for me to frequent often (which I’ll always mention), and there are places that have one or two great aspects that I might share. I’ll always be honest about my opinion… and, I was blown away by Cyril’s. I can’t wait to go back…. next time I am going to go with friends and try the table-side Raclette grill!
Want to learn more about Portland Restaurant Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery?
PS. All of these photos were taken on my iPhone. I promise to grab better photos when I go back next time!
I was beyond thrilled when one of the Portland Blogger organizers, Bee from The Spicy Bee, worked with local PR company Little Green Pickle to bring together an amazing opportunity for local bloggers. The Holiday Mingle was slotted as an opportunity for local bloggers to get a chance to meet and connect with some amazing restaurants and food vendors from the area– right in time for their holiday projects! It was also an opportunity to listen to a panel of PR professionals talk about working with bloggers. Only in Portland can you get competitors working together to create an amazing event that hopefully, in the end, is beneficial to everyone involved.
I’m breaking this post up into two posts because there is just so much to cover… so, now I give you the amazing food and some fabulous companies! I’ll be back soon with tips for bloggers from real PR pros!
The restaurant owners and vendors that came out for the Holiday Mingle brought their A-game. I highly encourage you to read on if you are in Portland looking for great places to eat, are planning on traveling to Portland, or are looking for an item or two for your foodie friends and family for the holidays.
A lot of my readers are from the PNW area and I hope that this list helps bring to light some of the awesome companies we have available. But, even if you aren’t from Portland, some of the products above can be shipped! I would be thrilled to find many of these items under the tree or at the holiday dinner table this season!
Disclaimer: I received a complementary happy hour and cocktail instruction from Aviary Restaurant in SE Portland for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated. Check out my review of the Aviary Happy Hour.
While enjoying several tasty dishes and cocktails at Aviary’s Happy Hour last week the barman Russ Hunsinger shared how he came up with one of Aviary’s most popular cocktails, the Brix Layer. Not only did he share his inspiration and thoughts behind the tasty concoction, but he pulled together a make shift bar in the dining room and showed us how to make it!
Russ came up with the drink while hanging out with friends, drinking Cabernet. He really wanted to figure out a way to create a cocktail that utilized the wine. He started off using a basic old fashioned recipe and working from there. The layering of the drink happened naturally and changes with the type of whiskey or cab used.
This recipe is only an approximation of the awesomeness we tasted at Aviary. But, I wanted to share with those of you that didn’t live in the Portland area and just have to schedule a trip to Aviary in to a future visit to our lovely city.
*You can use any sour really, but the Aviary House Sour is made with lemon, lime, orange juice, and sugar. So, to get a similar taste you should use a homemade fresh sour that has orange juice in it. Try out this sweet-and-sour recipe from Baked Bree.
Disclaimer: I was invited by Aviary to try out their Happy Hour drinks and food items with other bloggers free of charge. I was not otherwise compensated.
I had heard about Aviary Restaurant from a few of my foodie friends, but hadn’t ventured out to the SE restaurant until this past week. I’m sort of kicking myself for not trying it sooner. It was seriously amazing.
I brought my DSLR to take amazing photos. But, when I got it out to shoot it flashed the dreaded, “No CF Card” message at me. Of course. So, I iPhoned it the entire night. I did manage to catch a couple of beautiful photos…however, if you wanna go check out some really amazing photos of this event then check out my friend Michelle’s Hummingbird High post about the event.
The food and drinks at Aviary were filled with complex flavors, prepared in a simple and delicious fashion. I even ate pig feet and loved it (still happy I didn’t know what it was before I tried it!) We enjoyed several of the Aviary Happy Hour menu items including: kusshi oysters, tempura green beans, pulled pork sliders, brussels sprout nachos (OMG—why have I never made this at home!?), trotter n eggs, and bread and bagna cauda. So good. You could totally see the references to Japanese and Korean food in the menu. But, it was completely its own style of food. The Happy Hour food prices range from $2 to $6. I didn’t try one thing that I didn’t like (though, admittedly, I don’t meet many foods I don’t enjoy.) My favorites were the oysters (a little bit of spice!) and the brussels sprout nachos.
The only bad thing about going to a cocktail party is that I want to try as many different cocktails as possible, but I also want to remain a responsible person and not get sloshed at the dinner table. Thankfully for me, many of the food bloggers weren’t too worried about germs and were very generous in allowing sample sips. I was able to really taste several different cocktails! Coming from a bar background I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with the quality ingredients and beautiful preparation of each of the drinks that I tried. The drinks that I tried include: pinkerton, one night in bangkok, high and low, milkplus vellocet, brix layer, and the opera sidecar. All of them were delicious. Drink prices range from $9 to $10— which is common for the quality ingredients and large pours.
While at Aviary barman Russ Hunsinger shared with us how he came up with and makes the Brix Layer cocktail. I’ll be back tomorrow to share with you some of his tips and how he made this brilliant drink.
My favorite moment of the night was when Natalie (of Twelfth Avenue) asked Russ (the bartender) the name of her drink? The conversation went something like this:
Natalie: “What was this one again? One night in Bangkok? Or nights in bangkok?
Russ: “For you, it can be as many nights as you want.”
Check out the Aviary Restaurant for more information about their business hours, location, and menu. A big thank you to Aviary for inviting me out to try Happy Hour and teaching me to make the Brix Layer!
Check out these awesome blogs whose bloggers joined me in Happy Hour at Aviary:
I was invited to attend and review the Field and Vine Events’ Dinners in the Field over this past weekend. I had an amazing time with my friend Bee from The Spicy Bee. We drove just outside the city to Woodburn, Oregon and Iverson’s Farm for our dinner. The views were pretty much epic. The day was beautiful. And, the food—delish!
The meal was served family style and we were all able to chat with the people around us. It was fun listening to the different stories, talking about the foods, and getting to know a little bit more about the other people attending the event. I’m a weirdo about parking, heat, and bathrooms at events… so, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the parking was just fine, they placed us under tents for dinner, and the restrooms (though porta potties) were clean and had running water/soap for hand washing. The service from the team of Field and Vine events was AWESOME. Everyone dressed in flannel shirts (perfect for a dinner in the middle of the field) and worked hard at making sure drinks were full and everyone had enough food. The chef even prepared items off menu for the vegetarians in the crowd.
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (or Iverson’s Family Farm) was an amazing venue for the event. They have over 1600 acres with plants being planted and harvested throughout the year. I honestly couldn’t even keep up with everything they told us about the farm. I was so impressed. Some highlights— In the Spring there is a field of gorgeous tulips! Beautiful photos. In the Fall they have a corn maze and haunted corn maze. There is a little train for the kiddos that looks like a bunch of cows. So cute. I can’t wait to bring my kiddo this fall.
Overall, it was a lovely evening. I actually can’t wait to set up a date night to go later in the season.
Additional Dinners in the Field Events: Currently there are three more dinners scheduled: August 10 at AlexEli Vineyard & Winery, Molalla, September 14 at King’s Raven Winery, Oregon City, and September 22 at Morning Shade Farm, Canby. Additional Farm & Vineyard dinners are being added to the schedule as well, including: August 25 at Bekham Estate and September 7 at Apollini. To find out more or to find out how to purchase tickets visit the Field and Vine website and check out the “Farms & Winery Dinners” section. The events cost $75, but include a six-course family style meal, gratuity, and wine.
More about Chef Pascal: Pascal Chureau is the chef/owner of Field and Vine Events. He is also the owner/ chef at Allium in West Linn. Follow along with his twitter feed to see updates on all the fun dinners he has planned for the future!
Disclaimer: I was given free entry to this dinner. I was not asked for a post in exchange for my visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If I sound super excited it is because I am super excited… welcome to me.
Back when the sun was actually shining in Portland (our week preview of Summer) I was invited by Little Green Pickle and The Bent Brick to sample the Happy Hour at the NW Portland bar and restaurant. I was excited about the opportunity, because I had heard a lot about The Bent Brick, but I hadn’t been able to visit yet.
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!