Chelsea and I hit the wall today. The wall that separates competition eaters from ladies who love food. After 48 hours of non-stop foodage, we started day 3 with Tasty n Son, a sister (or should I say brother) restaurant of Day 1 breakfast, Tasty n Alder. So delicious, but it was our wall, and we couldn’t consume another morsel until dinner. More about dinner later. And by the way, I NEVER skip lunch. In fact, I often eat lunch twice.
So we head up to the northeast, to the Mississippi district, which I loved. Cute boutiques and coffee shops and small restaurants….totally up my alley. We sit down at the bar and ordered what we thought were small plates and sides to share. First up, Potatoes Bravas with over easy eggs and aioli.
What arrived were approximately 2 pounds of potatoes that had been fried then tossed in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with 2 eggs and a delicious house made aioli (similar to mayonnaise). Absolutely delicious, but this alone could have served 2-3 people. Did I tell you we had ordered more?
A “small” (2 whole) side of Glazed Yams with Cumin, Maple and Brown Butter. We are yam lovers, and were unable to waste any. We are now up to about 3.5 pounds of tubers, with still more breakfast headed our way.
Just a bit of house made kimchee to cleanse our palates….
And my personal fav, Shakshuka, a red pepper and tomato stew topped with 2 more eggs and served with delicious grill sourdough. This Israeli version of baked eggs will be making a future appearance of this blog. The perfect cold weather breakfast item.
But oh! Did I mention that I had ordered (and forgotten that I ordered) the Sweet Biscuits with Oregon Blueberry Compote and Whipped Cream???? All because I hadn’t had any Oregon Blueberries yet. This was perhaps the best biscuit I’ve ever had….light, sweet, a little crispy on the outside and buttery moist on the inside.
Stuffed after having eaten enough food to feed a small village, we walked around this up and coming neighborhood. We thought we could work up an appetite, because I vaguely remember promising more post on burgers and ice cream. I am sorry to disappoint you. As I write this, it has been over 8 hours since breakfast and I am still stuffed. Alas, it is time to go conquer the Beast.
Hold up. I need to tell you of a charming french bistro, Cocotte, just around the corner from Beast. We needed an aperitif, as we still weren’t feeling up to the six courses awaiting us at our 8:45pm Beast ressie.
A neat Dubbonet Rouge was what I needed to get this (food) party started. That and some warm olives marinated in olive oil, lemon and thyme….but the picture is blurry, so you have to take my word for just how fabulous they were.
Bellies finally ready (some 11 hours after breakfast) and we head to Naomi Pomeroy’s much touted Beast. We had the last seating on a Wednesday night in Portland, which meant there were only 8 of us around a communal table (the restaurant can seat up to 24 during a seating at 2 communal tables). The kitchen is open to the entire dining room, and almost felt as if we were just hanging out in a (chef) friend’s warm, inviting home.
We started with Fall Leek Veloute with Fried Shoestring Potatoes and Trout Roe. The accompanying wine (we opted for the wine pairings with each course) was a cold glass of Achard-Vincent Clairette de Die NV Brut/Rhone Valley, France. The soup was perfectly velvety and light. So far, so good.
Now, those of you that know me will wonder what I was doing with that charcuterie plate in front of me. Well, I have to admit, when I found out what the menu this week would be, I was nervous about this course. But I am proud to tell you that I tried everything on my plate, and finished that center salad and the pickled vegetables (and the wine pairing). Clockwise from the top were: Foie Gras Bon Bon with Sauternes Gelee on top of a Peanut Wafer, Chicken Liver Mousse with Leaf Lard Cracker, Pickled Kohlrabi and Purple Cauliflower, Steak Tartare with Quail Egg, Pork Rillettes, Tete de Cochon, and House Cured Duck Breast. The wine pairing was a 2010 Messmer Scheurebe/Pfalz, Germany.
In all fairness, everyone else at the table, including Chelsea, inhaled everything on this plate, and everyone thought the Foie Bon Bon was to die for. The palette cleanser of Peach-Champagne-Something Else Sorbet was absolutely perfect.
Generally when consuming 6 courses, the courses are small plates. Except when you are a beast….I mean at Beast.
The Cattail Creek Lamb Chop with Heirloom Vegetable Hash and Grilled Romanesco Steak, Pepper & Hazelnut Sauce AND Lamb and Veal Demi-Glace was a huge portion. And I ate every delicious morsel of it, including the edible nasturtium flower garnish. The August Clape Cotes du Rhone Rouse 2011/Rhone Valley, France paired beautifully with this course.
Three more courses to go. On to the Radicchio & Fall Pear Salad with House Cured Lardo, Local Walnuts and Parmesan in an Aged Sherry Balsamic Vinaigrette. Now I’m a salad lover. And the local red pears, walnuts and parmesan were perfect. But there was too much radicchio, which (for me) took away from the other flawless ingredients. The Dom. Illaria Irouleguy Blanc 2011/SW France paired beautifully with the pears and walnuts.
Loved, loved, loved the cheese course. They were all raw cow’s milk, and the one with the black stripe of vegetable ash running through it is a cheese from Waco, Texas. The accoutrements were ground cherries, marcona almonds, olive oil and black pepper crackers and local honey. I wanted to finish the cheese, but remember, I just ate that gigantic lamb chop. I did, however, finish the Merriman Chenin Blanc “Brasher Block” 2011/Yakima, Washington.
As if the cheese weren’t dessert enough, along comes Quince Upside Down Cake with Lemon Verbena Ice Cream and Brown Butter Caramel Sauce. Had I not been so full, I would have polished this off. The cake was moist and not too sweet, and we all know I love caramel sauce. I did finish half. Sit down for this….I didn’t drink the Roumieu-Lacoste Sauternes Cuvee Andre 2007/Beordeaux France. Too sweet.
If that weren’t enough, some lovely (light!) pistachio meringues were set on the table as we were paying the check. A perfect ending to a perfect night with my girl.
I’m looking forward to a half-day break of this food frenzy, as tomorrow is a travel day. I’m off to Valle de Guadalupe, with more tales of food and travel to come. But tonight, I have to pack and prep myself for the always difficult good-bye at the airport tomorrow.