3377 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202
So, Ava Gene’s has been open about a year, which means it’s right on schedule for us to have tried it for the first time. Hint: my husband and I are not really timely. The restaurant has even gotten national mentions, like when Bon Appétit magazine named it the “#5 Best New Restaurant in America 2013.” And honestly, when we went, I was all ready to think it was over-hyped, but…damn!
I’m not going to go so far as to say that it’s I think it’s the best restaurant in Portland (because, I’m not really sure what restaurant I think is that), but I will say that we had an amazing meal and that I really enjoyed everything that we tried. It was also very easy to share plates — in fact, it seemed like most tables around us were employing that strategy as well.
The menu is organized into sections: Salumi & Formaggi (cured meat and cheese), Fritti (fried items), Pane (bread – think bruschetta-type plates), Giardini (Salads/vegetables), Primi (the pasta course), and Secondi (the meat course). There are also sides and desserts, . . . → Read More: A Lot of Meat, Cheese, Vegetables, and Pasta at Ava Gene’s — Oh, and the Bean Topped Bread
2323 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
Bon Appétit magazine says, “(Ethan) Stowell serves chic, unadorned Italian food in a narrow modern space whose centerpiece is a huge communal table.”
I say, “Mmmmmm. Pork belly.”
So, it’s actually kind of embarrassing how long it’s taken me to get this post up. I was in Seattle in mid-September. As I’m sure you know, it’s now November. I don’t even have a good excuse for that and besides, this meal was absolutely delicious.
Way back in September, while I was up north for the International Food Bloggers Conference, jwa came up Saturday night to hang out, go out to dinner, and drive home with me the next day. We (or rather I) decided on Tavolàta for our meal which was just a short walk from downtown and sounded like we would both enjoy its focus – pasta, pasta, pasta. And really, I can’t even remember the last time we specifically went out for pasta in Portland (this should corrected soon).
Our choices for the evening consisted of Castelvetrano Olives with Citrus, Mint, Chili; Pork Belly with Manila Clam, Tomato, Salsa Verde; Burrata with Arugula, Cucumber and Heirloom Tomato Salad; . . . → Read More: Dining Out in Seattle: Ethan Stowell’s Tavolàta
Kale, like brussels sprouts, fish sauce, and swiss chard, is an ingredient that I discovered that I liked later rather than sooner. I don’t even think I started with the now ubiquitous kale chips — I think it was maybe braised kale at a restaurant, and only about three years ago.
Did you know October 2nd is (possibly) National Kale Day? I think that it’s not quite an official thing yet, so let’s all try to make it happen! Until then, I’m just going to pretend that Wednesday IS National Kale Day and celebrate with this kale post.
This casserole is hearty and comforting, just want you want on a cold, windy day that we’ve been having a lot of here in Portland lately. jwa thought it needed a bit more spice, but I thought it worked nicely just as is – creamy, a little bacony-y, and of course, kale-y. People who think it needs some extra spicy heat can always add their own hot sauce.
This would also be extremely easy to make vegetarian — just omit the chicken and bacon. But then, you probably could have figured that out on . . . → Read More: National Kale Day: Chicken Kale Pasta (Casserole) with Apple & Bacon
3 Doors Down Café
1429 SE 37th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97214
We actually live close enough to 3 Doors Down to walk there, the problem is, we tend to forget about going there most of the time. Why? I have no idea — every meal we’ve had there has been wonderful. Maybe it’s just because over the last couple of years, when we think walkable dinner, we are always concentrating on SE Division Street.
But, this fall and winter, I am definitely remembering to throw 3 Doors Down into the mix for dinner. Every time we go we get the scallops to start and they are always amazing. Amazing. The recent summer version with seared peaches and basil cream sauce is no exception.
And it’s funny, but every other time we’ve gone there in the past, I’d never gotten pasta as my main course. I always chose the chicken, or pork, or whatever. Not this time! Apparently, summer is pasta weather because I decided to get the rustichella ceppo with ground chicken, rapini, mushrooms, and pancetta — it was so good and creamy. And pancetta-y. jwa got the pasta special and he was . . . → Read More: A Late Summer Dinner at 3 Doors Down Café (or: Yes, August is a Perfect Time for Pasta!)
This was a recent meal at our house and even though I accidentally made two “errors” with it, the meal was still delicious. So, I think we’ll call this one both forgiving and versatile.
Error number one was not realizing this recipe made two cake pans worth of polenta (not a big deal as the other polenta is safely in the freezer awaiting a dinner soon) and error number two was baking the polentas in the cake pans. Also not a big deal since, as far as I can tell, it worked out fine. Lessons learned: if you’re just trying to feed two, just make a half recipe of the below and for possibly crispier polenta, turn them out onto a baking sheet. But you know, no big deal.
That all said, the versatility comes in by really being able to top these pizzas with anything you might normally put on a pizza. Mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, lamb sausage, feta — it’s completely adjustable to the season and whatever you’re in the mood for eating!
. . . → Read More: White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella