Well, I am actually a little bit embarrassed to admit this but, Saturday’s dinner at Paley’s Place was the first time either jwa or I had been there. I know, right? Crazy. And it’s totally been on our list of places we wanted to go to for like, uh, the last 10 years, but there you have it. I guess the main excuse is that we are lazy people and they are way over in the NW and we are way over in the SE (#firstworldproblems).
Well, no more! About a week ago, Downtown Portland offered me a gift certificate to go out and sample the dining menu at a participating restaurant and Paley’s Place was my first choice. So, we fought the Rose Parade traffic Saturday and were rewarded with a wonderful meal at a restaurant we should have tried many years ago!
The evening started (like most interesting evenings do), with cocktails — mine was this awesome pea shoot infused gin cocktail with lime and a little simple syrup. Wow. I loved that. So much so that I had two. And then I mentioned jokingly how it had a nice “pea-ness” to . . . → Read More: First Meal for Portland Dining Month: Paley’s Place
So, yay! It’s Portland Dining Month in June! What’s that you ask? Well…”Beginning June 1, Portland Dining Month returns to the Rose City for the fourth year, with restaurants offering three-course dinner menus – including an appetizer, entrée and dessert – for just $29.”
To celebrate, Portland’s Downtown Marketing Initiative has given me a gift certificate for a meal for two at Oven and Shaker, for the special dining month menu to giveaway! So exciting!
Here’s Oven and Shaker’s Dining Month awesome-sounding menu:
First Course: Focaccia panzanella – roasted summer vegetables, olives, red onion, champagne vinaigrette and Grana Padano.
Second Course: Squash pizza – ricotta salata, wild oregano, chili oil and cilantro.
Dessert: Fruit pie gelato – buttermilk, honey and pie crust pieces.
Want to win this meal for two? Just leave a comment on my blog by noon (Pacific time) on June 4th and I’ll randomly pick a winner, contact you, you’ll send me your address, and DMI will send you the gift certificate for Oven & Shaker to use during the month of June!
So, note: this really only works if you live in Portland, OR/will be visiting pdx in June 2013. WINNER HAS . . . → Read More: Portland Dining Month Gift Certificate Giveaway!
Monday evening we went to the Portland Food Adventure’s dinner at Levant. Have you ever gone to one of these? If not, you really should. There’s at least five courses and the chef (in this case, Scott Snyder), will tell you about the food you’re eating, the restaurant, and their favorite places to eat in Portland. And at the end of the night, you get gift cards to those places! It’s a pretty sweet deal.
Here are my main thoughts on this event at Levant: there was a lot of sun, the food was amazing, there were multiple dessert courses. Win! Unlike the equally delicious Gruner meal, everything Monday night was plated separately and while it maybe took a bit longer that way, the plates were just stunning. The menu is listed below and then my photos follow.
I think if I had to pick a favorite course (and I really liked them all), I’d have to go with the cheese and bread course because, well, it’s cheese. And bread.
Passed Canapes and The Phoenician (cocktail).
First Course: Spot Prawn Crudo, Preserved Lemon & Arak Sorbet, Pickled Chili, Mint Oil.
Wine: Getariako Txakolina, Ameztoi, Hondaribbi Zuri 2012.
Second . . . → Read More: Portland Food Adventures: Levant
Sen Yai Noodles
3384 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97214
Noodles for breakfast? That’s crazy-talk! Of course, it isn’t really and technically, most of the breakfast menu items at Yen Sai are soups, porridges, eggs and breakfast-y what-nots. We went to a preview breakfast Tuesday and left plenty full and fairly ready to start the day.
This is, of course, the newest restaurant within the Pok Pok empire, and it just opened at the end of last week. They have hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and while the first meal of the day was delicious, I really want to go back later in the day and try a lot of other things — like the stewed duck leg over wide rice noodles, all of the stir fried noodles and of course, the phat thais.
That said, if you go in the morning, you should get the Salapai (steamed buns with sweet, shredded pork and fried shallots), the Kafae Boraan (Thai coffee with condensed milk and sugar), Jok with a poached egg, and the Khao Tom rice soup (also with a poached egg).
We just walked by the other evening and they were already . . . → Read More: Breakfast at Sen Yai Noodles
In the last few months (year, maybe? I am bad at judging time), it seems that my stretch of SE Division street has just exploded with new places — Ava Gene’s, Xico, Lauretta Jean’s, Sunshine Tavern, Cibo. And I’m sure there’s more I’m even forgetting. Of this group, we’ve been to Cibo twice so far and I can’t wait to go again. It was a bit crowded on a Tuesday night for our last visit, so we started at the bar and moved to the table when one opened up.
3539 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97214
On that visit, we split the octopus dish as a starter and I think it’s my favorite plate featuring octopus in Portland right now. A great char, nice and tender, on a plate full of creamy beans, herbs and lemon. It changes from time-to-time (right now I think it’s on a bed of potatoes) but it’s definitely worth checking out no matter what version it is.
We also split the Caesar salad, which was also good and recommended, but the pizza. Oh my! Get the pizza. They are definitely big enough to share, but if you get one per person, you can try . . . → Read More: Cibo Italian Restaurant in SE Portland