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
2601 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
Saturday and Sunday Breakfast
SubRosa is a place that we have gone to many times in our SE Portland neighborhood. It’s a restaurant that has really grown into it’s space and seems to fill up quickly most nights.
Over the years, we’ve gone for dinner every so often (the last time we were there for an evening meal, owner Mary Ann gifted us with a baguette to take on our road trip to California the next morning for car snacks). But lately, it seems we’ve been stopping by for a leisurely Saturday or Sunday breakfast. Every time we have a meal at SubRosa, I always leave thinking, “we should go more often!” It’s not just the food, but the whole experience — it’s always friendly, welcoming and comfortable — exactly what you want in one of your favorite neighborhood places.
The Sub Rosa Eggs Benedict is seriously one of my favorites in town. The sauce is light, tasty and not at all gloopy. The Canadian bacon is quite ham-like and salty and the eggs are always perfectly poached. And, if you want to make it even better, here’s what . . . → Read More: Breakfast at SubRosa
This New Year’s Eve was celebrated with an extravagant, beautiful meal at Castagna. Now, we visit the informal, cafe side with a fair amount of frequency, but this is only our fourth visit to the fancy-pants restaurant side — and our second visit since Justin Woodward took over the kitchen.
1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97214
Normally, I’ll be the first to admit that I am probably more fond of a hearty bowl of rustic pasta and some bread than a multi-course, artfully-prepared meal. But sometimes the arty, multi-course, modernist meal is really fun and amazing! Plus, thanks to this meal, I now have a new favorite after dinner beverage.
The service (as expected) was great. Each course was explained and described to us and generally, I really enjoyed everything I was presented with. That’s another bonus to meals like this, you get to try a lot of different items and presentations. Things you would probably never otherwise try. You may not love them all but it’s fun to sample the variety.
My favorites of the night were the rye cracker-sprouts-pate amuse bouche, the roasted beet dish (which is crazy since I generally . . . → Read More: Last Dinner of the Year: Castagna in SE Portland