Portland, Oregon, November 23, 2011—DINNER OUT TONIGHT, all eight of us, at a neighborhood gem (to use Zagatspeak) new to me, a serious but comfortable place with a thoughtful kitchen, kind service, and an interesting wine list.
I chose one of the vegetable side dishes for a first course: kale with bagna cauda, an idea that had never occurred to me before, but one that makes perfect sense — the lacinato kale has that deep, chthonic quality that marries anchovy so well. Afterward I was less enterprising and settled on flank steak, nicely grilled and accompanied by a huge serving of onion rings, battered with coarse cornmeal and deep-fried.
Dessert was almost too enterprising: Brutto ma buoni, it was called, but instead of the delicious bitter-almond macaroons I so like it was a kind of flip or fool or trifle. Revisionist for sure, but, again, delicious, and nothing to complain about.
Cortese, Tenuta Maiola (Lugana), 2009 (minerals, delicious with the bagna cauda); Galliopo, Ippolito Ciro "Liber Pater", 2007 (fruity but serious)• Lincoln, 3808 N. Williams Street, Portland; 503-288-6200