Eugene, Oregon, August 15, 2014—
YOU CAN'T EAT MEAT every day of the month; now and then, I'm told, you've gotta have some fish. True, I had a generous helping of tuna in yesterday's "Niçoise," but that was lunch. So when I looked over the menu tonight, and had satisfied my first instincts with a platter of charcuterie and another of vegetable fritto misto — both shared with the other three at table, bien entendu — my eye was attracted to the
Seared Oregon Albacore Tuna
ratatouille-stuffed squash blossom, smoked tomato coulis and garlic aïoli(though to tell the truth I'm not sure what an aïoli without garlic might be). The appetizers had been very nice, ditto the Martini that accompanied them; but the tuna was even better, perfectly seared, with a delicious tomato coulis whose acid was nicely calculated to offset the natural sweetness of the fish.
Rose, Château de Paraza (Minervois), 2013
• Marché, 296 East Fifth Avenue, Eugene, Oregon; 541-342-3612
WE'D MADE OUR USUAL stops in Portland before leaving that city: a cappuccino at my favorite café, where the coffees are made with unusual care in an atmosphere of total camaraderie, and the canalés ʼare as good as they get: soft and unctuous in the center, dense and dark outside. A half-dozen Gibassiers at the Pearl District's signature bakery, as signal an index to the quartier as is Powell Books up the street. And, speaking of that, of course, a sack of books, because you never know when you may have read all the ones you already have.
• Courier Coffee, 923 SW Oak Street, Portland; 503-545-6444
• Pearl Bakery, 102 NW 9th Avenue, Portland, 503-827-0910
• Powell's City of Books, 1005 West Burnside Street, Portland