Friday, January 12, 2018

Portland week

Giovanna's potatoes, onions, mushrooms
Eastside Road, January 11, 2018—

NOTES ON A LONG WEEK eating in Portland, Oregon — a particularly rewarding city for food and drink, and not only because my daughter, a fine cook, is our hostess there.

Monday, Jan. 1: breakfast at Country Cat: a "French 79" — gin and prosecco — and then bacon and eggs on pancakes. The bacon was really extraordinary, meaty, deep-flavored, the right thickness, lightly smoked. And the pancakes were light but structural enough to support the protein.

•The Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar, 7937 SE Stark Street, Portland; 📞+1 (503) 408-1414

Tuesday, Jan. 2: lunch at the Cheese Bar, whose cheese case offers a fine small selection of cheeses, so thoughtfully selected it's hard to avoid the overworked word "curated." More on them later.

I've already described the evening's Hopping John.

•Cheese Bar, 6031 SE Belmont Street, Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 222-6014

Wednesday, Jan. 3: Lunch at Provador, a thoughtful small grocery with cheese, pasta and deli counter — the former PastaWorks participates in the operation somehow. I was content with a focaccia, piquant with tomato and pepper in a Calabrese style.

•Provador Fine Foods, 2340 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 232-1010

In the evening, jazz and rye whisky at a nearby club, 1905.

Thursday, Jan. 4: Lunch at Suzette, a crêpe specialist. My favorite is what I think of as a classic: Gruyère, spinach, and egg, sunny side up of course, with the proper drizzle of crème fraîche.

•Suzette Creperie, 3342 SE Belmont Street,Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 546-0892

Dinner at home: a fine braised chicken with potatoes, turnips, onions, and mushrooms. And afterward, Cook's magnificent syllabub.

🍷Côtes du Rhone, Famille Perrin, 2015

Friday, Jan. 5: Lunch: beans on toast, with a poached egg and plenty of parsley — a quick, solid, satisfying meal we're going to have to introduce to the repertory at home.

•Oui Presse, 1740 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 384-2160

Supper at home: this fine cheese board from Cheese Bar. The "Leonardo" was a particularly interesting cheese: cow's milk from Piemonte; white; very slightly crumbly, related I think to Castelmagno.

🍷Cortese, Castelvero, 2016

Saturday, Jan. 6: This was the morning we poured concrete — repairing sidewalks and driveways in front of four neighboring houses, including ours — well, my daughter's. This led to a substantial mid-afternoon supper of hearty bean and lentil soup. In the evening, too tired to dine, we were content with bread and cheese…

Sunday, Jan. 7: Dinner at Ox. Portland does love its meat-and-potatoes, and this restaurant is well named. We shared the dinner, the five of us — the Contessa and I, our daughter and son-in-law, their local grown daughter. Spiced beef, green olive, and raisin empanadas; fried oxtail terrine with caramelized shallot aioli, frisée and apple salad, and a soft-boiled egg; grilled house-made chorizo; Uruguay rib-eye, red cabbage with chestnut cream, duck jus, and poached quince; fried potatoes with horseradish aioli and dill; roasted cauliflower with raisin vinaigrette, mint, and roasted peanuts; desserts.

🍷Martini; Quinta dos Roques, Dao (Portugal), 2013

•Ox Restaurant, 2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 284-3366

Monday, Jan. 8: A cappuccino and serious muffin with said local grown daughter; then lunch with her mother and my Companion: at a Scandinavian-themed place we like where we could survey a few drinks and focus on
•Courier Coffee Roasters, 923 SW Oak Street, Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 545-6444
•Broder Nord, 2240 N Interstate Avenue, Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 282-5555

Dinner: penne rigate caccio e pepe at home; collards on the side.

🍷Pinot grigio, Villa Borghetti (Veneto), 2016

IMAGE SHORTRIB Tuesday, Jan. 9: Portland-Ashland by car. Lunch was a sandwich from the bakery that is always our last stop in Portland before leaving, as the Contessa does love their gibassiers.

•Pearl Bakery, 102 NW 9th Avenue, Portland; 📞 +1 (503) 827-0910

We took dinner in the hotel, at a place self-styled "the best restaurant on Highway 5" — a determination that could use fine-tuning, but this isn't the time or place. I had a small serving of braised short rib, and it was quite good.

•Luna Cafe + Mercantile, 2525 Ashland Street, Ashland; 📞 +1 (541) 482-3372

Wednesday, Jan. 10: breakfast at the hotel — one of those self-made waffles; a cup of nvg coffee. The cappuccino from Case Coffee was much better. Lunch was a favorite sandwich: boiled ham and thyme butter on a baguette, perfectly done by a local shop we like.

•Mix Bakeshop, 57 N Main Street, Ashland; 📞+1 (541) 488-9885
•Case Coffee Roasters, 1255 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland

And then dinner at home! Cook found one last meat pie made by our Laytonville daughter-in-law, filled with rich beef bound with raisins and spices, encased in a short, tender crust. Gotta get the recipe. With it, nice buttery sauteed carrots.      🍷Cheap Nero d'Avola

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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