Monday, October 06, 2008

The Fatted Calf

It is now less than a week until The Move. The past few days have been a seemingly never ending buffet of food and drink. I have visited my favorite Portland spots, some of them again and again, never seeming to grow tired of the tastes and smells of my most favorite foods and the atmosphere of my best haunts. These, after all, are the ones I will miss the most.
But today, I am feeling a little weary. Yes, it is so kind of my nearest and dearest to make sure that I am well fed and well loved before they send me packing to San Francisco. But do they not realize that there is food in the great city of San Francisco too -- new food, new restaurants, new cafes and quaint hole-in-the-wall spots?
Of course they know. But they don't care. I'm in Portland for five more days after all which means there is more time, more meals, more drinks to be had.
Meanwhile, I enjoy the bounty and try to make room in my very full stomach for just one more thing.

Curious about what and where I ate? Read on.
Ken's: Oh how I love Ken's. Once upon a time, only a few years ago I spent at least two mornings a week at Ken's. I love their walnut rolls with butter and jam the most, followed by cannelle. I will miss cannelle so much that I'll have to work extra hard on perfecting my technique and baking them myself. Last week at Ken's, A and I shared a salad with chunks of heirloom tomato, ricotta salata, pine nuts and the most amazine mint coriander dressing. I will think about that dressing for a long time. A promises to try to replicate it.
Evoe: is new. New, new, new. I love trying some new before I go. Evoe is on SE Hawthorne, connected to Pastaworks. Last Friday while the October rain poured down I ate the spiciest of deviled eggs, a fennel mushroom salad, and the smallest piece of pork belly surrounded by white beans and red peppers. It was all very very good.
Stumptown: I had the most beautiful and delicious cappucino at the Ace Hotel Stumptown last week. Each and every coffee I drink there is seemingly The Best. I will miss visiting. Stumptown was a place I went on Saturday mornings or bad days, the times when a simple coffee can lift you over the sun and into a good day.
Navarre: On Saturday seven girls went to Navarre. We sprung for the tasting menu, which means I never even looked at the list of food or the specials. I just ate course after course of amazing, homey, Navarre perfect food. It is hard to remember the highlights. Was it the pate (so rich John referred to it as savory buttercream), the tuna, the halibut, or the octupus? Or maybe it was the perfect roast chicken, or the spicy meatballs? Maybe it was the wine -- two whites and a red from Sicily? Or maybe, just maybe, it was the five desserts. Yes there were, five: devil's food cake with white frosting, chocolate mousse, rosemary nectarine pie, peach baby bottom cake, and fruit stewed in red wine with cream and a sugar cookie. All came with tall skinny birthday candles, laughter, and song.
Yakuza: Yakuza was new to me, and I needed something new to help balance out all the over-eating at the old favorites. And Yakuza was good, quiet and nourishing on a cold rainy night. Each dish popped with flavor. I have been thinking and thinking about what I liked best and I just can't pick. But it might have been the salad of cucumbers and avocado with a simple sweet/savory sesame dressing. Or, it might have been the large scallops that came in a bowlful of orange proscecco brown butter sauce. The scallops were spicy and hot, the sauce was oh-so-tart. The combo was perfect.
But wait, we weren't done yet. What about something sweet to end the evening? The five desserts at Navarre the night before plus the mid-afternoon donuts from Staccato Gelato to help with the packing just weren't quite enough. So we went to Pix. I love love Pix, partially because it feels as if you have stepped onto the set of Amelie. The desserts are magnificent too, though my stomach will always hold a special spot for the coconut chocolate sorbet. And the salted caramel macaroons. My stomach likes those a lot too.
Dare I say stay tuned for more? I am giving my belly a bit of a break, but come the weekend there might be a meal or two to boast about.

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