Portland – 5/25/17 – Tusk

Once again another great experience at one Bon Appetit’s best new restaurant picks.  If you find yourself in Portland, Tusk is a definitely must-do.  Such vibrant dishes which matched a very un-Portland space and flavor and ingredient combinations that I could eat very very frequently.

Chickpea fries – fresh garlic, amba mayonnaise


Asparagus – anchovy, preserved lemon, labneh

Broccoli – carrots, dates, cilantro, almonds, shiso, crispy quinoa

Sprouted barley – snap peas, radishes, apricots, pistachios, basil, fresh cheese

Kibbeh naya – green wheat, raw lamb, turmeric yogurt, chips, romaine

Fava beans – hominy, raised pork shoulder, oregano, sumac

Portland, OR – 4/18/15 – Tasty n Alder, Olympia Provisions, Whiskey Soda Lounge, and Le Pigeon

Tasty n Alder
I don’t know why there can’t be a brunch place like this everywhere. I love the idea of brunch, but mostly hate brunch menus. Too many repeats of the same uninspired dishes and its usually just not worth it. So many things on this menu that I wanted to try. The radicchio salad may have been predominantly bacon, cheese and egg, but that is exactly why it was so delicious. And if one bacon and egg dish is good, two is definitely better. The Bim Bop should be on brunch menus everywhere.

Radicchio – bacon lardons, manchego, chopped six minute egg

Griddled banana walnut bread, cajeta 
Bim Bop Bacon & Eggs 

Olympia Provisions (formerly Olympic Provisions)
I discovered Olympia Provisions last year in the other Portland.  We were waiting for a table at Central Provisions, stopped at Portland Hunt & Alpine Club for drinks and a snack which was a ‘bord’ that included Olympia Provisions Sweetheart Ham.  We loved it, ordered 2 hams over the holidays and then I received the best Christmas gift a girl could ask for – a salami of the month membership.  So even though this was lunch following brunch, I had to check out one of their locations.  I just hope my membership is renewed next year!

Italian Board – two italian salamis, mortadella, capicola, italian sausage, taleggio, fennel-parsley salad, olives

Whiskey Soda Lounge
While I try not to visit places with NY outposts, I often am just curious to see what the originals are like.  I made a quick afternoon stop for a cocktail and this was the perfect refreshing choice after a long trek through the Japanese Garden.

Le Pigeon

Another place I have wanted to visit for years was Gabriel Rucker’s Le Pigeon.  I think its amazing for a restaurant 9 years old to still have lines at opening time and I’m certainly glad that I got there early and made the first seating or I would have missed my flight.  The Hamachi was one of the most beautiful dishes I have had in months and I’m still thinking about the rice pudding.  And the signature foie profiterole certainly lived up to my expectations!

Hamachi, teriyaki pineapple, pickled jalapeño, foie gras macadamia nut butter, shiso
Roast Pork & Prawn Salad, fresh almond, chickpeas, zucchini, poblano tomatillo dressing
Fish special
Beef Cheek Bourguignon 2015, epoisses risotto, oyster mushrooms, dijon pickled onion, sweet herbs
Jade Rice Pudding, rhubarb fritters, toffee sauce
Foie Gras Profiteroles with sea salt and caramel sauce

Portland, OR – 4/17/15 – Maurice Luncheonette, Clyde Common, Expatriate, Beast

Maurice Luncheonette

Once again this year’s Bon Appetit best new restaurants list hits it out of the park. Such an adorable space, fantastic food, and amazingly friendly service. Not to mention that compared to my skewed NYC barometer, the prices were downright cheap. If I lived in Portland I’m afraid I would be here every other day…and it would not be a bad thing.

Carrot, Prune & Pea Greens   
Nora’s Lefse with milk braised pork

Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake

Clyde Common

A quick stop for a mid afternoon drink. On my next trip I hope to actually be able to stay and eat!

Land Speed Record – gin, orange juice, Noilly Prat ambre, lime, Fernet Branca, bitters


Having the 2nd seating at Beast gave me the perfect opportunity to check out Expatriate, Kyle Linden Webster and Naomi Pomeroy’s cocktail spot right across the street.  While the cocktails were fantastic – and yes the blue drink theme continues – I still think about the burmese tea leaf salad.  I could eat that every single day.

Four in Hand – Control Pisco, Aperol, Marolo Chamomille Grappa, Cynar, Foreign palm sugar, fresh grapefruit and lemon

Burmese tea leaf, green cabbage and cherry tomato salad
Hollygrove -Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Yellow Chartreuse, Fresh Lemon, Foreign Palm Sugar, Fresh Orgeat, Blue Curaçao


This is definitely the Portland restaurant that I have wanted to visit for the longest time and it did not disappoint.  The ambience was charming – perfect lighting, cozy communal tables, an open kitchen and polished service.  While I know the menu doesn’t change much, for the first time visitor it was a lovely meal and the signature charcuterie was exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Dungeness crab deviled eggs, salmon roe, piparras peppers

steak tartare, quail egg, toast
foie gras bon-bon, peanut shortbread, sauternes gelee
crispy pork shoulder rillettes
bourbon cured duck breast
seizoen & sage pork sausage
Anderson Ranch rack of lamb chop – mint & green garlic sauce verge, spring raab, mesquite grilled onions, poblano-hazelnut romesco
 Oak leaf lettuces – shaved fennel, candied walnuts, creamy gorgonzola & cider vinaigrette
Selection of artisanal cheeses, prosecco-poached apricot, acadia honey, fried macron almonds, black pepper crackers
Saigon cinnamon pain d’épices, toffee sauce, candied kumquat, malted date ice cream


Portland, OR – 4/16/15 – Pepe le Moko

A perfect late night stop for a fantastic cocktail and snacks.  I have to say I am thrilled to see the amaretto sour resurrected.  Granted I didn’t know any better, but this was my favorite drink in my college days.  And done right, its really is so good. Oddly as I was sitting here drinking my amaretto sour, I happened upon the recent Eater article about blue drinks so of course my second drink had to be the blue hawaii.

Amaretto sour

Blue Hawaii 
Roasted carrots (maybe some of the best I have ever had)