Two Friday eats in Portland: DuckFat and Blue Spoon
Spending the day in Portland last Friday afforded me the opportunity to visit two of my favorites in the area: DuckFat and Blue Spoon.
Stopped into DuckFat for a late afternoon snack and while they were out of duck gravy (how can than be?!), we still managed to split a large order of fries with 4 sauces and a laughing stock farm mixed green salad. These fries are simply awesome: double cooked in duck fat, rich, crisp, fatty. I could have ordered another large size just for me. The truffle ketchup was too sweet to carry the truffle, the malt vinegar mayo a little too thin but probably great as a salad dressing, the horseradish mayo had a great kick, and the roasted garlic mayo was just right. We had two of them. The salad was fine: shaved carrot, toasted pumpkin seeds and a mustard vinaigrette rounding it out. They also make their own soda syrups and the ginger soda was not too sweet and had a bit of a kick. I need to get back there for some poutine soon.
We also stopped in Mim's for pre-dinner drinks and sat outside. That corner is so windy! The service was prompt and attentive and it's always fun to watch the world go by, especially when sipping on a scotch and soda.
Blue Spoon had just changed their menu Friday night and though the choices weren't too inspiring, the execution of the dishes we chose was spot on. Split a grilled vegetable and mozzarella plate that had perfect endive, eggplant, beet, and zucchini, as well as an heirloom tomato tart that was perfect: yellow and red tomatoes on the thinest of all crusts topped with a bit of strong cheese and broiled just right. I should have gotten that for my main. Instead I had an order of steamed mussels in white wine and shallots that was quite nice and my mom had a burger than was less than satisfactory. She compared the bun to wonderbread. They can't all be winners. Split a flourless chocolate torte for dessert - nice quality chocolate with the thinest of dark chocolate cookie crusts and topped with whipped cream. The service was really great and the wine list is at least a little interesting. I do love their chicken under a brick and need to get back there for that when the weather turns cooler.
Portland's food scene always surprises me when I visit and I have to remember to visit more often.
On the various rec/reviews of Duck Fat, tried it today with the family on a day trip up from Boston. Not only were the fries great (mmmm - poutine) but the paninis were spectacular...not a term I normally use for a sandwich. Lemon verbena soda was a little sweet, but the lime-mint was perfect. We're looking forward to going back!