Cocktail party in Portland this month, suggestions?
I’m throwing a cocktail party (bridal/wedding shower) next month in Portland for two dear friends. I live in SF, but have a couple of Portlanders who have offered to help picking up ingredients, and cook the day before the party. My idea would be a menu of 3-4 hors d’ourves/canapés (it would be great if these could be made the day ahead of time and/or frozen), a couple wedges of awesome cheese, fresh and./or homemade breads and crackers, and fresh fruit desserts (that I will probably make).
The budget is $150 for food (not including the delicious rum punch we’re serving) and I’d like to buy some food, and make the rest to stretch our budget…I was hoping for suggestions for local food-ey places, farmer’s markets, cheese shops, bakeries, etc that I can call ahead/plan my shopping for the day before the event. I’d appreciate any suggestions, or advice about what’s in season so I can plan my menu.
For example, if I was throwing this party in SF, I’d get the produce at the farmer’s market or Rainbow Groceries, cheese at Cowgirl, caviar from Tsar Nicolai, foccacia from my favorite italian deli and top with whatever fresh veggies I would find, etc.
Also, any place I can get fresh oysters by the dozen?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for all your help and suggestions. The party's this weekend and I couldn't be happier. Here'e the menu:
• Rice crackers with edamame and goat cheese
• Cheese/fruit plate
• Stuffed mushrooms
• Focaccia with olive or artichoke tapenade
• Focaccia with smoked salmon and chive/caper cream cheese
• Roast beets with gorgonzola
• Spiced nuts
• Mexican wedding cookies
• Figs with mascarpone and honey
• Fresh Rasberry and Bluesberry Tarts
We're getting all the produce at the farmer's market on Thursday, Two Hearts bakery is making up a special order of Mexican Wedding cookies, and Grand Central Baking Co is delivering focaccia to the most convenient location, even though its's not on the menu at that location. People in Portlnad are so nice!
I'm looking forward to dinner at Biwa (mmmm..beer tartare), and at least one stop at Buergerville for a delicious shake.
A few additions to the rest of the good suggestions:
Steve's cheese: http://www.stevescheese.biz/
Cacao for a selection of chocolates: http://www.cacaodrinkchocolate.com/
Pastaworks (http://pastaworks.com/) and Viande are part of City Market (I believe the fish part is Newman's). This is a great place for all sorts of gourmet ingredients like olives, charcuterie, and pastas, not just fish. It's not so easy on the wallet, though!
I can't remember if I've seen them at Newman's, but I know I've seen live oysters at Uwajimaya (http://www.uwajimaya.com), which is a good source for Asian foods.
Your friends are lucky to have someone who will not only make food for the party, but try to find the best local places to procure it!
Great thing about the Portland Farmers' Mkt is that you will have a number of our leading bakeries & cheesemakers all in one place, not to mention the incredible produce. By that time, peaches & nectarines will be in season. Largest will be Saturday 8:30 - 2. Go early. Everything from wood-fired oven made bagels (Tastebud Farm) to smoked or fresh fish, tarts by Monica...agree about downtown's picks with exception of Elephant's...overpriced.
Get some chocolates here! http://www.sahagunchocolates.com/inde...
They will be closed for August, but your friends could get stuff early & refrigerate.
You can pick Southern Oregon Rogue Cremery cheeses at most markets - Whole Foods, New Seasons, etc. New Seasons would have a lot of the kind of stuff you are looking for local/fresh (best selection of produce/fruit outside of farmer's market) - www.newseasonsmarket.com
City Market in NW has good fresh seafood might have oysters. Have also heard good things about Pacific Fish & Oyster in SE.
Also, look into Elephants Deli on NW 22nd. www.elephantsdeli.com
Bakeries - Pearl Bakery, Kens Artisan, Grand Central
Farmers Markets - www.portlandfarmersmarket.org for listings of locations. Local cheese and fresh flowers and vegetables are usually present at any/all locations.