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Decisions, Decisions!

Cookiefiend Jul 14, 2010 08:56 AM

Mr CF and I will be in Portland for dinner after the IPNC in McMinnville.

After reading this board (and lamenting that Beast isn't open on Sunday) it's down to these three:

Le Pidgeon
Ten 01
Sel Gris - if opened by now.

BlueHour was on the list originally but the chef is cooking at Domaine Serene on Thursday, we'll be at that dinner. Woot!

Only one night!
Which would you chose?

TIA!

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Sel Gris
1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

Domaine Serene
6555 NE Hilltop Ln, Dayton, OR

Ten 01
1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

  1. Cookiefiend Aug 4, 2011 08:21 AM

    Reporting back!

    We went to Little Bird for lunch, it was marvelous and very relaxing... which was appreciated after our totally spazzed driving skillz in downtown Portland... we didn't know which lane we were supposed to be in and got honked at by the bus. We were part of the 'Damned tourists!' brigade.

    Anyway, back to lunch. We sat at the bar (excellent choice) where our bartender was the perfect mix of friendly and efficiency - it turned out he was also a sommelier at the IPNC!

    We started with a chartcuterie plate and a half bottle of Duval-Leroy. This was on the Chalkboard list, which included: pork rillette with pickled onions, pistachio truffle sausage on potato salad, Foie Gras Brulee topped with apricot-Sauternes jam and brioche toast, Oxtail terrine with onion jam (my favorite) and duck terrine with pickled cherries.

    White Bean and parslied ham salad - warm and creamy with the beans. Very nice and could probably be a main dish as well.

    We split the 'Le Pigeon' Burger with fries. Juicy and tender and perfect to split. We couldn't decide on which wine we thought would go best, so we tried 2 wines - the 2009 Domaine Des Hauts Chassis, Crozes Hermitage (worked best with burger) and the 2006 Domaine Jean Chauvenet Bourgogne (very nice too).

    There doesn't seem to be much on the board about Metrovino, but we really enjoyed dinner there. We had intended to stop in Toro Bravo to try a few plates before heading over, but traffic was terrible so we just headed straight to Metrovino (we avoided getting honked at this time) and ended up being only a half hour early.

    The amuse was a delicious carrot and ginger soup with curry, cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Perfect amount of curry - I could have eaten a bowl.

    We started with the Charcuterie board. The online menu doesn't say what's on this and I think they should give you a hint - this thing is Amazing, with a capital A. One of the reasons we were going to go to Toro Bravo was that they had several pates on their menu - Metrovino didn't. Well, this night they were all over the Charcuterie board - and oh my what a charcuterie board. House cured Salmon with sliced capers, house made pickles (spicy!), Tuna Sausage (doesn't sound good, but wow) topped with strawberry or rubarb jam, Pork shoulder topped with tuna sauce and fennel dust, Duck rillette, Pork rillette, Prosciutto wrapped around leafy greens, Foie Gras tournedos with a sprinkle of salt, fried Potroast terrine (oh my), Pork belly bacon with jalapeno and tomatoes, Lardo wrapped around apricot slices, sliced beets with dried duck egg yolk (sounds unusual, but very good), Chorizo with a sunny side up quail egg, and lastly, a Country pate with truffled pistachios. The whole thing - just wow.

    Mr CF had the Beet and Avocado salad with orange segments, feta cheese, greens and truffled pistachios.

    My entree was the Alaskan Halibut over creamed corn and long beans, topped with 2 prosciutto wrapped figs. Holy crap. This was the best thing I've eaten in what feels like a really long time. Seriously.

    Mr CF went with the Confit of Moulard Duck, with spinach and lentil salad, morels and polenta croutons. This is what a confit is supposed to be - tender, pull apart with a fork meat with a crispy, salty skin. Oh yeah. Mmm humm.

    So, while I wish I had been able to get to Toro Bravo, I am SO glad we went to Metrovino. That was amazing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cookiefiend
      Cookiefiend Aug 5, 2011 09:45 AM

      Good gravy - I forgot an appetizer!

      Beef tartar with a lovely edamame and parmesan salad, and fried zucchini blossoms.
      Nom.

      1. re: Cookiefiend
        l
        Leonardo Aug 5, 2011 11:45 AM

        Thanks for the report!

      2. Cookiefiend Jul 15, 2011 11:46 AM

        ~ bump ~

        We're heading back in 2 weeks for the 25th anniversary of the IPNC.

        Last year we throughly enjoyed Le Pidegon - I'm tempted to go back - and in checking the Portland board, I've found some more delicious sounding options.

        Metrovino was on my list last year, and might be the winner, but I'm wondering about:

        Cocotte
        Toro Bravo.

        Any feedback on these two?

        The menu at Toro Bravo is huge and intriguing. Griddled bacon wrapped dates with honey, fresh anchovies fried with fennel and lemon, chorizo and manchego with country bread, rabbit terrine, smoked pork shoulder sandwich with horseradish slaw, eggplant and lamb ragu... Holy cow - I don't know that I could make a decision and then to see a Chef's Choice at an incredible $25? And $10 for corkage?

        I think I've sold myself, but I'd appreciate a little help!
        Thanks again!

        -----
        Toro Bravo
        120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

        5 Replies
        1. re: Cookiefiend
          JillO Jul 15, 2011 12:20 PM

          Toro Bravo or Metrovino are both great choices. Very different, and I love them both - you can't go wrong with either one.

          Also there is a great pre-IPNC event (Thursday) in it's second year. It was fabulous last year. Counter Culture takes place at Anne Amie Vineyards, one of the prettiest properties in wine country here. The food is all done by some of Portland's best. You can also get a ticket that includes transportation from Portland.

          All the details are here: http://www.anneamie.com/counter-culture-2011

          I covered it last year for PFG.org: http://portlandfood.org/topic/10690-c...

          -----
          Toro Bravo
          120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

          1. re: JillO
            s
            syrahgirl Jul 15, 2011 01:54 PM

            We really enjoyed our meal at Little Bird in downtown Portland, it is the sister restaurant to Le Pigeon which we also love. :)

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            Le Pigeon
            738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

            1. re: JillO
              Cookiefiend Jul 15, 2011 02:50 PM

              The Counter Culture does sound great!

              This year we're going to Scott Paul for the Pre-IPNC dinner. The chef from Lark (Seattle) and from Clyde Common are cooking - should be great!

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              Clyde Common
              1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

              1. re: Cookiefiend
                l
                Leonardo Jul 15, 2011 06:33 PM

                Welcome back. We had a great time at IPNC last year, unfortunately can't make it this time.

                I'd for sure do TB!

                1. re: Leonardo
                  Cookiefiend Jul 20, 2011 06:39 PM

                  I think that's where we're going to try - can you give me any idea of what sort of stemware they use?
                  Great, average or 'oh dear'?

          2. Cookiefiend Jul 19, 2010 02:47 PM

            We've decided to try Le Pigeon - Mr CF found the menu more appealing.

            Thanks for the replies, I'll report back. :-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Cookiefiend
              Cookiefiend Aug 6, 2010 11:33 AM

              We had a lovely dinner!

              We started with the Foie Gras Torchon - excellent with a wonderful smokey bacon richness, the cherry jam and buttermilk pancakes were perfect with it.

              Butter lettuce salad - I loved the snap peas but I felt the dressing was a bit sour. Still very good and Mr CF finished what I couldn't. I had to save room for...

              White Fish - super seared and so tender, over a red pepper puree and a vegetable stew-ratatouille. Wonderful fish! Mr CF had the pork loin - a huge portion of pork still on the bone and perfectly cooked.

              We finished with a strawberry trifle and the cheese plate. The trifle was really really good.

              They have a nice wine list, with good selections by the half bottle. We tried the Diebolt Vallois, Blanc de Blancs Cramant, the Jean Sipp '07 Riesling and the last bottle of '05 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Vigne de l'Enfant Jesus - which was excellent. VERY nice stemware also!

              I've read a few complaints regarding service but ours was fine - friendly and efficient.

              We had a great time.

              1. re: Cookiefiend
                porky pine Aug 6, 2010 10:54 PM

                Thanks for the report. Sometimes I forget about Le Pigeon, now it's at the top of my list again. I was there a few months ago and they had white fish with beets and it was insanely good...

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                Le Pigeon
                738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

            2. JillO Jul 14, 2010 09:44 AM

              If you want a decent wine list and great cocktails along with wonderful food, ten-01 is it. Their small plates menu is as good as their full menu (now served upstairs) and the service is always top-notch. Also Metrovino, Davis Street Tavern, and WIldwood...are great choices. And if you are a lover of the enomatic set-up at Metrovino (can try lots of taste pours, can pair different wines with every course, even if you are only 2 people) I say go there... But you are here for wine events, so I do not know if that is your priority with this particular dinner.

              If you want to sit at communal tables or a counter, don't care about cocktails (no bar at all) and are OK with a shorter wine list heavy on demi-bottles, Le Pigeon.

              Thursday I am gonna be at Anne Amie for Counter Culture:
              http://www.anneamie.com/node/376
              I don't like the communal table thing so much and have had lackluster service a few times at Le Pigeon, so it would not be my personal choice, YMMV.

              Daniel Mondok will be opening a new place soon, no fear. But it is true, Sel Gris is no more.

              -----
              Davis Street Tavern
              500 NW Davis Street, Portland, OR 97209

              1 Reply
              1. re: JillO
                Cookiefiend Jul 14, 2010 10:26 AM

                Ten 01 does have a much more extensive wine list - I like that. We're always about the wine... ;-)

                Mr CF loves small plates - though he may order 10 of them - I'll run that past him to see if he would prefer that.

                I wasn't aware that Le Pidgeon was communal tables - I knew that Beast was. I do like demi-bottles though, I think they make it easier to have a white and a red with dinner - a bit less worry about being over served.

                The Anne Amie dinner looks really interesting. We also considered the Brick House dinner. Everyone we're going with (we're a group of 12) is going to the Scott Paul dinner. There will be lots to talk about afterward!

                Thanks so much for the information!

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                Ten 01
                1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

              2. Kazy Ctn Jul 14, 2010 09:04 AM

                Personally, I'd do Le Pige - I'm consistently impressed every time I visit. Ten01, also good, is a more upscale atmosphere if that's what you're looking for. Sel Gris, unfortunately is permanently closed...

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                Sel Gris
                1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

                3 Replies
                1. re: Kazy Ctn
                  Cookiefiend Jul 14, 2010 09:29 AM

                  Is Le Pidgeon much more casual than Ten 01?

                  We aren't bringing anything really nice - no sport coats or nice dresses - but I will have a couple of skirts...

                  That's too bad about Sel Gris - I had read some great reviews.

                  -----
                  Sel Gris
                  1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

                  Ten 01
                  1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

                  1. re: Cookiefiend
                    n
                    Nettie Jul 14, 2010 04:23 PM

                    LP is more casual than Ten01. I don't think you need a skirt, but you probably wouldn't feel uncomfortable in one, either.

                    1. re: Nettie
                      JillO Jul 14, 2010 05:37 PM

                      You can be comfortable in jeans just about anyplace in Portland, and I don't think any place in town requires a jacket for men. I've seen folks in shorts at ten-01and Paley's and Wildwood and Metrovino, arguably some of the most upscale places in town.

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