Chef's counter: Roe and Le Pigeon
I am visiting PDX from San Francisco in May for the first time. After going through some past discussions, I am getting excited about Roe. As a solo diner, ideally would love to sit at the counter for chef’s tasting. The web site says it only takes 1 reservation per night, up to 4 diners. Does that mean a single seating, or a single party?
I am also interested in Le Pigeon. OpenTable says it accepts reservation for communal table, but walk-in for chef’s counter. Is there a requirement for tasting menu at chef’s counter? I do not think I am up to 2 tasting menus in one trip.
Don't know much about Roe but I highly recommend Le Pigeon. I've been everywhere in Seattle and nobody up here can hold a candle to Chef Rucker's artistry and daring technique. I've made sure to visit them during my last few jaunts to PDX and having experienced three tasting menus by now, I recall every bite of every course being complex and exquisite. To answer your question -- I don't think it's required. During my second visit, a gentleman sitting next to me enjoyed one of their decadent burgers which is served a la carte.
Based on some strong write-ups (on that other site, from reviewers whose opinions I regard highly), I'd definitely visit both if I were you. The food at Le Pigeon tends to be rich so consider the five-course (rather than seven). When I did this option during my very first visit, I remember being sated but not overly stuffed... but the meal was so sublime that towards the end, I actually regretted not going the full distance.
Roe only has 4 seats at the counter, and you have to specify that you want the chef's counter when you make your reservation. Not sure about party/seats but when we were there (2 of us) we were the only ones at the counter.
Spring for the extra caviar course...I have never had blinis as amazing as those tiny circles of deliciousness...and the caviar was delicious too. ;o)
Yes, go to Roe and sit at the counter. You do have to specify you want the counter and tasting menu when you reserve. And I have always called to speak to a person rather than trust that my written request on OpenTable will be seen. I think it is just 1 reservation. The 2 times we have done it no one joined us at the other 2 seats. Hurry and make your reservation if you have not already done so.
Having just been to both restaurants last month, I can say that you do not have to do the tasting menu if you sit at the counter at Le Pigeon. My friend and I had an early reservation and asked to sit there and then had the option of either a la carte or the tasting menu. We just shared several dishes. It was amazing and great to talk to the guys while they were cooking.
Roe, I didn't ask for the Chef's counter because I couldn't see spending the money. On the other hand, the four course menu at the tables was wonderful, the wine pairings amazing, and we got the caviar to start, so we ended up spending a good amount of money. I really think it is the best restaurant in PDX but Le Pigeon is right next to it, in my opinion.
No...you can order whatever you like at the chef 's counter at Le Pigeon. Ate there last Saturday and it was a real treat watching Chef Gabriel. He also is very generous! Saw me ogling the fois gras profiteroles being devoured by my neighbors, and gave me one. Truly outrageous...fois gras ice cream in a cream puff with a delicious sweet syrup. Eating this after a full order of fois, and the wonderfully tender and fatty beef cheek, I was ready for a visit yo my cardiologist! Really wonderful...oh I did have a light dessert...saffron tangerine sorbet! Very delicious.