A meal at a new restaurant: Ringside Fish House

I wanted to catch dinner before a show (a talk by Ken Burns along with some clips from his new documentary Prohibition- you can get a preview via his interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting) and picked out RingSide Fish House. Besides being conveniently close to the theater, this month on their Facebook page they are offering a $20 off coupon, good to the end of this month only (they just posted it to their wall yesterday). A new experiment from the 44 year old Ringside Steakhouse, the spin-off restaurant is just a month old. Oh, and less then a mile away from my house.

I started off with the appetizer of Sweet Corn Risotto with Housemade Bacon, Tomato Essence. The sweet corn risotto was creamy and sweet as you would expect, but punctuated with thick little nibbles of chewy pork belly for a bit of salt, and the best part, the tomato essence along the outside rim help balance out the richness just enough. I think adding a few scallops or shrimp to this could take it up another level. I'm definitely taking that idea of adding a touch of acid with a rim of tomato to future risottos I make.

I came to dinner just a little before 6pm, and when I entered I saw the kitchen staff was standing around waiting for service to start (hey, I looked into the kitchen to see the setup that's all, and it is partially an open kitchen…) and the waitstaff was gathered together probably just briefed on the specials or menu… and either they felt sorry for me as I was eating alone, or I looked cute, or maybe they thought I was a reviewer. I'm going to say it was the middle reason. Shut up, it totally is ok.

Whatever the case, I was grateful and appreciative of this gift from the kitchen: a little taste of what I recognized as just as luck would have it, one of the other entrees I had pondered over but had not ordered. Of course, the tasting only had one scallop of the entree listed as "Seared Dayboat Scallops with Chorizo, Butter Beans, Bouillabaise". You can see him making this dish at KOIN a local TV station promo here and I think there is even a recipe. It is as tasty as it appears, I was cutting that scallop into small slivers to try to savor it as long as I could.

The entree I had chosen instead for my main was the Butter Poached Maine Lobster Tail with Roasted Fingerlings, Honshemeji Mushrooms, Asparagus. The lobster tasted wonderful with flavors. I found the fingerlings just a little undercooked so were still starchy so didn't eat them. I'm usually a big potato fan so that says something that I left them on the plate. I probably didn't need them after the risotto anyway…

I'll be back again… I saw from Foodspotting the photo of the Pommes Frites with Dungeness Crab and Black Truffle Hollandaise which look and sound amazing… The space is fine dining in a clean ocean theme and the menu overall reminds me a bit of what I saw sometimes while enjoying seafood in Boston, very classic.

And would you believe it, the service was incredibly professional and polished, attentive in pacing my meal (I was out in time to meet my friend for the show within about an hour) and thoughtful in replacing my cocktail (a zippy lime version of a lemondrop) and silverware and water, friendly but not intrusive and seemed so pleased I was there and hospitable, very knowledgable about the menu. It's not often that I can rave about service, so good job Keith V for making me feel so welcome and being so smooth.

As I mentioned, if you have been thinking about trying it out- do- especially since they as mentioned on their Facebook page they are offering a $20 off coupon for this month. That coupon paid for my two cocktails as a bonus to my dinner!


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