Portland Dining Month 2017 – Recap

I wrote about what Portland Dining Month is in a previous post, and gave some highlights of what piqued my interest on the list. Here are a few images from where I was able to dine in March!

Bluehour

Extras: bread service, amuse bouche from chef
Portland Dining Month 2017 Bluehour, bread service Portland Dining Month 2017 Bluehour, amuse bouche
First course: Roasted beet terrine of goat cheese, trout roe, pea tendrils and saba
I found these to be beautiful and the bites are intensely flavored with roasted beet and creamy goat cheese.
Portland Dining Month 2017 Bluehour menu with a First of Roasted Beet Terrine with goat cheese, trout roe, pea tenders, apple balsamic; Second of Braised Muscovy Duck Leg with chestnut dumplings, charred leeks, shallots, red wine jus; Third of Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding with cocoa crunch, sea salt, fernet ice cream Portland Dining Month 2017 Bluehour menu with a First of Roasted Beet Terrine with goat cheese, trout roe, pea tenders, apple balsamic; Second of Braised Muscovy Duck Leg with chestnut dumplings, charred leeks, shallots, red wine jus; Third of Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding with cocoa crunch, sea salt, fernet ice cream
Second course: Braised Muscovy duck leg with chestnut dumplings, charred leeks, shallots and a red wine jus
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A lunch at Angelini Osteria in LA

While on the plane from Portland to Los Angeles, I was reading Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford. Reading as he tries to master pasta in Italy was giving me crazy cravings for pasta which I got my fix at Forma Restaurant as I wrote last week, but also for the simple seasonal food he writes about that Italians are known for there despite the Italian American images of hearty pastas and red sauce and meatballs with garlic bread. My sister recommended we try out a lunch at Angelini Osteria, and it was incredible. It really felt like it was airlifted from Italy to this street in LA, bringing both the food and atmosphere and accented waiters all with.

The menu is pretty extensive. You can nosh on some tasty flatbread as you consider your many options.
Example lunch menu from Angelini Osteria in LA Crispy flatbread as part of the bread service from Angelini Osteria in LA

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Quaintrelle

Spring is almost here… it’s been such so dreary and relentless with the rain so far. I keep reminding myself that the rain is what helps make the crops grow. Recently, I visited Quaintrelle, which focuses on Pacific Northwest cuisine with 80-85% of their food sourced locally and especially loves to show off the natural flavors when ingredients are so direct farm to table.

Quaintrelle is located in a little corner that may seem a little hidden from North Mississipi , but it also means when the weather improves they will be able to fill the patio portion in front between its doors and the streets with some great tables so you can dine al fresco and people-watch in this fun neighborhood.
Quaintrelle: A woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and a cultivation of life's pleasures. Or a charming Pacific Northwest cuisine focused Portland restaurant that emphasizes 80-85% local ingredients. Quaintrelle: A woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and a cultivation of life's pleasures. Or a charming Pacific Northwest cuisine focused Portland restaurant that emphasizes 80-85% local ingredients.

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Pasta in a Cheese Wheel in LA

Travel Tuesday is back, thanks to a recent trip to LA. These trips have been to visit family, so I prioritized being able to spend as much time with family, particularly my new niece who turns 6 months old at the end of March, and her schedule of feedings and naps. Generally this meant food at home via delivery or take out and leftovers from lunch – and I try to keep my asks reasonable at maybe 2 restaurants I want to try out each visit. Recently, the big one on my list was to eat pasta finished in a cheese wheel, which I found is offered at lunch and dinner at Forma Restaurant in Santa Monica.

Forma is named after cheese and all about the cheese. Their cheese bar offers more then 50 cheeses, breaking up the cheese sectiosn based on hardness (soft ripened, washed rind, semi-soft, semi-hard) and a whole section for just truffled cheese (cheese with white or black truffle). They have a few US cheeses from California, Vermont, Wisconsin, New York, and Oregon, but most are imported from Italy, France, Holland, England and Spain. This does not count the fresh cheeses like burrata and the mozzarella knots that you can also find in their small plates section. Of course I got burrata. This is the Burrata Stracciata with creamy burrata, prosciutto, plum ad citrus conserva, and micro basil.
Forma Restaurant offers an impressive cheese bar with more then 50 cheeses, a few from the US but mostly from France, Italy, Spain, England, and Holland, but also a few fresh cheeses not part of that 50 count on their small plates menu such as mozzarella knots or this dish of Burrata Stracciata with creamy burrata, prosciutto, plum ad citrus conserva, and micro basil

We ordered another starter of Filet Mignon Tartare, a dish of avocado, fresno chile pepper, capers, shallot, parmigiano, on grilled bread. I was really happy to see them go to the cheese bar in the back to freshly shave the parmigiano from the cheese wheel and bury these toasts in them!
At Forma Restaurant Filet Mignon Tartare, a dish of avocado, fresno chile pepper, capers, shallot, parmigiano, on grilled bread. I was really happy to see them go to the cheese bar in the back to freshly shave the parmigiano from the cheese wheel and bury these toasts in them

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Shigezo

What is your favorite little restaurant in your neighborhood that you can go to any day for a quick date? For F and I, it used to be a Mediterranean place but that closed own recently and now our spot is Shigezo Sushi Izakaya and Sushi. Shigezo is a Japanese restaurant that has a large menu that can make omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and the gluten free all happy. They offer sushi, but I particulalry love their rice bowls, grilled items, and ramen. I even find room to squeeze in desserts. Here are some of our favorite dishes.

For the vegetarian and vegans out there, here’s a starter for you from the happy hour menu: Deep fried tofu in hot soy broth, or the Temaki, or hand roll of the Veggie Roll with avocado, cucumber, shiso leaf, daikon sprouts, yamagobo, and sesame seeds.
Shigezo Agedashi Tofu appetizer with fried tofu, mochi, ginger, grated daikon, shishito pepper Shigezo happy hour Temaki, or hand roll: this is the Veggie Roll with avocado, cucumber, shiso leaf, daikon sprouts, yamagobo, and sesame seeds

Shigezo has a Robata Grill, so you can order individual skewers like these – Thigh, Breast, Pork Belly, Quail Egg and Bacon, and Flank Steak skewers. Thankfully, Shigezo has much more space so you won’t be elbow to elbow and in a cloud of smoke like the typical hole in the wall izakaya in an alley in Tokyo! They have about a dozen skewers so not as many as an in izakaya, but half are meat and half are vegetables so they are great appetizers before your meal. Or just order skewers as a snack accompaniment to drinks like beer or sake, which is what most people do in Japan. The skewers are part of the happy hour menu!
Shigezo has a Robata, so you can get grilled skewers like these - Thigh, Breast, Pork Belly, Quail Egg and Bacon skewers Shigezo has a Robata, so you can get grilled skewers and the skwers are on their regular adn happy hour menu

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