Portland Dining Month 2016 Review

Here’s a look at some of the $29 for 3 courses Portland Dining Month 2016 meals I’ve enjoyed so far. All of these restaurants in this Portland Dining Month 2016 Review are from the list I shared last week of my top picks from the Portland Dining Month list. This is the order I happened to dine at them…

Portland Dining Month in March 2016

Clyde Common

What I really like about Clyde Common‘s options is how it’s a mashup of Northwest goodness with a little bit of a hint of Filipino influence, which is a unique perspective. And those lumpia, which I’ve had before, keep bringing me back, along with the cocktails. Seriously, the lumpia are such an awesome match to alcohol, and every time I see my fellow bar patrons going for the fries (though they are perfectly crispy!) instead of lumpia, I see it as such a missed opportunity. I’ve been visiting the Clyde Common bar for years, but since Chef Carlos Lamagna took over the kitchen I’ve been going more often for lunch and dinner because the food options are now just as compelling as their award winning cocktail program at the bar (OpenTable rez avail). Dinner service starts at 6 PM.

  1. First course: Pork and shiitake lumpia with house sweet and sour sauce and spicy greens. I think I’ve already told you what I think of the lumpia earlier… <3
    Clyde Common Portland Dining Month 2016 First course: Pork and shiitake lumpia with house sweet and sour sauce and spicy greens
  2. Second course: Preserved ramp butter risotto with grana padano, chili oil and chicken chicharrónes. I liked the dish but wished for a little bit more chili oil to help brighten up the richness of the risotto.
    Clyde Common Portland Dining Month 2016 Second course: Preserved ramp butter risotto with grana padano, chili oil and chicken chicharrónes Clyde Common Portland Dining Month 2016 Second course: Preserved ramp butter risotto with grana padano, chili oil and chicken chicharrónes
  3. Third course: Local bee honey panna cotta with chèvre whipped cream, mixed berry jam and candied pine nuts. So good, a great play of textures with the creamy and the jammy and crunchy and sticky in a perfect proportion in every spoonful.
    Clyde Common Portland Dining Month 2016 Third course: Local bee honey panna cotta with chèvre whipped cream, mixed berry jam and candied pine nuts Clyde Common Portland Dining Month 2016 Third course: Local bee honey panna cotta with chèvre whipped cream, mixed berry jam and candied pine nuts

 

Ataula

Ataula for Catalan (Spanish) cuisine by James Beard 2016 nominee for Best Chef Northwest Jose Chesa is a must visit with this deal. The first two tapas together are usually worth $19 and a full version by itself of the third course dish is usually $34 and for two people, so I was happy that now there is a smaller portion option so you can try this paella (ha ha and then you can justify ordering another full size one if you wish to try two paellas, or a lot more tapas… muahaha). And, you get dessert with a warm fresh doughnut! Ataula opens for dinner (no reservations except for parties larger than 6 people) at 4:30 PM Tues-Sat.

  1. First course: Pulpo octopus carpaccio with sun-dried tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and pickled cipollini onions
    Ataula Portland Dining Month 2016 1st course: Pulpo octopus carpaccio with sun-dried tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and pickled cipollini onions Ataula Portland Dining Month 2016 1st course: Pulpo octopus carpaccio with sun-dried tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and pickled cipollini onions
  2. Second course: Tortilla de patatas con bellota with farm eggs, confit potatoes, onions and 4-year cured ibérico ham
    Ataula Portland Dining Month 2016 Second course: Tortilla de patatas con bellota with farm eggs, confit potatoes, onions and 4-year cured ibérico ham
  3. Third course: Mini rossejat negre with toasted noodles, calamari, squid ink, sofrito and harissa aioli. Instead of a pan that can feed 2-6 like their normal size, this one is individually sized (or two if you order more tapas!) I’m a cute mini pan.
    Ataula Portland Dining Month 2016 3rd course: Mini rossejat negre with toasted noodles, calamari, squid ink, sofrito and harissa aioli
  4. Fourth course: Doughnut, brioche, spiced sugar as a perfect ending
    Atula freebie fourth course for Portland Dining Month 2016 (3 courses for $29) of a Doughnut, brioche, spiced sugar

 

Willow

Willow is just opening in March right now, but they are participating in Portland Dining Month! They don’t have a regular menu available – this is their only menu for the month before shifting to their 6 course tasting menu in April, so here’s your chance to try them out on a smaller scale. Though when I say that, their 3 courses for $29 also included an amuse bouche, intermezzo palate cleanser, and a little coffee with tiny snack, so is that really 3 courses?

They are working using the Tock reservation system that automatically has you pay for the meal and tip in advance, and you have a choice of whether to also order ahead a beverage pairing whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic. They are open Tues-Sat with seatings at 6 PM, 8 PM, or 10 PM. You need to get there pretty much on time because of these seatings because they serve all the dishes at once to all the guests when proceeding through the courses. When you arrive, it’s almost like you are at a supper club at someone’s sophisticated apartment – they have a lounge area for you to wait in until they are ready to seat you.
Willow PDX - waiting area before being seated at the chef's counter Willow PDX - waiting area before being seated at the chef's counter

There is also a living room of sorts that later after dinner you can be served coffee. Their small chef’s counter for the meal almost feels like you are setting at a friend’s bar – it is intimate, seating only 10 people, and easy to converse with fellow dining friends.
Willow PDX - lounge area where later we would have our after dinner coffee and snack Willow PDX - lounge area where later we would have our after dinner coffee and snack Willow PDX - lounge area where later we would have our after dinner coffee and snack Willow PDX - lounge area where later we would have our after dinner coffee and snack Willow PDX - lounge area where later we would have our after dinner coffee and snack Chef's Counter of Willow PDX

Their Portland Dining Month food menu for the month (since you get no choice – though they can accomodate some special diets within reason – for instance the person next to me had a vegetarian meal – the Short Rib steak was switched out for Kabocha Squash steak instead) are

    1. Amuse-Bouche: Itty Bitty McMuffin with squash glaze, egg yolk, dehydrated kale, their own mini muffin
      Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - starter snack of a amuse bouche of an Itty Bitty McMuffing with squash glaze, egg yolk, dehydrated kale, their own mini muffin
    2. First course: Cream of celery root soup with charred roots and thyme. It was first placed before the broth was added so we could admire the wonderful textures of the celery root prepared 4 ways including hay roasted and pickled, and they took advantage of as much of the whole product as they can by including the celery leaf as an ingredient here as well as in the broth. The hay used to roast the celery root also was combined with grapeseed and hazelnut oil to make the hay oil, and there were little bits of hazelnut. I loved the various layers of flavor so that every spoonful was a little different depending on what preparation of celery you may have in your scoop, and really great variety of texture.
      Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - first course of cream of celery root soup with hay roasted celery root, as well as the celery root prepared 3 other ways including pickled - celery leaf, hay oil, hazelnut. This is before the broth is poured Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - first course of cream of celery root soup with hay roasted celery root, as well as the celery root prepared 3 other ways including pickled - celery leaf, hay oil, hazelnut. This is before the broth is poured Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - first course of cream of celery root soup with hay roasted celery root, as well as the celery root prepared 3 other ways including pickled - celery leaf, hay oil, hazelnut. This is before the broth is poured
    3. Second course (choose one): Short rib steak with glazed vegetables, potato and sauce bordelaise or Cauliflower steak with glazed vegetables, potato and sauce bordelaise. Wow, that steak was rich and melt in your mouth, I was cutting very small pieces just savoring it.
      Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - second course of short rib steak with glazed vegetables, porato puree, and sauce bordelaise
    4. Intermezzo: Cilantro ice cream and yogurt. I loved how rich that yogurt was! I need Chef Doug Weiler to tell me where he sourced this from again it was so creamy and thick.
      Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - intermezzo of a cilantro ice cream with yogurt
    5. Third course: Chocolate cake s’more with meringue and graham cracker – this translates into a very dense chocolate cake with with praline, just toasted meringue with a huge flame by Chef John Pickett, graham, and with the best wine pairing of the night a Burmester 10 year Tawny Port from Portugal.
      Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - third course of chocolate cake with praline, toasted meringue, graham, with the best pairing of the night a Burmester 10 year Tawny Port from Portugal to go with the dense chocolate cake Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - third course of chocolate cake with praline, toasted meringue, graham, with the best pairing of the night a Burmester 10 year Tawny Port from Portugal to go with the dense chocolate cake
    6. After Dinner Coffee and Snack
      Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - coffee service and snack Willow PDX Portland Dining Month menu 2016 - coffee service and snack

I had the wine pairing which included 2014 Franchere Gruner Veltliner, 2013 Santa Cristo Grenache, and Burmester 10 Year Tawny Port, but the non alcoholic pairing was very intriguing as well, as it included Apple and Celery Kvass, Mirepoix Sun Tea, and Sweetened Oat Milk. There were also a la carte beverages available including Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade or Dandelion & Burdock, Lurisia, Burnside Brewing Couch St Lager, pFriem Pilsner, and Breakside Brewing Wanderlust IPA.

I can’t wait to go back to try the 6 course format in the future at Willow!

 

You can see the full list of participating restaurants at the Portland Dining Month website.

Where have you eaten, or where are you planning to eat? What’s your Portland Dining Month 2016 Review so far of the participating restaurants you’ve been?

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My picks for Portland Dining Month 2016

It’s almost March (tomorrow! Where did February go, it flew by, even with the extra day!), which means it’s time for Portland Dining Month 2016 to begin! This is PDX Dining month’s 7th year. I’m glad to see they continue to make it a whole month long – did you know other cities that hold this type of special dinner menu special for a city last just a week? But we have all month – every day of the week for a whole 31 days! So I’m not sure I can accept your excuse on why you couldn’t make it to a single one all month long.
Portland Dining Month in March 2016

This year, a record-setting 122 restaurants will offer three-course dinners for $29 during Portland Dining Month 2016. Some restaurants are very specific on what your 3 courses will be – others provide options for each course, including sometimes vegetarian options. Still more may offer extra courses, or even a beer pairing or some restaurants awarded for their Oregon wine list may offer $15 wine pairings for each course. Pretty much all restaurants will always have their regular menu as well, so not everyone at the table has to eat the $29 prix fixe, so make it a date night, or family night, or catch up with friends.

When you visit, don’t be shy about asking for the Portland Dining Month 2016 menu if you don’t get it when you are seated as it may be a separate menu in addition to the regular menu.

Laurelhurst Market Portland Dining Month 2015 Laurelhurst Market menu and suggested beverages Laurelhurst Market Portland Dining Month 2015 second course of Ten-hour braised beef shoulder with potato pancake, warm oyster mushroom salad and beef jus

My visit to Laurelhurst Market for Portland Dining month in 2015

You dining out is also doing good for the world, not just for your tastebuds and as a reason to get together with others. Portland Dining Month is partnering with Oregon Food Bank to make a donation for every reservation booked through OpenTable links from the Portland Dining Month official website. You can see a list of OpenTable restaurants participating here for which you can make reservations online. For this blogpost, I used the same links if OpenTable was available for my top PDM picks for your convenience.

I usually will pick restaurants based on food options in their 3 courses that sound good, and then look at their regular menu to see if it is a good deal. It never ends up being less than $29 to order them a la carte if available, and some dishes are special for Dining Month, or you are getting an extra tremendous value on the price. Try upscale restaurants that have always been in your wishlist now like Imperial (OpenTable rez avail), Paley’s Place (OpenTable rez avail), Higgins (OpenTable rez avail),  Laurelhurst Market, Little Bird (OpenTable rez avail), the classic Ringside Steakhouse on Burnside (OpenTable rez avail)- whether it be the and such where usually again the entrees alone are in the mid 20 dollar range already.

Fogo de Chão grand opening - Linguica - cured pork sausage Little Bird Bistro's Chicken-Fried Trout, gribiche, fines herbes, radishes, pickled carrots Park Kitchen Milk braised pork with Your Kitchen Gardens leeks, curds and whey

Above, Portland Dining month options from Fogo de Chao (OpenTable rez avail), Little Bird (OpenTable rez avail), and Park Kitchen (OpenTable rez avail) – food shown is from previous years

Also on the list are hot spot restaurants like relatively new on the scene South American cuisine at LeChon (OpenTable rez avail), and already raved about Russian darling Kachka, smart Asian fusion smallwares (OpenTable rez avail), French fun at St Jack which is offering a vegetarian option too (OpenTable rez avail), and more!

Now is the time to visit that restaurant you’ve wanted to go to but haven’t been yet!  You should definitely check out the 3 course menu specials each one is offering to help narrow down from the bounty of choices.

I’ve mentioned already some of my top picks for Portland Dining Month 2016 above for you to check out. Here below are specifically the ones for consideration on my own personal To Eat in March list that stood out to me based on their menu options particular calling to me. Check back as I plan to go to at least one PDM dinner a week and recap them as I go.

  • You have no reason to keep saying you haven’t been to Ataula for Catalan (Spanish) cuisine by James Beard 2016 nominee for Best Chef Northwest Jose Chesa yet with this deal. The first two tapas together are usually worth $19 and a full version by itself of the third course dish is usually $34
    1. First course: Pulpo octopus carpaccio with sun-dried tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and pickled cipollini onions
    2. Second course: Tortilla de patatas con bellota with farm eggs, confit potatoes, onions and 4-year cured ibérico ham
    3. Third course: Mini rossejat negre with toasted noodles, calamari, squid ink, sofrito and harissa aioli
    4. Fourth!! : Doughnut, brioche, spiced sugar
  • Pono Farm Soul Kitchen with its mix of Japanese influence and sustainable Northwest meats from Pono Farm have been on my wish list for a while, and I finally am going to visit them in March. Their options for the Portland Dining Month 2016 menu include three options for first course or second course which sound really original in concept. (OpenTable rez avail)
    1. First course (choose one): Roasted golden and red Chiogga beet salad with wild greens, cherry-beet dressing and horseradish cream or Tempura soft-shell crab with hibiscus glaze, persimmon and pear salad with orange vinaigrette or Kakuni: 10-hour braised pork belly with sweet soy glaze, soft-boiled egg, apple and miner’s lettuce salad
    2. Second course (choose one): Market carrots, carrot purée, carrot vinaigrette, chrysanthemum, basil and walnut pesto or Mary’s free-range grilled chicken with chanterelles, frisée, black truffle sauce and red wine demi-glace or Sweet chili pork chop with roasted apples and mizuna salad
    3. Third course: Sake gelée of exotic fruits, yuzu froth and passion fruit cream
  • Willow is just opening in March right now, but they are participating in Portland Dining Month! Pretty brave to open to that guys. They won’t have a regular menu available though – this is their only menu for the month before shifting to their 6 course tasting menu in April, so here’s your chance to try them out on a smaller scale. Their food choices are
    1. First course: Cream of celery root soup with charred roots and thyme
    2. Second course (choose one): Short rib steak with glazed vegetables, potato and sauce bordelaise or Cauliflower steak with glazed vegetables, potato and sauce bordelaise
    3. Third course: Chocolate cake s’more with meringue and graham cracker
  • What I really like about Clyde Common‘s options is how it’s a mashup of Northwest goodness with a little bit of a hint of Filipino influence, which is a unique perspective. And those lumpia, which I’ve had before, keep bringing me back, along with the cocktails. I’ve been visiting the Clyde Common bar for years, but since Chef Carlos Lamagna took over the kitchen I’ve been going more often for lunch and dinner because the food options are now just as compelling as their award winning cocktail program at the bar. (OpenTable rez avail)
    1. First course:Pork and shiitake lumpia with house sweet and sour sauce and spicy greens (shown below is a multiple order plate of lumpia)
    2. Second course: Preserved ramp butter risotto with grana padano, chili oil and chicken chicharrónes
    3. Third course: Local bee honey panna cotta with chèvre whipped cream, mixed berry jam and candied pine nuts
      Clyde Common interior, taken from the 2nd floor Clyde Common dinner and happy hour dish pork and shitake lumpia
  • I really like how classic Northwest cuisine Park Kitchen gives you their famous chickpea fries and three options each for the other two savory courses that sounds really fascinating in its flavor combinations.  (OpenTable rez avail)
    1. First course: Chickpea fries with roasted squash ketchup
      Park Kitchen's Chickpea fries with pumpkin ketchup
    2. Second course (choose one): Ayer’s Creek barley with smoked beets and pomegranate or Blood orange with radish, pumpernickel and crème fraîche or Charred carrot with black olive, pecans and carrot tops
    3. Third course (choose one): Ayer’s Creek adzuki bean cake with braised collard greens and popcorn sauce or Blackened steelhead with cauliflower grits and watercress or Grilled Maupin Farm’s ham with Anthony’s garbanzo beans and green olives
  • Go visit Biwa if my Tuesday Japan travel posts have given you a Japanese craving, as they are offering
    1. First course of Sashimi moriawase, a selection of today’s sashimi dishes, including ocean trout with Deschutes Black Butte Porter shoyu (usually this option alone is $26 on their regular menu!)
    2. Second course of Otsumami and kushiyaki, many small dishes of varied and delightful snacks and grilled skewers
    3. Third course of Smoky miso vegetable soup
  • I love Aviary during dining month (ok, maybe every month. Chef Sarah Pliner is also a James Beard 2015 and 2016 nominee for Best Chef Northwest). Particularly for March though theiir dining month menu is always are a good deal (their entree usually is $23) and they always offer a special one off dish as part of their menu. And don’t forget their bread with bagna cauda is complimentary starter. I think pretty much every PDM every year I stop at Aviary! (OpenTable rez avail)
    complimentary bread service at Aviary is wonderful as instead of just bread with butter, they offered a bagna cauda (butter, garlic, anchovies) for dipping the bread. Obviously because this has anchovies it's not vegetarian so if that's important to you, you'll have to pass on the dip. One of the two breads on the plate was an olive bread.

    1. First course (choose one): Braised beef cheek dumpling of egg yolk, jicama, cucumber and peanuts or
      Prawn salad with snap peas, coconut, Cara Cara oranges, jalapeño and taro root crisp
    2. Second course (choose one): Red cooked kurobuta pork short rib with rutabaga, enoki mushrooms, fish sauce and pickled Thai chiles or Pineapple curry with glazed skate wing, Manila clams, cranberry beans, maitake mushrooms and sea beans
    3. Third course (choose one): Pistachio dacquoise yogurt mousse and grapefruit sorbet or Chocolate cremeux cake with passion fruit and crispy rice
  • Acadia, a New Orleans Bistro, is offering  (photos are from a previous visit of the shrimp and sheepshead – which is a fish btw. I remember with that shrimp I went back to the bowl and spooned the sauce right onto my bread. If you haven’t been here yet, get yourself here as I am putting this on my list even though I’ve had these dishes before because they are just that good.) Treat yourself to some different flavors then the norm with the bright Creole cuisine here.
    1. First course of Louisiana barbecue shrimp with lemon, black pepper, white wine and butter
    2. Second course of Bronzed wild-caught Louisiana sheepshead with buttermilk cornbread puree, pickled beet relish and sauce meunière
    3. Third course of Creole bread pudding with salted whiskey caramel, whipped cream and pecans
      Acadia Restaurant Portland, Louisiana Barbeque Shrimp with lemon, black pepper, white wine and butter. I went back to the bowl and spooned the sauce right onto my bread. Acadia Restaurant Portland, Bronzed, Wild-Caught Louisiana Sheepshead with Spinach Madeline pie and blue crab meuniére.
  • You can get a hint of one of the best restaurants in Portland Castagna and its genius chef Justin Woodward (he was a finalist for the James Beard Awards last year, also a James Beard 2016 nominee for Best Chef Northwest this year and previous 2 years and nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2013) by visiting the more casual Cafe Castagna next door. Their entree of milk braised pork shoulder alone is usually $24. (OpenTable rez avail)
    1. First course (choose one): Classic salad with a butter lettuce rosette and royale dressing or duck fat fried potatoes
    2. Second course: Milk-braised pork shoulder with shaved Tokyo turnips
    3. Third course (choose one): Butterscotch pot de crème  or Blackberry sorbet
  • Accanto is the casual enoteca experience if you want Italian, and they are raising the bar by offering four courses for your $29- and two options for three of the courses. (OpenTable rez avail)
    1. First course (choose one): Paté di Campagna: pork terrine with whole grain mustard, charred bread and parsley or Tortino di riso con carciofi: risotto pancake stuffed with artichokes, pecorino and tomato jam.
    2. Second course (choose one): Zuppa di pasta e fagioli with cannellini beans, macaroni, tomatoes and vegetable broth  or Insalata di Caesar with chicories, crispy ciabatta, parmigiano and boquerones.
    3. Third course (choose one): Strozzapreti con funghi e: ricotta, house pasta, soffrito with mushrooms, spinach, ricotta and soft boiled egg or Lombata di maiale balsamico: roasted pork loin, portabello and sundried tomatoes, escarole and balsamic demi-glace.
    4. Fourth course: Tiramisu

You can check out the official Portland Dining Month website  to see those restaurants and filter by location, cuisine, or view the details of the courses that will be offered and options for courses if applicable.

What are you eyeing to enjoy for March and Portland Dining Month 2016?

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Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary

I covered in a previous post what Portland Dining month / March 2015 is and a few highlights from the amazing list of more than 100 restaurants in the Portland area offering the $29 3 course special. Today, I’m going to share my first Portland Dining Month 2015 meal, which was at Aviary. Aviary is located in the Alberta District at 1733 NE Alberta Street and offers eclectic Northwest ingredients combined with Asian flavors fusion food.

This was not my first time at Aviary – but during dinner service (the only meal they serve), the restaurant has really dim romantic lighting which doesn’t do well with my regular camera-phone photos. This time though, I brought my backup camera so was able to absorb a little bit more light through the lens. Although there are no vegetarian options on the Portland Dining menu, the regular Aviary menu has almost half a dozen options to choose from.

You can make reservations online at OpenTable, and this is recommended because I’ve heard of others dropping in and them being full!

Now without further ado, my Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary menu selections, with my choice being in the bold.

First, the complimentary bread service at Aviary is wonderful as instead of just bread with butter, they offered a bagna cauda (butter, garlic, anchovies) for dipping the bread. Obviously because this has anchovies it’s not vegetarian so if that’s important to you, you’ll have to pass on the dip. One of the two breads on the plate was an olive bread.
complimentary bread service at Aviary is wonderful as instead of just bread with butter, they offered a bagna cauda (butter, garlic, anchovies) for dipping the bread. Obviously because this has anchovies it's not vegetarian so if that's important to you, you'll have to pass on the dip. One of the two breads on the plate was an olive bread.

First course (choose one)

Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette
-OR-
Warm vegetable salad with romanesco, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, lime-pickle vinaigrette and black garlic
Aviary first course of Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette for Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary first course of Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette for Portland Dining Month 2015
Seriously, this dish alone is worth a visit. I was sitting at the Chef’s Counter facing the open kitchen and man, chef Sarah Pliner was a BOSS whipping these out with somehow being able to pick up bowls of the chawanmushi from the steamy water pan just with tongs, and then flame on with a fiery torch. My favorite course.

Second course (choose one)

Miso braised beef short rib with taro root, yuzukoshō slaw, and shitake mushroom
-OR-
Pan-seared salmon with cauliflower, saffron, green apple, trout roe and American caviar
Aviary first course of Miso braised beef short rib with taro root, yuzukoshō slaw, and shitake mushroom for Portland Dining Month 2015

Third course (choose one)

Brown Butter Cake with whipped ricotta and rhubarb and basil Note this is different than what is listed on the Portland Dining Month website which listed a strudel, but I think the brown butter cake is even better.
-OR-
Chocolate budino with butterscotch ice cream and sour cherry
Aviary third course of Brown Butter Cake with whipped ricotta and rhubarb and basil for Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary third course of Brown Butter Cake with whipped ricotta and rhubarb and basil for Portland Dining Month 2015

Extras

Since I was passing on the salad, I thought I might need a little bit more vegetable. And it’s March = St Patrick’s is this month. So I rationalized the Aviary cocktail of the Canicule with Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Ransom Dry Vermouth, Sauvignon Blanc, Pineapple Shrub, Cilantro, and Jalapeno. Because it’s green. It’s not a spicy drink, despite the presence of jalapeno somewhere – it was much more on the cilantro side. If you like cilantro, this is the drink for you. I didn’t know it at the time I ordered it, but this was the cocktail highlighted by Portland Monthly in their Best Bars 2014 article and most recently in their list of The 10 Most Interesting Cocktails in PDX Right Now in their March 2015 issue!
Aviary cocktail of the Canicule with Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Ransom Dry Vermouth, Sauvignon Blanc, Pineapple Shrub, Cilantro, Jalapeno

Also you must order this Crispy Pig Ear with coconut rice, chinese sausage, and avocado. I was dining alone because veggie F is not too keen on the idea of pig ear (and I knew dining alone pretty much guaranteed a seat at the Chef’s Counter – I and several other ladies dining alone or in twos chatted a bit). So ordering this, I knew this meant I would have leftovers, because the 3 courses are already more than enough for dinner.  But I’ve taken back this dish more than once and I love having it as a leftover the next day, even though the crispyness of the dish of will be gone (I nibble on as much of the crispyness as possible at the restaurant). I always get this dish,  it is one of the Aviary signature dishes and I urge you to get it too.
Aviary dish of Crispy Pig Ear with coconut rice, chinese sausage, avocado

Aviary on Urbanspoon

Next on my Portland Dining Month list is Laurelhurst Market, which I’ll share on Friday!

Where have you dined or are planning to dine this month for Portland Dining Month? 

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