Pinxtos at Urdaneta PDX

Recently, I visited Urdaneta, located on NE Alberta, for the first time. It has been on my list for a while from when Chef and Owner Javier Canteras with Ryan Spragg was running the Basque Supper Club as a pop up (and which he plans to still do) and then won funding from Restaurant Startup to open Urdaneta. It’s always hard to balance my wishlist with the reality of a reasonable amount of dining out and when some restaurants are literally on the opposite side of town from me (I live in SW Portland). Finally though I made it – and then all I could think about is why did I wait so long and when could I come again? What really stood out was having such unique and strong flavors, so small bites go a long way.

Sherry cocktails at Urdaneta

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Breaking Bread with Meadowlark PDX and Nostrana

I’ve written about the pop-up Meadowlark PDX before, when I had the warm and delicious experience with them for their Seollal Korean New Year Dinner last year in February and then their Springtime Sicilian Cocktail Party also last year. Since the events in our political stage in the United States last fall, Meadowlark has since shifted some of their goals. Headed by Chefs Jen Datka (OCI, Nostrana intern) and Emily Park (Lovely 50-50, Our Table Cooperative), they still do wonderful meals usually with a theme. In addition now, this year they plan to donate profits from each of their benefit events to a different social justice organization. This one I attended was a Breaking Bread with Meadowlark PDX and Nostrana lunch with a focus on Iranian Cuisine.
Breaking Bread with Meadowlark PDX and Nostrana to benefit the Cascade AIDs Project (CAP) with a luncheon featuring Iranian cuisine Breaking Bread coordinator Libby Clow welcomed guests with some kombucha from Farm Spirit after checking their names
First Photo: L-R Chefs Jen Datka and Emily Park of Meadowlark PDX, Chef Cathy Whims of Nostrana,
and to the right standing Breaking Bread coordinator Libby Clow. Second Photo: Breaking Bread coordinator Libby Clow welcomed guests with some kombucha from Farm Spirit after checking their names

In this case, Meadowlark PDX volunteered along with Cathy Whims of Nostrana as chefs for this Breaking Bread lunch event, and the luncheon was organized by Libby Clow, Breaking Bread coordinator. Breaking Bread is a community centered supper club that occurs quarterly and is aimed at connecting members of our local community who may not ordinarily interact over a nourishing meal. It is a completely volunteer and donation based event so the entire $50 tickets went directly to the cause, which in this case is Cascade AIDs Project (CAP). CAP’s mission is to support and empower all people with or affected by HIV, reduce stigma, and provide the LGBTQ+ community with compassionate healthcare.

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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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Portland Pop Up Restaurant List 2017

Updated April 28, 2017

It’s difficult to track pop-ups: they often change up when they are open and where they might appear. Depending on the season, they may close down for a while – and if you don’t pay attention to their social media you could miss when they come back from their sabbatical, while others move on to other ventures. All have limited capacity so if you don’t jump on reservations quickly you are out of luck until the next event.

That means following lots of things on social media or being on several mailing list to become informed immediately when an announcement for a meal event is made with the when, where, etc.  Despite the work, pop up restaurants are often your chance to try great cuisine and meet amazing chefs, as the lineage of pop ups alumni that have now settled into homes like Holdfast Dining, Nodoguro, Langbaan, Coquine, and Nomad PDX are proof.

Eater PDX has published my list of Best Portland Pop Ups and Supper Clubs and you can see it here: the only ones listed below are ones not on that published list or I have my own link so you can read my experience with it on a blog post as I removed those for the Eater article. [Read more…]

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Events First Week of March 2017 in PDX

If you read this blog, you probably love food – it’s mostly what I write about. But once in a while I review a book, or a theater production. This post is a heads up about one performance show and one movie, both are limited engagements, both events first week of March 2017 in PDX already have tickets online if you are interested.

Cuisine and Confessions

The first is about a combination of food and theater: namely, the production of Cuisine and Confessions that is coming to the Newmark Theater in downtown Portland in a few weeks Thursday March 2 – Saturday March 4, 2017. This is a visiting show from the company 7 Digits from Montreal.

I haven’t seen the production yet, so I can’t review it, but the high level overview is that it is a combination of Cirque du Soleil (which if you haven’t seen before, is itself a combination of circus and dance theater – some of the original founders of 7 Digits were originally performers from Cirque du Soleil!) and takes place in a setting that actually is a working kitchen and the stories/settings behind the performances are themed around food and family and food memories.

One of the descriptive lines of the show promises “acrobats who cook and bake before your very eyes”.  Members of the cast are from all over the world, and I look forward to seeing how despite different languages and upbringings, food can bring everyone together while also being witness to amazing feats of athleticism and visual beauty.

The performance is for all ages, and includes evening shows at 7:30 on the three nights and a matinee on Saturday at 2 PM. The doors open 30 minutes before the show, which some reviews highly recommended you get there when doors open as performers are already on the stage having discussions and interacting with the audience before the show itself begins. The show itself is about 90 minutes – and there will be freshly baked banana bread at the end!

You can purchase tickets from White Bird with a range from $26-$64. I bought my own tickets to the show and was not asked to promote it, but I thought this was a fun event to share.

The Movie Kedi

The other future event that I am really looking forward to is the movie Kedi, a subtitled Turkish Documentary about the cats in Istanbul. also playing that timeframe of Thursday March 3- 9. I like how this review by Todd VanDerWerff at Vox summed it up,”Kedi, a documentary about cats in Istanbul, is expectedly adorable and unexpectedly wise. Cats. Cities. God. Life. Humanity. This new film covers it all in just 80 minutes.”

By the end of its trim, 80-minute running time, Kedi is asking questions like “How do we live in society without destroying each other?” and “Could you ever prove God exists?” without straining under the burden of those questions — a remarkable feat for a movie that spends so much time on cute kitten footage. Our relationship with the animals around us that we can destroy casually and easily, the film suggests, is our relationship with everything.

There is also a much detailed longer review from RogerEbert.com here though it had more spoilers of what you’d see. “What (Ceyda) Torun really captures in her unexpectedly powerful film is kindness in its purest form.” You can also look at the original movie site to see when and where it is playing near you in your city. You can purchase advance tickets to the Cinema 21 screenings now.

What upcoming shows or movies are you looking forward to?

 

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