My fiancé and I spent a lovely three-day weekend in Portland. We flew there for my half marathon but really, that was only an excuse to go visit my best friend Maya and enjoy the wonderful cuisines of the Pacific Northwest. There is nothing more wonderful than fresh, locally-grown organic produces of autumn exquisitely prepared by master chefs, and there is no better place to enjoy them than PDX!
After we landed in Portland and had a great lunch at Pok Pok Noi with Maya and her son Joe who picked us up at the airport, my fiancé and I headed to Park Kitchen for our double date with our friend Tiffany and her boyfriend Jesse for our non-stop food fest. After Paley’s Place, this is probably my second favorite restaurant in Portland. The food here is always so amazing, and I love that I get to try new unique dishes every time, depending on the month of the year I visit!
We opened a few bottles of perfectly-matched wine (thanks to Jesse’s expert wine guidance) and ordered the Small Cold Plates and Large Plates samplers to share, where we got to experience a handful of seasonal specialties. This is truly a perfect option for anyone who simply cannot choose from so many amazing items on the menu!
To start, we enjoyed (clockwise starting from the upper left) a plate of grilled bread with raw quail egg, cheese blocks, and frisee salad; Indian-inspired salad with papadum and curry-flavored chick peas on the bed of green; grilled corn and green bean salad (if I remember correctly, the black thing at the bottom was some sort of fungus … sounds strange but it was delicious); and razor clam with roasted pepper and what tasted like sliced fennel or celery root tossed in vinaigrette dressing.
Next, we ate watermelon and beet salad on the bed of sweet yogurt-like cream with peanut brittles on top; yellowtail sashimi tossed with grilled zucchini, tomatoes, and wonderfully bitter green; and baby octopus with grilled shishito peppers and simple tomato sauce.
For the Hot Plates, we got the following: Homemade beet Pappardelle, carrots, and Brussels sprout cooked in beet butter, and topped with creme fraiche; grilled sturgeon with wine reduction sauce; pork belly with spatzel (German pasta) and squash puree; rib-eye steak with wasahi flower sauce with grilled shishito peppers and roasted tomato with breadcrumbs.
For dessert, we devoured the decadent chocolate cake with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and a slice of cheesecake with peeled grapes.
Our reservation was at 5:00 p.m. (a total early-bird special) because I wanted to go to bed early to ready myself for the half marathon the next morning but we ended up spending three and a half hours at the restaurant! With more glasses of wine than I anticipated (but loved every drop), I knew that I was going to pay for it at the race … but I didn’t care because this dining experience was SO worth it!
422 NW 8th, Portland, OR