While it’s no secret that Portland is teeming with attractive singles (particularly of the artistic persuasion), Portlanders are often faced with the all too familiar conundrum: Just where do you take someone on that crucial first date? More so, what kind of vibe should you go for? Well, these restaurants and bars can likely accommodate your dating style, no matter if it’s swanky and sleek, cozy and romantic, flannel and IPA, or awkward and shifty. For the complete article and map, visit Eater PDX here.
At one time, massive fish canneries dominated the West Coast. Built to exploit the then untapped resources of huge salmon runs on the West Coast’s rivers, canneries were a powerful force that shaped the history of the coast and employed thousands of fisherman and employees. Many factors caused a shifting tide in the industry from once-upon-a-time mass production to today’s boutique production environment. What has remained are select products that are in such demand that they are hard to keep on retail shelves.
The first salmon cannery on the Columbia River opened for business in 1866 providing an affordable food source for the working class. Large canneries would ultimately provide fish year-round to the urban-dwelling middle class. Due to ample availability, modernized production processes and improved transportation through railroad lines, canned salmon could be found stacked on the shelves of every grocer and in the cabinets of every kitchen. Read the complete article here on Northwest Travel and Life magazine.
One day it’s hot; the next it’s not. And then, it’s hot again. It’s true for fashion, music and even food. But if anyone can turn the ‘not’ back into ‘hot’, it’s Feast Portland. Though some may call Feast Portland a food and drink festival, the description does not do the event justice. It’s more like a movement showcasing the energy, creativity and enthusiasm driving America’s food revolution. It’s the consummate in foodie celebrations, from spirited, one-of-a-kind large-scale experiences featuring trendsetting chefs from all over the country, to intimate hands-on classes, collaborative dinners and educational panels.
And while I wouldn’t count on avocado toast going away any time soon — because it’s just that good — this year brings exciting new and old food and drink trends to sink our teeth into and wrap our lips around. Read more here on Oregon Wine Press.
From the award-winning team behind Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro, Canard is opening April 16. A cafe by day, wine restaurant with great cocktails by night, Canard will be serving breakfast, lunch, plus weekend brunch. Boasting wild French bar food, the menu at Canard will be conducive to snacking and dining. Evenings will focus on wine, cocktails, and an ambitious dinner menu. Canard offers the building blocks to an incredible meal, and showcases Rucker’s playful, no rules style in the form of dishes like Steam Burgers, Ducketta, and Foie Gras Dumplings.
“The sky’s the limit here. Our goal with Canard is to make anything possible, for anyone, at any time of day. Andy and I want Canard to be a place people want to hang out, and not take anything too seriously,” says chef/co-owner Gabriel Rucker.
Evening Menu Highlights: (available 4pm until close)
Oysters – zinfandel mignonette, green chile juice
Uni “Texas Toast” – avocado, finger lime, fish sauce
Ouffs in Mayonnaise – trout roe, bacon, roasted garlic, smoky maple
Chips & Dip – smoked mackerel, lemon pepper jam, chips
Rabbit and Prosciutto Terrine – apricot-green pepper relish, frisée, herbs
Pot de Canard – duck rillette, duck liver mousse, port gelée
Steak Tartare – chinese sausage, broccoli, parmesan, cashew
Cabbage Salad – strawberry, cheddar, green onion, ranch
Shrimp Toast – cucumber, avocado, chili mayo, furikake
Foie Gras Dumplings – peanut sauce, truffle, miso-roasted shallots
Chicken Wings – dry-fried, truffle ranch, shaved truffle
Garlic Fries – 18 mo. aged gouda, green goddess
Spring Greens – crunchy quinoa, honey herbs-de-provence
Roasted Carrots – sweet-pea hummus, sesame, radish honey
Mushroom Salad – garlic rosemary breadcrumbs, blue cheese
Baguette – european butter, flaked sea salt
Steam Burgers – pickles, onion, mustard, american, Hawaiian roll
Dry Aged Petite New York – french onion soup sauce, swiss cheese toast
Ducketta – chutney, frisée
Swordfish Oscar – crab, asparagus, béarnaise
Spaghetti – artichoke, asparagus, dill, parmesan
Wines are curated by co-owner and wine director Andy Fortgang, heavy on wines by the glass, with a large bottle list. The wine program at Canard is meant to be broad, deep and fun. Fortgang’s hope is people come in for a glass and a snack and leave hours later after dinner and several bottles. Just as the food menu is conducive to both snacking and dining, the wine list will be, too. Canard will offer 20 wines by the glass, over 250 bottles including a range from the inexpensive to the unique, and a big list of bottles that Fortgang has been slowly collecting over the years. Canard will have Burgundy, sure, but not just collectibles. The restaurant will also have well priced wines that show the value that is there if you look. Canard will have delicious fruity prädikat wines from Germany, many with some bottle age, but also the drier racier wines blowing people away these days. Oregon Pinot of course, but California, too. Loire, Rhone, Galicia, Catalonia, Italy from the north and the south, and many other regions. The only rule, is that it must taste good.
“This wine list is meant to spark conversation. Some of the wines on this list are about innovation, and some are about tradition. We hope our guests will feel encouraged to ask questions, explore, and enjoy,” says co-owner and wine director Andy Fortgang.
Cocktails at Canard do not take themselves too seriously. Crafted by bar manager Aaron Zieske, they compliment Rucker’s food in a way that maintains the aesthetic of the restaurant by being inventive and whimsical, yet still approachable. Featuring unique European herbal spirits throughout the menu, as well as a thoughtful brandy list for after dinner. Once lunch begins in May, Canard will feature boozy milkshakes, with sprinkles. Cocktails will include the Foie Turn, foie gras fat-washed bourbon, sauternes, apricot brandy, sherry, bitters, with a house candied apricot, the Breakfast of Champions, gin, caper brine, dry vermouth, celery bitters, garnished with a lemon twist and optional oyster side, and the Great Pyrenees, tequila, bruto aperitivo, grapefruit juice, lemon, salt. Canard will have two happy hours, from 4-5pm and again from 10pm to midnight. The happy hour menu will include ½ off oysters and steam burgers, as well as $5 aperitifs and a daily wine that will constantly rotate
Located at 734 E Burnside Street Portland, OR 97214.
From bacon to kale to pumpkin spice, we know when something catches on, we’ll see it on every menu, food blog, atop a doughnut or mixed into ice cream — Blue Star, Salt & Straw, I’m looking at you. But if you want to know what’s moving and shaking right now in the world of food and drink, look no further than this year’s Feast Portland.
For the double scoop on drink and food trends discovered at Feast Portland, read the entire article here on Oregon Wine Press.
It all started with a post on Facebook. It often does. Either there, or with a memorable meal I try to recreate.
One of my favorite Portland pizza places posted a tantalizing photo of a seasonal zucchini dish they’d made that caught my eye and inspired my inner chef. Next thing I knew, I suddenly had a bumper crop of summer zucchini piling up on my counters and I knew the first thing I wanted to make… Pizzaria Otto’s Zucchini. Because it’s that good, and one can only eat so much zucchini bread. A little hunting down the key ingredients, and a few trials later, I had discovered a zucchini recipe that I not only devoured as my main course but was one I wanted to make again and again. Good thing there’s plenty more summer zucchini coming in.
Pair this spicy dish with a dry pinot gris or albariño like Archer Pinot Gris or Abacela Albariño.
The locals might hate me for letting their best kept secrets out, but I just can’t keep this to myself any longer! Poised at the precipice of Washington’s rugged Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Mount St. Helens wilderness area lies an unlikely and emerging wine region. Scattered throughout the land and separated by rushing rivers, whimsical (and sometimes whopping) waterfalls, wild woods, and an abundance of hallowed hiking trails, lies the unassuming expanse of the SW Washington wine region.
From Vancouver to Camas, and Ridgefield to Battle Ground, the expanse includes urban wineries, suburban wineries, and those situated off the well-beaten mountain path. These wineries are all modest, down-to-earth, and completely unpretentious, so don’t be expecting palatial Napa estates. But don’t let the wineries’ humble nature fool you, the wines speak for themselves, appropriately and with pride.
First stop (or last, your call) sustenance. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a visit to the neighborhood Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground will fill your body with hearty good food. Guests should expect a broad menu that supports local farms, breweries and distilleries, and consists of salads, pasta dishes, chef crafted burgers, and plenty of healthy vegetable-centered options. Yes, plant-based foods can be the star of the plate! The motto: Sustainable foods that are good for you, good for local business, and good for the earth. Insider tip: The weekend Bloody Mary bar is practically a meal in and of itself (with just about every hot sauce you can imagine)!
The wineries await…
Heisen House Vineyards — It’s like the little winery that could. Located on the magnificent historic 15-acre Heisen homestead, the winery is the past and the future of the land, all rolled up into one. The history of the estate is astounding. Built in 1866, the home and land had all but succumbed to the area?s encroaching blackberries. Owner Michele Bloomquist, who considers herself a historic preservationist first (though she’s also a winery owner, winemaker, and mother), saw the beauty and potential of the estate, and was inspired to rescue it from disrepair and the bramble that was swallowing it whole. She jokingly calls it a MacGyver winery, making wine with rocks and a couple of sticks, though you’d never guess that when you taste them.
Bloomquist—living in harmony with nature—makes wines by instinct and intuition, with a focus on natural winemaking and sustainability, minimal chemical intervention, and without the use of harmful pesticides. Which all boils down to the simple fact that you can feel good about the wine in your glass. Enjoy beautifully refreshing white wines, like Dry Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc, and swoon over the absolutely tantalizing reds, including Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon in the casual and comfortable tasting room. Your visit won’t be complete without a little conversation with the enthusiastic and friendly turkeys (Henry VIII and his two merry wives), and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the elusive barn owl that resides in the lofty 100-year-old barn (one of the oldest in the county!). Bloomquist is a dreamer, and we should thank her for her vision. She’ll be the first to tell you that Napa started with a bunch of crazy dreamers too.
Pomeroy Cellars — Nestled in the enchanting Lucia Valley, along the Lewis River in Yacolt just beyond Battleground, experience a slice of the region?s history on this historic 100+ year old farm on a 677-acre estate (mostly used for cattle, hay, and timberland). Featuring an interactive living museum that depicts farm life prior to modern inventions like electricity, several times a year, children can experience what it was like to live in the early 20th century.
Winemaker Dan Brink crafts big red wines sourcing fruit from both the estate as well as prestigious vineyards like DuBrul in the Yakima Valley. Enjoy the well-balanced wines in the Brink’s grandparents’ parlor, inspired by the 1920s and featuring antiques from that time period. Though the family has a long history making fruit wines, Brink admittedly has no formal wine education. He says he’s driven more by artistry, experimentation, and experience. The family invites guests to bring their own picnics and enjoy them on the grounds during the warmer season.
Moulton Falls Winery and Cider House is situated on a pastoral setting in Yacolt. The spacious rustic barn is laden with wood and features antlers of all kinds. Big Jake the Cascade Mountain Dog will warmly welcome you to the family-friendly space that’s warmed by a classic potbelly stove and comfortable seating areas. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy the wood-fired pizzas, music events (Friday and Saturday nights), expansive grounds, country setting, deer, elk, and even eagles. In fact, it’s become something of a neighborhood gathering place.
Owners Joe and Susan Milea started the winery on a whim (or was it a bet), and now source all the fruit for their wines from Red Mountain in eastern Washington. Wine highlights include: Big Jake Chenin Blanc, a Lemberger, a wine with an almost cult following from Kiona Vineyard, and Syrah and Sangiovese blend called Siouxon Red. And for those who aren’t interested in wine and offering something to appeal to everyone, Moulton Falls makes some damn tasty handcrafted ciders. Hang out long enough to learn the meaning of ‘Yacolt’ and the ancient stories of Ghost Valley.
Instead of blowing through town on your way to or from the mountain, plan to stay for the day, or even a weekend, because there is plenty to see, taste, and explore. Recreational activities aside (because that’s a whole other article), there’s an abundance of boutique wineries (the small, laid-back kind where the winemaker is waiting behind the bar to tell you stories about the history of the county and about the wines), home-style restaurants, and craft breweries that make the area ideal for foodies, winos, as well as cider and beer hounds. Especially those who enjoy the less touristy and under-explored areas. Squeeze in a few of those picturesque waterfalls to your agenda, and it?s a feast for all the senses.
If you really want to have some fun and let loose a little, bring some friends, rent a limo from Silver Limousine, and tour the area in style! And when you’re ready to call it a day, check into the unexpectedly charming Best Western Plus in downtown Battle ground. The comfortable, large, themed suites (I stayed in the Log Cabin Suite) give you a delightful place to call home while you see and do everything there is to see and do in SW Washington. So, don’t be afraid. Go on, cross the river, discover the undiscovered, and see what treasures await you. You’ll surely return again soon.
I love a recipe that serves many purposes. This recipe is just that, and will surely become a staple in your repertoire. For me, Mushrooms on Toast is a snapshot of my childhood, delivering a plate of nostalgia and comfort in every bite. I’ve seen recipes for Mushrooms on Toast dating back to the early 1900’s. My mom told me that her recipe came from when they lived in England. She said that it was a dish served after work as a snack before the dinner meal. That may or may not be true, but I do know that it can either be a light and healthy breakfast, a satisfying snack, a quick and tasty dinner, or an elegant appetizer; you decide.
Whatever you decide to make it for,?just ensure there?s enough leftovers for hash the next morning, because that might be enough of a reason to make this dish in and of itself (just ask my son Shayden).?You can substitute many of the ingredients for whatever you have on hand, creating new and exciting versions every time you make it. And the piece de resistance?
Mushrooms are one of those lesser known super foods. They?re loaded with protein and nutrients, and often referred to as the meat of the vege kingdom. If you?ve ever had a portabella off the grill or in a burger, you understand what I mean. Mushrooms are?also low in fat with medicinal properties proven to enhance immune function. So take advantage of an easy recipe with health benefits too many to count, and enjoy again and again.
I?ve modified my mother’s recipe and created a variation of the classic Mushrooms on Toast recipe to suit my tastes dietary needs. Traditionally, this recipe is laden with butter, heavy cream, and creme fraiche, and though delicious, it’s not healthy. This version is paleo, and with an easy substitution of vegetable broth for chicken, it?s vegetarian and vegan as well.?Use curry powder in place of the herbs, or substitute rosemary and/or parsley for the thyme and sage. You can even try adding red pepper if you like a little kick. The beauty of this dish is its versatility. Make it your own.
I served it with a 2015 Knudsen Vineyards Chardonnay that I used for cooking as well.?The dish brought out the attractive savory and herbaceous qualities in the wine. Tomorrow I intend to try it with Duck Pond 20-year-old sparkling wine. Reviews to come, stay tuned.
I recall?my first dinner party with new friends after moving from an?isolated mountain town in Colorado to the bustling urban city of Portland, Oregon.?Most wouldn’t think of Portland as a bustling city, but compared to the hermit lifestyle I?d been living post-college, mixing and mingling with sophisticated?people while sharing an ethnic and?thoughtfully prepared meal was practically?culture shock.
My hostess selected Moroccan food and designed her whole menu around the theme, with lamb tagine as the centerpiece. To say I was impressed would be putting it mildly. Up until that point, I don’t think I’d even tasted Moroccan food, much less cooked it. And when the complex combination of spices first hit my nose and then my tongue, I?was blown away by the array of smells and flavors. For the next few months, I kicked myself repeatedly for not?immediately asking for the recipe. And by the time I did finally ask for it, my hostess?couldn?t locate it, but thought it was in one of her magazines from the summer.
Armed with a list of her subscriptions, I visited my local library and scoured the shelves on?a quest for Moroccan Lamb Tagine. Amazingly, I found the recipe she’d used?in an issue of Sunset, and though I?ve modified the recipe to suit my personal taste, it has since become a staple meal. Especially in colder weather. The heat and the spices warm you to the core, both body and soul.
Some (definitely the ex-boyfriend) would be wagging a finger at me, saying how I ruined a perfectly classic dish by going?against the natural order of things. And maybe they’d be right; my additions might not be not traditional, but I think the changes are sound and create a better overall dish. The original recipe called for lamb (no potatoes, carrots, or currants), but?you’ll just have to trust me?on the improvements (or try both ways and judge for yourself). I think you could also use portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian/vegan alternative.
Enjoy your Moroccan Tagine?with a sweeter style white wine. I selected an Oregon Gruner Veltliner from Reustle Prayer Rock, but I think an off-dry Riesling would be exceptional as well. Alternatively, you could?serve this with?red wine (especially if you make it with lamb), try a young Zinfandel to complement the spice profile.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Q Restaurant and Bar has been reborn in the rubble of VQ. Well, down the street and around the corner. Located in the financial district of downtown Portland, on the corner of SW 2nd and Taylor, Q Restaurant and Bar is poised to take over where VQ left off and continue the long history as one of the city?s foundational eateries.
With the same chef, much the same staff, and many of the same menu items, Q will have a familiar feel to most. But under new ownership by Mazen and Katherine Hariri, and in a new location, there?s no quandary about it. You?ll appreciate the hat tip to the former establishment and at the same time embrace the legacy they?ve just begun to build.
Chef Annie Cuggino (with 22 years of experience at VQ), along with sous chefs Victor Martinez (who started out as a dishwasher and rose through the ranks) and Natalie Gullish, are embracing their new-found freedom in the decked out spectator kitchen. While the family of regulars will still find old favorites like bacon-wrapped dates, butter lettuce, poached egg and house bacon salad, osso bucco, and of course, the chocolate Nocello souffl?, Chef Cuggino will continue to work with the season and local purveyors to satisfy and delight her patrons by turning out Northwest inspired dishes.
Of course we?ll all miss the classic and historic brick building with its luxurious garden dining we?d come to know and love. But the new Q is sure to invite the same loyal patrons and power lunch crowd and is destined to become your new favorite hang out. The atmosphere is inviting and full of warmth, it?s elegant without being stuffy. While the wood-paneled bar is cozy with low ceilings and just a touch of austerity, the friendly bar staff, well appointed cocktail menu and wine list, and large storefront windows provide the perfect pick-me-up.
The wine list, curated by Wine Director Amanda Winquist to reflect the vision of Q, is locally-focused and Northwest dominant, with a generous nod to the more traditional wines of California and Europe. The by-the-glass program is balanced and well thought out and includes two Oregon wines on tap, one of which is a barrel of St. Innocent Freedom Hill made exclusively for Q. If wine isn?t your thing, choose from six local draught brews or get lost and found in the extensive and creative cocktail menu with heavenly drinks like the BFD, You Only Live Twice, and the Peaceful Protest.
Open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, as well as for weekend brunch. Visit q-portland.com/ for more information or to reserve your place at the table. You?re in for a treat.