Signs Of Spring
(first week of april. number 16.)
This dinner was the beginning of a less theme-heavy, new phase for us.
A thing I wrote when first putting together this blog entry, without knowing about 'aviary': I think we might really be on to something here– we should open in the downstairs part of one of those ridiculous loft buildings so omnipresent in Portland right now. Secret Restaurant Portland: a fusion pescetarian restaurant.
Really, it was just a celebration of Portland Farmer's Market opening again, the flavors and colors it could provide us, and the tastes we wanted to combine right here in the late-coming spring.
We made sausages of cod with oats and marjoram, poached them, then breaded and fried them "corndog" style. Served with a fresh lemon and garlic mayonnaise.
French Onion Soup
Based on the soup featured in Tartine Bread, this was the result of several practice sessions. Not your traditional version of this dish– no beef broth, no red onions– a vegetable stock made over 6 hours the night before, young yellow onions from Persephone Farm (one of our favorites for all sorts of vegetables), lots of butter, white wine, and a lot of time reducing and deglazing. Served with hot toasts dropped in: made from Fressen potato round, bubbling with gruyere cheese.
Arugula Rapini, fiddleheads, romaine lettuce sauteed then cooled, and a fresh nettle pesto made with pistachios.
Risotto, Maitake Mushroom, Asparagus
Risotto made using another homemade broth and white wine, with 3-year Manchego cheese and grated Oregon black truffle.
Maitake grown in the dank Oregon forest (from Misty Mountain Mushroms), marinated to enhance its savory subtleties, then broiled, and kissed with ceyanne pepper.
Topped with a port reduction sauce, made from 1995 Tuke Holdworth Putugese Porto, bottled in 1997.
Lightly blanched asparagus with softened butter and sea salt.
Vanilla Ice Cream, Grapefruit, and CocoRosie's
Homemade ice cream with more vanilla than asked for (in a good way), perfectly ripe de-membraned grapefruit, and two CocoRosie's. CocoRosie's are a cookie developed years ago by our friend Russell, out of an old betty crocker recipe. They are extremely thin, light, delicate cookies– glassy because of their egg/sugar ratio, tart because of the grapefruit zest inside, crunchy because of the toasted effect to the coconut/oats combination, and floral because of the lavender buds.
A blend of five random white wines- a chardonnay, a muskat, a white blend, a Reisling, and a pinot gris. With Becherovka, a Czech herbal liqueur, or "digestive bitters."
It was delightful.