Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Portland Playback

As I return from Portland, Oregon where I took my first crack at the Advanced Sommelier Exam ( follow me here as I spend my next year studying to retake it ), I think of how exciting and impressive their food and wine scene is.  Yes, Portland is a little weird, after all,  it's the city's motto! But, it's a great kind of weird!

Enjoy and allow me to indulge as I relive some tasty travels around Portland this April ranking some of my favorite "must go" spots!

Best Bar:

Ambonnay Champagne Bar
107 SE Washington Street #167
Portland, OR 97214

Did someone say Champagne??  Anyone who knows me knows I come running when I hear mentions of Champagne so this was a must on my list of places to check out. Sommelier/Owner David Speer ( named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Sommelier's of the a Year in 2013 ) has created a fantastic bar serving up one of the best lists of Champagne & sparkling wines by the glass/bottle outside of Champagne, France itself!
My recommendations:
By the glass:  Laherte Freres, Ultratradition  Brut, Champagne, France NV (2010)
By the bottle:  Vouette & Sorbee, Fidele Extra Brut, Champagne, France (2010)

*small bites & nibbles available too

Best Lunch : 

Little Bird Bistro
219 SW 6th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204

Sibling to another Portland hotspot that many flock to, I prefer Little Bird.  I had little time before my first exam of the week and the service, food and wine was charming and just what I wanted! Fresh, local and mouthwateringly delicious!
My recommendations:
Salad: Butter Lettuce, warm lentils, roasted lamb neck ( moist and delicious! ) with lemony yogurt
Main: Sheep Cheese Gnocchi, pea purée, asparagus and morels
For Sipping: Pierre Brigandat, Tradition, Champagne, France

Best Dinner:

527 SW 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204

After hearing from both food publications and friends I was happy to finally get to Gruner. Gruner serves "cozy, alpine cusine" and an extensive wine list featuring wines from Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland. It was rainy and chilly outside so it was a perfect night to visit.
My recommendations:
Salad: Smoked coho salmon, watercress, mizuna, roasted beets,
french green lentils, horseradish-beet yogurt
Main: Malfatti, ricotta dumplings with nettles, dandelion
and turnip greens, sautéed hen-of-the-wood mushrooms,
melted butter, parmigiano-reggiano
For Sipping: 2012 Chehalem, Gruner Veltliner, Ridgecrest Vineyards, Willamette Valley, OR

Perfectly Portlandian:
1111 East Burnside (Fourth Floor)
Portland, OR 97214

Any place that promises Wine, Booze, Food and a View sounds like a must check out to me! Noble Rot is located on the fourth floor offering amazing views of Portland as well as numerous menu items coming from their roof top garden. The decor is quirky cool and the staff is too.
My recommendations:
For Sipping: (Drink local!) 2012 J Albin, Pinot Noir, Laurel Vineyard, Willamette Valley, OR

"...the hazelnuts, these are local?" - Portlandia

1 comment:

colleen francioli said...

Sounds so delicious! I can't wait to go someday :)