Thursday, October 14, 2010
Last night, several long metallic tables were pulled together to create the stage for the latest installment of Portland's newest culinary experience. Chef's-Choice Portland Food Adventures followed up its inaugural dinner at Nostrana with a truly amazing parade of small plates and family-style entrees with Chef Scott Dolich at Park Kitchen, the jewel-box of a restaurant located on NW Glisan and 8th on the eponymous Park Blocks.
As soon as I walked in, I knew the night was going to be great, and I readied myself for a few solid hours of wine, jokes and conversation about the Portland food world with some of the best of the best, and the warm fuzzies of good regional food made really, really well. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Evan and Ali - formerly of the Little Red Bike Cafe and currently of a handful of foodie projects sure to take Portland by storm - and they could not have been sweeter (or better-looking!). Across from me sat the hilarious (also damn attractive - seriously, Portland foodies are a bunch of lookers) good people behind Integrity Spirits - distillers of Lovejoy Vodka, Trillium Absinthe, and 12 Bridges Gin. While, admittedly, I'm a sucker for Portland-centric products, this stuff is fantastic. Across the room sat Charles and Allie, the, yet again, stunningly handsome couple behind one of Portland newest food carts, Euro Trash - located in the (best) new card pod on SE Belmont and 43rd. I finally got to meet the incomparable Nick Zukin, one of the best (loudest?) voices in Portland food opinions - I'd be hard-pressed to name a single friend of mine who doesn't have a copy of Nick's Willamette Week BurgerQuest article tucked away for reference. To top it off, the wine was flowing and the food kept coming - seriously, so much food - complete with stories behind the plates from Chef Scott Dolich himself.
Long story short - ha - around this giant table sat some people I've admired for a very long time, and thanks to Chris Angelus' Portland Food Adventures, normal-looking ordinary people like you and me can rub elbows with Portland foodie greats while getting stuffed to the gills with some of the best food in town. This is how food was meant to be eaten - with celebration and friends over a period of several hours. It's kind of like a spa treatment or a yoga class - a full-body, whole-mind, soul-satisfying experience - with none of the pesky sweating or communal showers. As if that wasn't enough to get me out of the house on a Wednesday night, we all walked out with an over-stuffed envelope of gift certificates for a return trip to Park Kitchen, goodies from Steve Jones' Cheese Bar and Xocolatl de David, a nouveau-classic Portland meal at Pine State Biscuits, and tapas at Pata Negra. Seriously, this is the deal of the year, worth every penny. To get on the list for the next Portland Food Adventure, check out their website - www.portlandfoodadventures.com, contact Chris, or ask me about the night! I'm always happy to eat and tell.
I could go on and on about the food, but take a look for yourself...