Honeymoon: Portland, OR – Le Pigeon

19 Jul

One more round of applause for Mike for his restaurant research for our honeymoon. Our last night in Portland (after an awesome whirlwind drive along the Oregonian coast) brought us to Le Pigeon, whose chef won best chef of the Northwest from James Beard this year. Mike had read about him in Food & Wine and they were getting a good amount of buzz.

Le Pigeon had an open kitchen and I was envious of those around the bar who had a great view of the action.  (We were in the center of a 6 top communal table, but neither of the other 2 couples were very social, so we just observed their reactions to the dishes, made fun of the ridiculous date going on beside us, and enjoyed the food).

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Here was the menu for the week:

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And the specials of the day.

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We opted for the Five Courses where the chef selected what would come out (though I made a special request for the beef cheek bourguignon to be included since that seemed right up my alley).

We decided NOT to do the wine pairings after our delicious yet unfortunately over-indulgence at Kingdom of Roosevelt.

Our meal started with the trout lox which came with raspberries, fennel, crème fraîche, and roe.  This was delightful.  A great, light entry into the meal and the raspberries tasted like they were grown especially to be paired with trout lox for the rest of time.

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Everything was so insanely fresh.

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Our next dish was grilled pork belly with peas and carrots, and strawberry jam.

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This was cooked very well and the sauce went marvelously with the pork belly.  It was a hearty portion too.

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Then we were served the braised rabbit (rabbit again!) which came with shells and cheese, truffle vinaigrette and crispy spring onions. Once again, we really enjoyed the rabbit here.  Everything went so well together and the rabbit was enhanced by the creamy shells and cheese, truffle, and the crispy of the fried onions.

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And then came the beef cheek bourguignon. (Apologies for the dark photos… I tried to bring over the candles but it got quite dark in there).  This was packed with flavor.  There was richness from the meat (which was as tender as could be but still a bit of char on the outside) over a potato puree which may or may not have had pears in it (Mike thinks he heard that, I don’t recall).

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On the side there was a roasted root vegetable (maybe parsnip) that we very much enjoyed.

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And then came dessert: Foie gras profiteroles (yes, seriously) with caramel sauce and sea salt.  This was a masterpiece.  On the side was a roasted (?) fruit dish in a white chocolate cup.

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The profiterole was incredible. The foie gras somehow totally worked with the sweet and it didn’t seem at all weird to be a dessert the moment you tasted it.

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And then they came out with one last bite, a “spicy” chocolate.  I asked the waitress what kind of spice and she immediately said not to eat it and gave them both to Mike.

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And brought me out a most perfect dark chocolate cookies (which I believe had some salt on it) and was a perfect final bite.

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When we walked away from our meal at Le Pigeon, we were raving.  It was only a few weeks ago, but I really remember loving it.  Incredibly, however, when stacked up against the delicious and well served meal we had at Canlis and the original and fun meal we had at Kingdom of Roosevelt, it falls ever so slightly behind.  But that is not to say it wasn’t an incredible meal. It was just in very competitive company.

I’m very glad we tried it and I highly recommend it.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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