Cocotte Contest

October 29th, 2012

Comment here for the chance to win two $25 gift certificates to Portland's Cocotte!

Have you checked out this year’s Willamette Week Restaurant Guide that came out last week? I look forward to it every year. Partly, because I always get to review restaurants for it but also because it’s a great compass for Portland dining and always makes me hungry to try more places.

This year I wrote three reviews for the guide — Ocean City, Bamboo Sushi and Cocotte. I’d never been to Cocotte and loved it and think you might too. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

“For all of the complaints that Portland doesn’t do seafood right beyond a few sushi spots, let’s have a drum roll for Cocotte. This pretty little corner bistro on Northeast 30th Avenue’s restaurant row (neighbored by Beast, Yakuza, Autentica and DOC) is all about small plates and entrees from le mer. The smoked salmon salad over a fallen potato soufflé with tarragon aioli is topped with farm-fresh greens, moist and not too smoky salmon, and slivers of radish in a lemony shallot vinaigrette. It’s perfect…”

Read the full review

Cocotte’s co-chef/owner, Kat LeSueur, sent me two $25 gift certificates for a blog contest so I’ve chosen a lucky number and that numbered commenter gets both gift certificates. This is what I’d like you to comment about here — what’s one of your favorite dishes to prepare solo at home when the days get shorter? When the weather gets cold a lot of times we tend to want to make big pots of stews and soups and braises — enough to feed a small army. What’s a smaller dish — just for you — that you love cook in the fall and winter?

Cocotte
2930 NE Killingsworth Street
Portland, Oregon 97211
503.227.2669
www.cocottepdx.com

Winner of Taste of the Nation Portland 2012 Tickets!

April 30th, 2012

Congratulations lucky number 6 commenter! Email me so we can set aside two tickets for you at will call!

You know who you are lucky #6 commenter! You’ve won yourself two tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation next Tuesday, May 9th at Jeld-Wen Field. Drop me a line @ info at lizcrain dot com with your full name and contact info. and I’ll pass that along to the organizers who are donating the tickets. Your two general admission tickets will be available the night of the event at will call. (Don’t worry if it takes me a few days to respond — I’m out of town for work and will be back mid-week.)

Thanks everyone for all of your tasty comments! I hope that some of these businesses come to fruition. If you build it they will come!

For those of you who didn’t win tickets there are still tickets available for this year’s 25th anniversary Taste of the Nation. It’s one of the best food events in town and I highly recommend it. In addition to it being delicious and super fun 100% of proceeds go toward ending local child hunger. Gotta feel good about that.

Thanks everyone!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
6:30-9pm
Jeld-Wen Field
1844 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE, online or at any New Seasons Market)
www.strength.org/portland

Cooking from Lucky Peach

March 26th, 2012

I decided to cook up this blackened bluefish recipe in the second issue of Lucky Peach...

I’ve been pretty loud and clear about my love of Lucky Peach magazine published by McSweeney’s. I wrote about it here in late November but at that point I had yet to cook from it. (We also hadn’t sealed the deal for the Toro Bravo Cookbook with McSweeney’s, fall 2013, at that point…) Now that I’ve cooked from it — and now that issue number three has hit the shelves — I’m putting photos of a couple of the things I’ve made here. That’s it. Oh, and go get yourself a copy if you don’t have it already. It really just keeps getting better and better.

I got the fixings together -- homemade miso mayo made with my year-plus old homemade miso, pickles, spicy chips and thinly sliced iceberg.

I blackened dover because that was what looked best at the market...

And then I put it all together in between buttered and broiled ciabatta. So fucking delicious. Cook this!

I made a custardy breakfast sandwich with the leftover blackening spices, miso mayo, iceberg and some cheddar on ciabatta.

The third and latest issue of Lucky Peach, on shelves now, has this story by Rachel Khong...

Including a recipe for this Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake that I've made a couple times now. It's not so pretty but it is fun, quick and tasty.

LUCKY PEACH
Subscribe!

The Parish: Q&A with Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell

March 5th, 2012

Ethan Powell and Tobias Hogan are at it again -- their new Cajun/Creole restaurant The Parish is set to open this summer in The Pearl.

If you haven’t heard already these two fine looking fellows — co-owners of EaT Oyster Bar on North Williams — are set to open another Cajun/Creole restaurant in the Pearl this summer called The Parish in the space that used to house In Good Taste. According to a recent press release:

“The menu at The Parish blends urban New Orleans cuisine with the country-style Cajun cooking. Focusing on locally sourced ingredients, the menu will reach beyond seafood and oysters to local wild game birds, rabbit, and even a whole pig. The co-owners have strong ties to the oyster farmers in Oregon, CA and Washington and will continue to offer fresh raw oysters year-round with a shucking bar and a new retail oyster program. A section of the menu will include classic southern dishes that won’t change such as BBQ shrimp, Seafood gumbo, Shrimp Étouffée, and an assortment of po’boy sandwiches.”

Here’s what Tobias had to say to me recently about The Parish, which is set to open this summer…

Why the Pearl?

We like it because of it’s central location for the Metro area. We’ll have close proximity to the central business district providing access to business luncheons as well as after work meet-ups. We’re also excited about the opportunity to expose our concept to people who live on the west side of the city and the suburbs to the west who don’t generally head to the east side of the city.

So you’ll be selling oysters wholesale and retail?

We will have an oyster wholesale center to service downtown restaurant customers as well as a retail oyster basin up front to sell directly to the public.

What are a couple menu items that you’re really excited about?

Our Duck Confit Gumbo (served with a crispy Confit Leg on top) is really good, we’re also going to be doing some great hot apps and oysters off the grill that will be visible up front by the oyster bar.

Can you give me some details about the space?

It will have a large visible oyster bar with other fresh seafood available. There will be some nice booth seating and a nice big bar where we’ll have local wines on tap by the glass, several local beers on tap and serving some great cocktails from the pre-prohibition influence that Portland has become famous for. To reference this tradition we’re referring to the bar as Bar Vieux Carre or “The Old Quarter” or a common name for the French Quarter in NOLA. It’s also a Tennessee Williams play set in NOLA.

Will there be live music at The Parish?

We’re planning on having a classic Jazz Brunch on Saturday and Sundays maybe music will happen other nights, but we don’t have plans for that quite yet.

Number one thing that you’re looking forward to with the new restaurant?

Getting open and presenting the space to our city as a showcase Creole restaurant and oyster bar. We’ve been strong proponents of oysters for many years with EaT and before. We’re very excited to update the concept of an oyster bar using our Farm connections to showcase the best oysters from the NW and beyond.

The Parish (and Vieux Carre Bar) opening summer 2012
231 NW 11th Street, Portland, Oregon

Taste of the Nation 2011

May 9th, 2011

Celilo Restaurant's (in Hood River) morel and fromage blanc topped crackers were super tasty.

Taste of the Nation truly gets bigger and better every year. We had a fantastic time eating and drinking all sorts of amazing things from Portland area chefs and food/drink folks at this year’s Taste of the Nation at Luxe Autohaus. (Always made much better by the fact that 100% of the proceeds go toward local child hunger relief.) If you don’t know about the event you can read more about it here and here. We paced ourselves a lot better this year so that by the end (and we stayed until the very end — as in tables being folded) we felt full but not roll-out-the-door full.

It’s hard to pick favorites but I think it’s good to give credit where credit is due. SO here are my top five favorite things that I ate at this year’s Taste of the Nation (not to mention all the delicious wine, beer and bubbly) followed by photos…

Top five bites at this year’s Taste of the Nation in no particular order…
La Calaca Comelona’s rainbow chard wrapped masa with pork in a red sauce
Biwa’s braised pork and house pickled vegetable lettuce wraps
Bamboo Sushi’s Oregon albacore carpaccio
Fifty Lick’s coconut lemon saffron sorbet
Davis Street Tavern’s cold carrot fennel soup with sorrel salsa verde

Screen Door's mini chocolate and peanut butter pies were really good. Especially when eaten right after their...

Smoked meatloaf and whipped potato bites topped with crispy shallots. Yeah, pretty genius side-by-side.

Biwa kicked ass as usual with their braised pork lettuce wraps with pickled veggies.

Fratelli was set up right next to Biwa with some yummy rockfish crudo that got topped with yuzu foam seconds after I took this photo.

No, he did not get stuck in the ice cream cooler. 50 Licks' coconut lemon saffron sorbet is incredible.

Andina had a lovely spread of marinated fish in a aji colorado al batan sauce, fava bean salad and okra rellena stuffed with braised oxtail. Top that why don't you.

We hung out with friends until the lights-out end. Another fantastic Taste of the Nation with 100 percent of proceeds going to local child hunger relief organizations. Cheers Portland!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation
www.portlandtaste.org