Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On the road again: Portland, day 2

Lunch today was at one of those Mongolian grill places in which you put a bunch of stuff in a bowl, ladle on some sauces and spices, and hand it to someone to grill on a huge round metal grill. I don't eat at these often, but I always have fun when I do, just because I like mixing a bunch of stuff and grilling it--or, in this case, watching someone else grill it. The result is always tasty, though never as cleverly delicious as I have tried to make it.

Dinner, on the other hand, was both clever and absolutely delicious, as I expected it to be because we ate at Le Pigeon. As long-time readers know, Chef/Owner Gabriel Rucker's original restaurant is one of my favorite places in the world. Small, funky, and dedicated to pursuing its own vision, Le Pigeon is one of the many culinary beacons that light the Portland night. I relax the moment I walk into it.

I normally don't post meal photos on these trips because the crappy hotel bandwidth makes the cost too high, but I decided to pay that cost tonight and show you a few things.

The main menu gives you a sense of the variety and sensibility of Le Pigeon.

Click on any image for a larger version.

For my starter, I chose the foie on ramen.

It was an odd combination, of course; this is Le Pigeon. The slab of perfectly cooked foie gras sat atop a cake of ramen noodles that was topped with a seaweed salad and surrounded by a light broth with a very delicate taste of fish. I know, I know: it doesn't sound good. It was.

My main was the rich and tasty beef two ways.

The celery root puree provided a light, delicious starch counterpart to the strong, rich flavor of the short rib meat and the equally tasty but lighter steak slices. It was a great take on the classic steak-and-potatoes main.

The dessert options also reflected the Le Pigeon spirit.

I've already eaten all of the classic desserts, but even if I hadn't, I would have been drawn to the banana cream pie. I didn't expect it to look or taste anything like any BCP I've had before, and indeed it didn't.

Nonetheless, it was delicious, a light and sweet variation on the classic dessert that I love so much.

What a fine meal. Le Pigeon never disappoints. If you live here or ever visit here, eat there.

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