Monday, February 24, 2014

On the road again: Portland, day 1

After a rather unsatisfying two and three quarters hours of sleep, I awoke at the terrifying (to me) hour of 6:40 a.m. and began the long travel day.  The shower pummeled me into something resembling sentience, and off to the airport I went. 

No upgrades today, but at least exit row seats, one of them, sadly, a window.  Still, I worked as I could and landed more or less caught up.

Dinner was my first experience at Ava Genes, a Portland Italian place.  It was fantastic.  The olives were amazing, the citrus salad outstanding, better than I would have believed.  My main course, their variation on spaghetti and meat balls (the meat balls made of sirloin), was simply the best version of that classic that I have ever tasted, here or in Italy or anywhere else.  The sauce was a stunning blend of great tomato flavor with a bit--just a tiny bit--of a chili kick, enough to give it a little heat but not enough to linger in your mouth.  I would eat that dish on every cold, rainy night if I could.  I hadn't planned to have dessert, but the rest of the meal was so good that I had to sample their housemade gelato.  Of the three choices, I opted for the honey mascarpone, and I am amazed to have to report that it was among the best gelatos I have ever tasted, here or in Italy or anywhere else.  It was outstanding.

I will definitely be going back to Ava Genes, and I recommend it highly.

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