Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hanging in the Park!

It happened again. The boys got together for a night 0out last night and we had another phenomenal meal at Park Kitchen (422 NW 8th, 503.223.7275). There were six of us sitting to sup, which is the perfect amount to go through their chef's tasting menu. In taking that option, and if you go there with four or more you're crazy not to, we were guaranteed to taste almost everything on chef Scott Dolich's delicious November menu. It turned into a four course feast, washed down with a wee bit of grape based beverage.
We met at Gilt Club (306 NW Broadway) for a quick pre-dinner libation. This is a really nice spot for a drink, casually comfortable, and I have heard the food there is pretty well done, too. Might have to make that dinner stop soon. We then wandered a block and a half to PK, and settled in for a night of seriously serious food. Scott's menu, as always, is an exploration of everything fresh and seasonal, and in the 20 some dishes we sampled, there wasn't a weak note. The first course featured five different small plates, including stellar buckwheat crepes with duck confit and curried persimmon. And the salt cod fritters were fabulous...crisp balls of delicately fried fish and potato pureed together. He also sent out an amazing black eyed pea soup with foie gras! As Scott said afterward when we were chatting, "I love the foie". We couldn't agree more! And his flank steak with blue cheese, parsley, and sherries onions is not to be missed.
Then came the entrees, including fabulous venison dish, black cod with salsa verde, lamb, and more. After working our way through six different desserts, all of which were remarkable inventive and perfectly done, it was time to the bar for a quick after dinner sip. As I said we sat with Scott for a few minutes, and he said he loves doing the tasting menu. It allows the kitchen some creative space, and guarantees your meal will be well paced and varied. I've been through this twice now at PK, and it is again perhaps the best food, along with Castagna, going here in PDX. I was telling the guys that being just back from a San Francisco eating weekend, this was as good or better than anything you'll get down there. Major props to Scott and the kitchen crew for once again rocking our palates!!
here's some photographic proof of the food carnage (click on any picture to enlarge). Moving c from top to bottom: the menu, most of which found it's way into our willing stomachs; two of the desserts, including on the bottom a fantastically original carrot quince strudel with pumpkin semifreddo; the venison and lamb entrees...awesome with a super rich 2004 Juan Gil Monastrell; the silky smooth salsa verde sauce surrounding the black cod.

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