A walk in the Park!
Just let me say that while I like my job, sometimes I really like my job. Take last night for instance. Andreas Wickhoff (right), who represents several different Austrian wine estates, who not incidentally are among the very top tier of Austrian wine producers, was in town last night. His local wine distributor here in Portland, Triage Imports, held a dinner for four of their accounts, yours truly included, so Andreas could inform about his latest and greatest. I get invited to several wine dinners each year, and go to maybe, well, none of them. But then my friend at Triage, Whitney, mentioned Austrian wines, then in the same breath uttered those words I love to hear: "Oh, and it's at Park Kitchen", and I was in! There is nothing that gets me salivating like thinking about the culinary wonders that owner/chef Scott Dolich might be kicking loose from his kitchen.
We settled on his tasting menu, which I've dome a couple of times in the past, and have been blown away by. It was really amazing before, offering a taste of the full range of his menu, plus some things he whips up on the spot out of his fertile imagination. Last night it was simply off the hook. I'm talking crazy amounts of insanely good food that kept coming and coming. Plus when it is paired with the incredible whites and reds Andreas brought along, this was an evening that maybe I'll never experience again. How much food? How about six different appetizers, three different salads (large), five separate entrées (I'll be dreaming about the pork belly) brought out on family style platters, four desserts. Throw in eight different wines to taste and you get why it was all I could do to stagger out of there, very full belly leading the way. I managed to make it home, fell into bed, pulled the comforter over my head and blissfully slipped into a wonderful food coma.
Like I said, sometimes I really like my job. Somehow I think the guy manning the Slurpee machine at 7-11 doesn't get these benefits.
Here's some visual proof. Clockwise top to bottom: Awesome razor clam salad; mmmm, pork belly; crazy sole fillet medallions wrapped around a sole mousse on top of sauteed spinach with cauliflower; apple dumpling; and their classic vanilla panna cotta with your correspondent hungrily awaiting his share.