Sure the economy is crashing down on our heads, there is war raging across the middle east, and we have 17 days left of Bush. Then there's this little tidbit that somehow slipped under the newswire radar. Bar Avignon, perhaps the place that best captures the spirit of a Parisian wine bar here in PDX, is adding to their well thought out menu of bar snacks and paninos a regular plat du jour (with mussels on the way!), which to me was the one missing ingredient there. Their addictive bar bites and salads...especially those meatballs with romesco that I could eat dozens of...are always delicious. But to make it more of a complete spot for dinner, I always wanted to be able to have a dinner plate of....something. Good things come to those who wait, as was evidenced last night when w and I met there after the VINO Friday tasting.
Owners Randy and Nancy (and yes guys, you're still a bar, not a restaurant!) always provide a gracious welcome, and it got better as our friend's DOR and his lovely wife Dawn happened to wander in at the same time. Which is kind of the essence of a neighborhood spot, right? We grabbed a table with them and dug in. Of course meatballs were had, along with a great bowl of butternut squash and parsnip soup with a little drizzle of sage oil. Then the plat, which tonight was braised chicken breast on polenta, the perfect antidote to a chilly night long with a side of buttered brussel sprouts, this was what I'd been waiting for! Along witha bottle of 2007 Brick House Gamay Noir follwed by a bottle of 2006 Clos des Brusquires Chateauneuf du Pape (for a near insane $52 a bottle) we were feeling about as good as we could. If you haven't hit Avignon yet, it is absolutely something to put on your to-eat list.
Oh, and a quick word about the bar. The cocktails here are first rate, always well made, and the wine list by-the-glass choices are fairly priced and cover a something for everyone range of tastes. Plus the bottle list, as shown by the Chateauneuf we had, is one of the best deals in town. Nicely done, Randy!
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: Grilled Salmon w/ Lime Butter Sauce!