Posts for December, 2010

December 17, 2010

10 Essential Christmas Larder Liners

Christmas is only eight days away, which means you’ve got to line your larder, and fast. Perhaps you haven’t even thought about where your goose, sugar plums, personal snacking ham, golden quince liqueur, 15-lb pasta ball, local chocolate-filled organic bamboo gift basket, and Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper are coming from. Hopefully, this (mostly) edible holiday essentials guide will help. That’s what I’m here for.
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December 17, 2010

Tartines and Two-Fers

Portland added one-and-a-half new eateries to its bulging restaurant ranks this week, with the openings of Grain & Gristle–a casual Northeast Portland trifecta of brews, meat, and wood, and SE Clinton Street’s Patisserie St. Jack–a charming French-style bakery adjoining soon-to-open Restaurant St. Jack. Behold, the tale of two first impressions: a pastry-heavy Parisian lunch and stockings-fatal 3-P (pretzel, pickles, pork) dinner.   Read full story »

December 17, 2010

Best Christmas Punch Ever

There are a lot of great things about Christmas–presents, peppermint bark, and paid vacation come to mind, but we rosy-nosed tipplers know the real holiday magic’s in the bowl…the punch bowl. The tradition of serving up Christmas punch from a big crystal bowl harkens back to the beginning of civilization, when cave people used to throw whatever interesting-looking berries they found in the woods into a celebratory crystal skull, add rum, and stomp on it for awhile. Sometimes this proved fatal, sometimes they created a fun new recipe for the family Christmas cookbook, which they had Kinko’s chisel onto stone tablets for the relatives up in North Pangaea.

kellyswensonschristmaspunchLast week, I learned an exciting new non-fatal punch recipe the modern way–I joined a group of local food writers, the lovely Bette SinclairTim Vincent of Vincent Family Cranberries, and bartender extraordinaire Kelley Swenson in the lounge at June restaurant, where Kelley handed us tumblers of his sublime Christmas cranberry punch and a copy of the recipe, which I took a picture of with my iPhone. See, things are so much easier these days! Read full story »

December 15, 2010

Pok Pok Drinking Vinegars Go Retail

I always like getting Pok Pok updates, because they make me hungry and/or thirsty, which is my favorite state of being. As a dedicated Pok Pok drinking vinegar aficionado, Chef Andy Ricker‘s latest bit ‘o news made me thirsty and spendy. I’m thinking the below-mentioned bottles would probably fit just perfectly in my stocking this year. I hope you’re reading, Santa!

wsldrinkingvinegarPok Pok Som Release
Pok Pok Som Full Strength drinking vinegars are now available for purchase by the bottle at Pok Pok, Whiskey Soda Lounge and Ping restaurants (they make a great gift!). Tamarind, Honey, Apple and Pomegranate are the first four flavors to be released, and there is a limited amount available. They come in a 16 oz apothecary-style bottle (makes at least 10 drinks) and sell for $15 each. Look for more flavors and broader distribution in the new year. Happy holidays!

December 10, 2010

Little Bird, With a Central Detour


When new restaurants I’ve been eagerly anticipating finally open, I’m like the proverbial kid in a candy store. I love the energy of opening day, the shiny newness, the nervous excitement, the unfamiliar menu, the unpredictable reactions from the crowd. It’s like going to the theater, except better, because I get to eat and there’s no risk of accidentally drinking too much champagne beforehand and having to hold it until intermission.

Little Bird has been on my radar for ages, and I was so excited about its arrival, I somehow ended up going for lunch and dinner on opening day. Both my déjeuner and dîner experiences are included in this two-part piece, along with our brief detour to Central, a bewitching new downtown speakeasy hiding down an alley mere blocks from Little Bird (I’d suggest combining the two for a surefire date night!).
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December 10, 2010

D-Street Noshery’s Grand Opening

Guess what!?! There’s a new food cart pod on SE Division!

Hey, you didn’t even look up. Your expression hasn’t lifted in the least, and I’m no nurse/personal trainer, but I can tell your pulse didn’t quicken even one little beat. I can’t believe you are so jaded. One would think you have been spoilt living in a city with, by my last informal count, 539,249,247,303 food carts. For shame!

dstnosherypodI do hope you’ll manage to drag your blasé bones out Saturday (tomorrow!) to SE Division & 32nd, between 11am and 10pm, for new D-Street Noshery’s Grand Opening Party, to show your support for this sweet little pod filled with pie holes, pulled pork-stuffed waffle cones, brick oven margherita pies, chicken green chile arepas, fried nutella with plantains, Korean short ribs tacos, and beer. Yes, this pod has a beer truck. And they’re supplying free cider and hot cocoa all day. See, now you look a little bit more festive.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken a few turns around D-Street Noshery, checking out what everyone’s cooking (and baking, and frying, and pouring), and I’ve compiled a few of my findings into this handy D-Street Noshery primer.
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December 6, 2010

Ruby Jewel’s Calendar ‘o Deals

This afternoon I stopped into the Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop, because even when it’s 40 degrees outside, you gotta have ice cream. They’ve got some tasty holiday flavors on the menu, like peppermint, egg nog and maple pecan, and I did pick up a to-go pint to make peppermint hot chocolate affogato tonight, but that’s not why I was there. I had come for the board. Ruby Jewel’s new Chalkboard of Daily Deals.

How fun is this? Dollar mini-sundaes and ice cream sandwiches days, free topping days, two scoops for the price of one days, free cookie with a scoop days. Today was $3 ginger pumpkin ice cream sandwich day, so I stocked up. The board won’t get dragged to the curb along with the Christmas tree at the end of the month either, Co-owner Becky Burnett said it’s a permanent fixture now. Sweet news!


December 3, 2010

15 Tasty Gifts To Grace Your Christmas List

My bf wandered into the kitchen the other day, interrupting me in the middle of making cassoulet and a big mess, to complain that my Christmas list wasn’t fleshed out enough. “All you wrote was ‘bulldog’ and ‘a trip to Paris,’” he griped. “I need something more to go on than that.” Personally, I think that’s a brilliant and refreshingly succinct Christmas list, but our irksome exchange got me thinking, what would be a thrilling under-the-tree surprise for the food lover in one’s life if a bulldog and a trip to Paris are out of the question? So I went shopping, purely as research, of course, and I found these locally-sourced treats. Read full story »

December 3, 2010

Haute Hot Chocolate

All of the cookbooks on my overburdened kitchen shelves are well-loved, if not well-worn. Cursed with the compulsive desire to own every shiny beautiful new cookbook I see, it seems impossible to fully bond with all of them beyond an admiring initial read-through. There are a few, however, that I couldn’t live without. And come the holidays, I always find myself turning the sticky, scuffed, chocolate-stained pages of pastry chef Sherry Yard‘s The Secrets of Baking,” particularly when I’m in the mood for hot cocoa. Read full story »

December 2, 2010

Daniel Mondok Joins Genoa

This just in from Genoa…looks like Chef Daniel Mondok will be moving from June to Genoa as of Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Genoa is proud to welcome its newest team member.

Executive Chef David Anderson is excited to announce that his long time friend Daniel Mondok will be joining the Genoa kitchen as Sous Chef as they move into their second year of service since the re-birth of the Portland Landmark. Read full story »

December 2, 2010

Park Kitchen Has a Lot to Say

Park Kitchen doesn’t send out newsletters very often, but when they do, they drop a lot on you at once. Like, that they aren’t going to be serving lunch anymore beginning Dec. 24, but they are going to start serving Pork and Pinot Noir dinners on Sundays, and they’ll be dishing up a fantastic Christmas Eve dinner so you don’t have to go out for Chinese food, and they are starting a BLOG. One more thing–they want you to have a wonderful holiday season too. It’s quite a bit to take in in one reading, but here you go: Read full story »

December 2, 2010

Wildwood Happy Hour Starts Monday

Wildwoods happy hour has skipped around a bit–served late night, or just on Tuesdays, or not at all, but starting Tuesday, Dec. 7, it’s getting a regular weekday gig at the bar. From 4:30-6:30pm, Mon-Fri, you can get your fix of truffled popcorn, onion rings, and Wildwood’s gorgeous burger, among other items. The seasonal draft is $3, while wine and the daily cocktail special ring in at $5. The menu looks simple and delicious, my only complaint is that there’s no $5 bubbly.

wildwood extHere’s a sample happy hour menu. See you Monday! Read full story »

December 2, 2010

Jason Barwikowski Leaves OP, Olympic Meats Opening This Spring

This just in from Olympic Provisions:

As we enter the holiday season and celebrate our first anniversary this month, we’re experiencing some exciting and challenging new developments at Olympic Provisions.

Most notably, Executive Chef Jason Barwikowski has left Olympic Provisions as of Saturday, Nov. 27, and wine director Carly Laws will depart on December 18th.

oplogo“The partnership has decided to go in a separate direction due to creative differences,” said co-owner Nate Tilden. “We respect the hard work and creative contributions they’ve made to Olympic Provisions and hope this is an opportunity for them to pursue their individual interests and continue to share their considerable talent with the food world.” Read full story »