Posts for February, 2014

February 14, 2014

V-Day Wine Country Getaway

Depending on how Valentine’s Day goes, you might like to get out to wine country this weekend, either with your date, or to escape your date. Either is fine, no judgement here.

And if you’re headed to wine country, you’ll most definitely want to stop by breathtakingly scenic Domaine Drouhin‘s For The Love of Wine event on Sat. 2/15, from 11am-3pm, for gorgeous wines and bites by the likes of Olympic ProvisionsLittle T BakerPearl ChocolateBriar Rose Creamery, and Oregon White Truffle Oil. I’ll be at the Olympic Provisions table selling and signing Portland’s 100 Places To Stuff Your Faces, and it would be lovely if you stopped by and said hello. Event details>>

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Photo courtesy of Domaine Drouhin’s Facebook page

February 13, 2014

Hola, Pépé Le Moko!

We’ve all got a running list of important, perplexing life questions–like, how to find true happiness (most likely by eating really really fresh mini doughnuts), how exactly to hike from Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion (I get lost every time!), why all the chocolate ice cream disappears even when the only person who could have eaten it is supposedly on a cleanse, and perhaps first and foremost, when is Pépé le Moko going to open? Today, that’s when, so cross that one off your list, and please focus–we’re lost again in the Arboretum.

Last night, we stopped in–or rather, descended upon–dashing restaurateur Nate Tilden (Clyde Common, Olympic Provisions, The Richmond Bar) and esteemed Clyde Common bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s latest and much-awaited venture, a sultry subterranean speakeasy hidden deep in the Ace Hotel building’s catacombs.

Pépé’s entryway, just to the left of The Cleaners on SW 10th Avenue, is unexpectedly cheery–it’s light, bright, and white, throwing you off the bunker bar trail. When you walk in, there’s a friendly hostess perched at the top of the stairs, and for now, Tilden himself is tucked into the tiny provisions-lined kitchen, accompanied by supercute Riley Henderson and a big bowl of to-be-shucked oysters on ice.

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But once you’ve gone down the stairs, it’s an entirely different world altogether–dark, sexy, cozy, touchy feely, and by that I mean that while trying to navigate your way to your table or barstool, you’re probably going to accidentally touch and feel a bunch of strangers, but don’t worry, it’s dark enough that they won’t know it’s you if you keep moving. The low lighting, cushy booths and banquettes, narrow nooks, and low, curved ceiling lend a womb-like feeling that will titillate romantics and send claustrophobics into the fetal position–just a word of advice, if you aren’t keen on small enclosed spaces, don’t venture past the upstairs oyster bowl until you’ve had some hypnotherapy. Read full story »

February 12, 2014

Blood Oranges & Passion Fruit Paris-Brest: 11+ Lovable PDX Eats

I’ve been with Portland for nine years now, which is officially my longest relationship, and I’ll admit that sometimes I lose that lovin’ feeling. Like, every January, pretty much. But last weekend, after Snowpocalypse 2014 forced me to scrap all carefully laid plans and I ended up just wandering around town on foot with my visiting family, eating (because that’s how the Stevensons roll), it was a good reminder of just how deliciously lovable our fair city is.

Although we had stocked the pantry with provisions,

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PROVISIONS.

it seemed more fun to go out, so we laced up our Sorels and stuffed throw pillows in our long johns to guard against ice slips. We spent a good portion of our free time bakery hopping, and had three beautiful meals at Accanto, Little Bird, and Xico. Blood oranges and passion fruit were a definite theme. We visited a few city landmarks, drank a lot of tea, had a downtown staycation, and managed to not get run over by the snowplow. It was a ball of a weekend, and I’m officially back in love with Portland, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of which, seeing as Cupid’s big day is nigh, you can easily use this retrospective as a blueprint for an unforgettable V-Day weekend of progressive dining (you know, if one measly little prix fixe dinner on Friday night just isn’t going to adequately express your affection). Read full story »

February 10, 2014

A Facestuffer V-Day Special

Valentine’s Day is this Friday, and perhaps you’ve already gotten your sweetheart something grand, like a heart-shaped Greek villa or a bathtub filled with melted chocolate and marzipan ducks or a drugstore chocolate box with all the subpar truffles removed and replaced by a clever clue that kicks off a scavenger hunt that ultimately leads to Colin Firth holding a crate of chilled pink champagne. (Please consider the above my Valentine’s Day want list.) Read full story »

February 7, 2014

Bacon Beignets, Kava and King Cake: Just Another Friday Night on Division Street

So far, 2014 has been a whirlwind of dozens of deviled eggs, teetering stacks of tea sandwiches, cocoa powder in every crevice of the house, lemon curd down my back (still not sure how that happened), and puddles upon puddles of melted butter, as my lovely friend Marnie and I work nonstop on our upcoming picnic cookbook, a collaboration with our friend and author Andrea Slonecker, which will be published in spring 2015 by Artisan.

Read full story »