When Ración chef Anthony Cafiero entered Reed College as a fine arts major, he never thought he’d ultimately be exchanging his metal and woodworking tools for a Cryovac, plancha, & tweezers.
But one year after opening his sleek modernist tapas restaurant in the westernmost section of the Pinot Brasserie/Corazón ruins, Cafiero’s slowly but surely making strides in his quest to enamor Portlanders with avant garde cuisine, one sous-vide egg and hay-smoked maitake at a time.
Last month, I met up with Cafiero at the U-shaped bar that doubles as a front-row seat to the open kitchen action, and talked making lemonade out of the Corazón lemon, the trials and tribulations of having party animal restaurant roommates, pushing culinary envelopes beyond pork belly and pickles, and what happens when you sous vide a Hot Pocket.
And if you’ve yet to try Cafiero’s modernist musings, March is your month. In honor of Portland Dining Month, Ración and dozens of its restaurant brethren are offering $29 three-course tasting menus every evening. See all participants and their menus here, then book a sitter/explain to your boss that you can’t work nights for the rest of the month, because you have some serious eating out to do.