Table For Twelve Returns With A Big, Fat Fibula

Dear Food Friends**,

Once upon a time sis Michelle and I had a supper club. It was called Table For Twelve and it was a rollicking good time. We ate, we drank, we met fun new people who also loved to eat and drink, sometimes we conducted ourselves with grace and dignity like our governess Nonna taught us, sometimes we flashed our wunderpants to the occupants of Le Pigeon and ran home barefoot. It was the best supper club in Portland.

Then, Hollywood came calling.

michellerome2I remember it well. We were sitting at a tiny sidewalk table outside Kir, with a beautiful view of the Oregon Artificial Limb Company, sipping a rosé flight and playing rock paper scissors Indian burn for the last piece of charcuterie, when director Rob Marshall called Michelle, whom he’d seen modeling in ads for NE Alberta Street boutique Garnish, to offer her the part of sultry sexy mistress Carla in Nine. Her volatile first reaction was “Fellini-who?! How did you get this number? Only my masseuse, God, and Tiger Woods have this number!” But, as you can well imagine, she and her D&G knockoff sunglasses were on a plane to Rome before you could say Dolce Vita.

Meanwhile, I was left home, alone and bored, so I decided to write a website called Under the Table with Jen. All day long, I huddled in my damp drafty garret wearing naught but a Snuggie in an unpleasant shade of blue, nibbling a few Two Tarts peanut butter creams and drinking weak chamomile tea, talking only to my micropig Jeffrey Steingarten II, until lo and behold, the website was born. In celebration, I took a shower, bought myself a dozen Sahagún Luscious Caramels, and gave Jeffrey Steingarten II a new toy in thanks for all his support.


Jeffrey Steingarten II loves his new toy.

Then our story took a tragic twist. After filming her first scene in Nine, Michelle jet-setted to Paris to buy more Agent Provocateur bustiers, because the besotted extras kept stealing hers. But when disembarking the Concorde, she tripped over her Louis Vuitton carry-on and broke her left fibula, leaving her incapable of performing the intricate dance numbers required by her role. So, she was forced to concede her part to Pénelope Cruz and return to Portland, where she poured all her grief and frustration into a constructive new pastime–co-owner and meat mistress of Olympic Provisions.

And here we are. To commemorate our exciting evolution, we are going to hold the inaugural Table For Twelve dinner at none other than Olympic Provisions, next Wednesday, January 20, at 6:30pm. Executive Chef Jason Barwikowski and team have agreed to make us a marvelous $25 family-style prix fixe meal, for which Jason’s lovely wife and brilliant OP wine director Carly Laws will pour an optional wine pairing. PLUS, supercute OP Meat-Curing Chef Elias Cairo has a very exciting surprise in store, which I will just blow right now–he has promised us a charcuterie plate like Portland has never tasted before, featuring a sampling of his brand-spanking-new cured meats. He will also show you his new tattoo. For a dollar. It’s an owl.

Who needs Hollywood when you’ve got Portland?

Well, you know what to do. Or maybe you don’t! Here is how it works: we’ve got 12 seats at the table, so if you want to join us, email me right this instant at and claim your spot. First come, first serve, and we do keep a little waiting list in case of cancellations. When we’ve filled the dinner, we’ll send a confirmation to the group. Need more details? See below for the Ten Commandments of Table For Twelve.

Yours truly,

Jen & Michelle

**Note: A lot of what you read following this genuinely cheerful greeting will be a big fat fib. Just so you know.

1. Table For Twelve is put on by, a food review and discussion website, thus be aware that thy food-related table chatter and photograph may end up on the blog/website/YouTube channel.

2. Thou shalt be punctual for Table For Twelve, and if catastrophe should occur, thou shalt call the restaurant and ask them to inform us of your plight.

3. Thou shalt bring cash to cover your portion of the check (to avoid frazzling the server with 12 separate methods of payment).

4. Honor thy waitstaff with a friendly demeanor and positive attitude and please tip 18-20 percent, provided the service is worthy.

5. Thou shalt embrace the convivial vibe of Table For Twelve and be willing to share thy food with others. Thus, thou shalt not have communicable diseases.

6. Remember to have an open mind about unfamiliar cuisine and food preparations. In other words, try not to gag when Michelle orders sweetbreads.

7. If thou must cancel on us (BOO!) for some cataclysmic reason, thou shalt provide at least 24 hours notice or risk exclusion from future Table For Twelve events.

8. Thou shalt not be a fuss-budget, loud-mouth, potty-mouth, picky eater, gelato hater, non-drinker, or vegan. Just kidding. Sort of.

9. Thou shalt read religiously, and pass the good word to others.

10. And most importantly, thou shalt have a marvelous time eating, drinking and being merry with other fantastic food-lovers!

We hope to see you at the table!