Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Good vs Bad- Good Meal in Portland

The Good: Lolo

When I go out to eat with my chef friends, I tend to let them pick the restaurant. They don’t get nights off very often, and when they do, there is inevitably a place they want to check out, a favorite restaurant they want to return to, or a cuisine they’re craving.

So when I was able to have dinner with my friend Chef John Eisenhart of Portland's Pazzo Restaurant, and he asked me where I wanted to go, I told him it was completely in his hands! We ran into the problem of a lot of places being closed. It was the Sunday of the 4th of July long weekend and the Portland restaurant scene was dead. After a few unsuccessful phone calls (thank goodness we were at the bar and had drinks getting us through this tough time), he finally thought of a place, and we were in luck, it was open!

We ended up at a Spanish tapas place called Lolo in the Alberta Arts neighborhood. We had a great corner table (wish I had taken a photo now!) and could see the entire restaurant and bar, and even the street through the windows.

We ordered one to two small dishes at a time, and then keep going back for more and more…and all shareable! My favorite way to eat a meal.

Highlights included:

-A white bean gazpacho with grapes, nuts and an olive oil finish

-Fresh crudo with mango, local Oregon strawberries and rhubarb

-Octopus with celery and piquillo peppers (we had just spent a lot of time talking about squids and cuttlefish after all!)

-Almond ice cream with chocolate Madelines

-Poached pear with mascarpone ice cream

I especially loved the almond ice cream (still in the ice cream phase), so I think that’s going to be the next ice cream I make. Anyone have a good almond ice cream recipe? The owner, Giorgio, was actually working the night we were there. It was a reminder just how tough the restaurant business was. He owns two restaurants in Portland (Lolo and Giorgio’s), and because it was a slow night and the high cost of labor, he had decided to just work himself. Both he and our server were very nice, friendly and attentive. It was a great table, delicious meal and fantastic experience.

Stay tuned for a review of The Bad!! You'll be surprised to hear who it is...

No comments:

Post a Comment