decarli restaurant

by Kristina Sloggett

in Dinner,Portland,restaurants

We enjoyed a new-to-us restaurant recently, Decarli. Jason surprised me that afternoon, telling me he made reservations because we were overdue for a date night. :D

As always, I researched the restaurant prior to our visit. The chef-owner is a longtime Oregonian who has worked in many Portland establishments, including as a sous-chef to John Gorham (Toro Bravo and Tasty n Sons) when they were both at Fratelli. That was all I needed to hear!

We started off with cocktails. We both chose the signature DeCarli, which combines Ketel One vodka, muddled basil and a splash of simple syrup. This will now be my signature cocktail!

We ordered two starters – I picked the polenta fries with gorgonzola butter. Wow. These were crispy crunchy fantastic. I loved the gorgonzola butter, but I also dipped into Jason’s appetizer choice –

Meatballs with marinara, basil, grana padana and garlic toasts. I didn’t taste a meatball, but the marinara was delicious.

Jason chose a Chianti Reserva which went perfectly with dinner.

Difficult to photograph but amazing flavors, my choice was a tagliatelle. I loved it, and shared bites with Jason. He said he will order that next time.

Jason chose the Carlton Farms New York steak with grilled bacon, portobello mushrooms and semolina onion rings. The portobello and onion rings were wonderful, and Jason loved the steak.

We also enjoyed the best dessert on the menu – a salted caramel cheesecake with house-made graham crackers. I will definitely order this again – salted caramel is one of my favorite things, and cheesecake is the other. This was perfect.

Enjoyed with a double espresso, as always!

We were very happy to find a gem on our side of town – an appealing and sophisticated menu and an atmosphere that is comfortable elegantly chic. We will be back, and soon!

Decarli on Urbanspoon

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons June 13, 2011 at 5:14 am

Ummm even your restaurant photos look baller =) I would DEVOUR the marinara in record time. oh yes! <3

hooray for date nights! =) MWAH!

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2 Heather (Where's the Beach) June 13, 2011 at 5:18 am

Looks like a great date night. I think we’re in need of one too. I love that you really try to get to know the restaurant. I’ve only had basil in a cocktail once and was really surprised at how much I did actually like it.

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3 Holly @ The Runny Egg June 13, 2011 at 6:13 am

All of the food looks delicious — and that drink sounds fantastic!

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4 Kris @Krazy_Kris June 13, 2011 at 6:33 am

Wait….. Did you say gorgonzola butter?
#nuffsaid
AMAZING!!!

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5 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty June 13, 2011 at 8:35 am

OOOOOOOOOOOOH those polenta fries look amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love polenta!

Glad you had a nice date night!!
We have no class restaurants here… we basically have sushi and chain restaurants and that’s all!!

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6 Lisa June 13, 2011 at 8:39 am

I’ve never heard of this place! The food looks amazing!

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7 Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 13, 2011 at 8:44 am

I was just thinking last nigth how great an espresso would be. I just recently got into coffee..and I’d love to try one!

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8 Cookin' Canuck June 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

I adore surprise date nights and it looks as though you had a fantastic meal. I am definitely trying the cocktail you mentioned.

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9 Christin@purplebirdblog June 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

I have no words… it all looks mindblowing… especially that cheesecake! *jawdrop* :)

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10 lindsay June 13, 2011 at 11:44 am

ditto!

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11 lindsay June 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

oh chianti! I have been craving that lately. looks good, can’t wait to visit. YES VISIT!

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12 lindsay June 13, 2011 at 11:59 am

kris, are my comments showing up?? I’m having more computer issues. ugh.

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13 Monique June 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Wow, everything about this meal sounds amazing!! Basil cocktails and polenta fries?!?! :)

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14 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

difficult to photograph but delish…that’s the story of a. restaurant food and b. savory and semi “mushy” food. It just does not photograph easily. You did a great job and so glad you had a great time out!!

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15 dana @ my little celebration June 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I used to live in downtown Portland and I miss it so much! I’m jealous that you have the privilege of living in such an awesome city. WITH, not to mention, an absolutely incredible food scene!

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16 spabettie June 14, 2011 at 9:21 am

hi Dana! I know, I feel VERY fortunate to live in a city I LOVE. we love the food scene, you’re right – incredible!!

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17 Kath (My Funny Little Life) June 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Do those drinks (first pic) have basil in them? Or mint? Anyway, may I have one?? :D

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18 spabettie June 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

it’s BASIL. :D it was very good!

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