I have a couple of restaurant visits to share with you from our recent vacation to Oregon’s wine country, and I am starting with a very good one.
For Jason’s actual birthday dinner, we visited a new restaurant taking on the concept of farm to table.
Paulée is the new home of executive chef Daniel Mondok (formerly with Portland’s celebrated Sel Gris, also the renowned Genoa and Foster Burger) serving fruit and vegetables from its own farm right next door.
The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable, where great music was obviously the chef’s choice – the open layout of the kitchen allows you to view the goings on, and Chef Mondok could often be spotted singing along as he worked.
Chef Mondok with pastry chef Stephen Gazda plating my dessert:
We shared many plates, Jason choosing the meats while I enjoyed the veggies and pastas from each. The courses are solidly executed in stunning presentation, and the desserts creatively unique.
Jason loves to photo-bomb - can you find it in the above photo? Perhaps you can see it better in this photo.
The amuse… a rich pâté on a delicate cracker.
Mixed Greens – strawberries, hazelnuts, pickled onions, blue cheese.
This was by far my favorite. Well, until dessert.
Lyonnaise – pork belly lardons, fried egg, frisee, sherry vinaigrette.
I love a frisee salad, and the egg was perfectly cooked.
Risotto – porcinis, morels, cardoncellos, white truffles, chevre.
Look at all the truffle… the flavor of this was over the top perfect.
One of Jason’s favorite beers.
Beef – sirloin, oxtail, potato paillasson, chichories, jus.
Jason loved this. I loved the potatoes!
King Salmon – Israeli couscous mac & cheese, tempura garlic tops, tomato, trout roe.
Couscous mac and cheese. Genius. Fantastic. With a bite of those (smoked?) tomatoes, the flavors were perfect.
Daily made sorbets.
The three flavors were ginger, watermelon, tangerine. A refreshing finish, indeed.
Walnut Cake – blueberry conserve, walnut dacquoise, celery cream cheese ice cream.
Celery cream cheese ice cream! It is why I chose this dessert, and honestly, why I chose the restaurant!
The cake was very good, but for me the star was this ice cream – fresh and vibrant with a subtle sweetness. Also, the plating and design – beautiful!
The impressive walls of wine:
Many aspects of Paulée remind me of and transport me back to Napa. We look forward to visiting again.