The Genoa Restaurant spinoff will close October 28th.
First reported by the Oregonian, Accanto, once the popular, more casual sister of the much vaunted Genoa has announced they are closing. The restaurant which opened in 2009 never seemed to find its footing; I liked the food but tended to forget they were there. Over the years the quality of the food has varied, but every so often it bubbled onto our reader survey lists for Best Brunch and Best Italian in Portland, and it always seemed popular in the neighborhood. I’ve had reports from reliable friends over the summer that the food has been excellent, and had put it near the top of my list of places to visit. It is interesting that we are having a spate of restaurant closures at this time of year, as many restaurants make a good portion of their income over the holidays.
Because of its association with Genoa, this closure feels like another stake in the heart of the old Portland dining scene, the days of Zefiro, Wildwood, L’Auberge, The Heathman and other restaurants long departed. Genoa was a Portland institution, a slow prix fixe restaurant where dinner served in dim lighting by tuxedo-clad waiters might take a few hours. The menu was five courses for sixty dollars; a lot of money for the time. Unfortunately, the quality of the food slid over the years as the restaurant began to be seen as a staid, old-fashioned relic of a time gone by. It closed in November of 2008, changed owners and was completely remodeled before reopening exactly a year later. That reboot failed to do the trick, and it closed permanently in 2009.
Chefs Cathy Whims, Adam Kaplan, Jake Martin, Jerry Huisinga and Kevin Gibson all are alumni of the restaurant.
While I’m going down a rat hole, want a trip down memory lane? Here’s a copy of a Genoa menu for 2009. It would still stand up to the best Portland restaurants today:
Menu for July 6thst through July 31st
Antipasti di fici- roasted black mission figs, endive spears, yogurt, honey and almonds and black pepper
Tonnarelli con carciofini- house made square cut spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, baby artichoke hearts, peas and sauce barigoule
Insalata di lettuga romana- a composed salad of baby little gem lettuces, tomato jam, soft boiled egg, herb vinaigrette and brioche croutons
Secondi– choice of one of the following
Pesce di luna – Line caught Hawaiian opah with smoked tomato vinaigrette, oil-cured olives, citrus, basil, and eggplant “caviar”
Estate stuffato di fagili – a summer stew of flageolet beans, morel mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, artichokes and green beans baked in a parmesan nage with bread crumbs and summer white truffles
Dolci e formaggi– choice of one of the following
Formaggi – a selection of domestic and import artisanal cheeses with house made condiments
Dolci – choose from a selection of our favorite desserts; deconstructed strawberry shortcake with Chantilly cream, espresso torte with black tea ice cream, mascarpone cheesecake with caramel mousse and a rich chocolate and nut pyramid with apricots and pistachio anglaise