Gabriel Rucker Returns to Little Bird Bistro.
Little Bird Bistro has never had quite the same following as it’s older sister Le Pigeon. The food has been good, but not up to the standards of the other restaurant. Today, two-time James Beard Award chef Gabriel Rucker announced that he has taken over the kitchen and “re-imagined” the menu at his downtown Portland restaurant. Here is the press release:
Portland, Ore. (June 25, 2015) – Chef Gabriel Rucker is back in downtown Portland, cooking and creating new dishes at Little Bird Bistro. Since opening the restaurant in 2010, Executive Chef Erik Van Kley shaped the menu with Rucker’s guidance. Now, the celebrated Chef/Co-Owner of both Little Bird and Le Pigeon, which was just named Portland’s Best Restaurant by the Oregonian, is thrilled to be cooking at both restaurants as Executive Chef. Rucker has recreated the menu at Little Bird Bistro to reflect his creative vision for the French-inspired restaurant. Initially imagined as a classic French bistro, the concept and menu evolved to draw from inspiration throughout Europe, and now Rucker is bringing the restaurant back to its French roots, cooking his version of classic French with a touch of Americana.“Little Bird is a bistro first,” explains Rucker, “that’s where my heart and voice in the kitchen is. But we also incorporate some serious Americana there— potato skins, fried chicken, and burgers.” Dishes on the new menu are often a playful take on a classic French dish. The chicken in the Coq au Vin is fried, Seared Foie Gras is dressed with strawberry hot sauce and crispy chicken skin, fries are served with béarnaise aioli, Lamb Tongue & Crispy Potato Salad is laced with frisée and dressed with dijon-tarragon vinaigrette, and the Roasted Marrow Bones are served with “ham & cheese,” Walla Walla onions and smoked honey mustard. Rucker has developed a cult following for his burgers (Le Pigeon’s burger is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation), and he has recreated Little Bird’s signature burger as the Double Brie Burger: two St. Helens Beef ground chuck patties, brie melted on each, atop iceberg lettuce slaw, with house “dijonnaise,” housemade pickle ketchup, and Mama Lil’s Bread & Butter pickles on a Ken’s Artisan Bakery bun.Little Bird Bistro’s menu is shaped by the seasons, and is inspired by the availability of fresh ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Chef Rucker shops at the Portland Farmers Market on Saturday mornings with one of the restaurant’s three sous chefs, Marcelle Crooks. Rucker collaborates with Crooks, Su-Lien Pino and Andrew Gordon on the restaurant’s menus, and Pastry Chef Helen Jo on her inventive desserts. Collaboration runs through the restaurant, with culinary interplay between the kitchen, pastry and bar. Little Bird Bistro’s cocktail bar, managed by JP Peterson, is known best for expert execution of classic cocktails, as well as house cocktails inspired by bistro culture and use of French spirits. The wine list continues to focus strongly on France, as well as the Pacific Northwest.Little Bird Bistro serves lunch, dinner, happy hour and a late night menu. Chef Rucker carries the spirit of Le Pigeon to Little Bird Bistro, with a high-low sensibility evident at any hour, but especially late-night: at 11:30pm, a guest can order a Double Brie Burger (for $5) and a local craft beer, or Duck Confit with smoked foie gras vinaigrette and a glass of Burgundy. Portland is famous for its excellent chef-driven happy hour menus, and Little Bird Bistro’s is one of the best. From Monday through Friday between 3-5pm in the restaurant and until 6pm in the bar area, as well as 10pm-midnight every night of the week, fresh raw oysters are half off ($1.50 each), the Double Brie Burger is only $5 (normally $14), and house cocktails are $3 off.
Sample Dinner MenuJune 2015Appetizers
Field Greensbanyuls vinaigrette, Le ChevrotLittle Gem Lettucepickled shrimp, green goddess, radish, cucumberMussels & Fritesgreen garlic, peas, mintCrispy Potato & Lamb Tongue Saladfrisée, avocado, dijon-tarragon vinaigretteSteak Tartareyolk, fines herbs, aged goat cheeseLox & Baby Beetspistachio, raspberry, oyster emulsionRoasted Marrow Bonesham & cheese, walla walla onions, smoked honey mustardSeared Foie Graslentils, strawberry chutney, chicken skin, lovageTruffled Foie Gras au Torchonolive oil crostini, seasonal jamEntréesDaily FishChicken-Fried Troutpickled carrots, fines herbes, radishes, dijon, gribicheFried Chicken “Coq au Vin”pommes raclette, bacon glazed mushrooms, rosemary-balsamic jusDuck Confitgreen beans, pickled cherries, hazelnut, smoked foie gras vinaigretteBrioche Bread Puddingcorn, morels, green beans, summer truffleRoasted Pork Stewpeas, carrots, dill, garlic-butter orzoHanger Steak Au Poivrefrites, goat cheeseBaguette Jambon de Parisgruyère, dijon, greensDouble Brie Burger spiced ketchup, onion, pickles, friesSidesMacaroni GratinOlives: Castelvetrano & NiçoisePomme Purée, racletteFrites, béarnaise aioliZucchini, corn, peaches, truffleCarrots, lovage butter, chili honey, bleu de brebis
Reservations: Open Table or by phone at (503)688-5952.
215 SW 6th Ave., Portland OR 97204
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