Not a whole lot going on right now, but here’s a few items that may be of interest.
1. Fooku contest is closed. I’ll be sending the entires off to the judges, and we’ll pick the top five for a community vote.
2. Most of people have probably heard, but Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon has been named as one of the “top ten chefs in the nation“. How does he celebrate? By closing LP for a week for ‘repairs’ and whatnot.
3. Jim Dixon, occasional food reviewer, writer, olive oil distributor, has written an interesting article over on Culinate.com on making your own dog food from scratch. You can read it here. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to. If so, Dog Dude may give it a rating. 4 paws!
4. One of my favorite signs that Spring is here, Portland Farmers Market opens tomorrow, April 7th. If you’ve never been, it’s a must. I always take people from out of town, because they are so impressed. It’s going to be a beautiful day, so go and wander; get some sun.
5. Under the heading of “completely unsubstantiated rumor (ooh, gossip!), but from a pretty reliable source” comes this tidbit. Simpatica has hired an all new serving staff. Supposedly they wanted a ‘fresh start’ from John and Courtney. Everyone was offered catering work as a consolation prize. The sad part about this, is that catering is an entirely different monster. Many can’t cater due to the physical demands and frankly the money isn’t as good. As I said, unsubstantiated.
6. For a while, there was a rumor that Micah of Yakuza, was going to open up a coffee place next door, but will likely open that space for Naomi, for Supper. It’s directly next door to Yakuza, to the north; it’s a cute little freestanding, one-story structure. He’s going to fix it up, put a kitchen along the south wall (at least, that’s the plan to far) so Naomi can “have a place where she can shine.” There is a patio area, which may be available for private parties. Does that mean she’s planning on leaving clarklewis? Hmm.
7. Albina Press has finally signed the paperwork on their new shop. It’s going to be on Hawthorne at the foot of Mount Tabor. Look for it to open sometime in the summer. Stopped by AP today, which was crowded as usual. Both owners were doing their best to get the drinks out to just about everyone on the who’s who list of Portland coffee elite, that had just happened to drop by. Combined with the crowd such a nice afternoon brings out, the end result was a caffeinated chaos. Great people watching.
8. Segafreddo has opened in the old Torrefazione spot (the one with the incredible old tree), in the Lloyd Center area. I’ve dropped by several times. My quick take: pastries by Nuvrei, beer and wine, panini that looks good, but I haven’t tried one, and a very friendly staff. The coffee? Hmm… well, it’s improving since they first opened, but I’m not terribly impressed. Still, it just opened.
Since it is at an intersection with a Pete’s, a Starbucks, and a Grand Central Bakery, I thought it would be fun to compare them all. We should have that finished in a few weeks.
9. Who knew? Jeffrey Chodorow, the well known restaurateur from New York, is opening a new restaurant today specializing in – brace yourself – Pacific Northwest cuisine. According to the NY Times, Charles Ramseyer who was the chef at Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle, will cook with raw materials from this area, including wild Alaskan salmon, black cod, spot prawns, mushrooms, fruits, berries and cheeses, along with wines from Oregon and Washington. Unlike his last venture known for thousands of swords hanging from the ceiling, 250 stylized copper fish hang from this one.
10. Whole Foods is now carrying Dry Soda. I’m not a fan of soda in general, just too sweet for me. However, I’ve been looking for these ever since I heard about them a year or so ago. Unfortunately, they haven’t been available in Oregon until now. Dry Soda is all natural, lightly sweetened, and mostly in flavors you would have probably never imagined. Think kumquat, rhubarb, lemongrass, pear, and lavender, yet the flavors are very subtle. Definitely not a kids drink, this stuff is good enough so adults will enjoy it, and is a good thing to have at dinners for folks that don’t drink alcohol. After trying a few of the flavors, I can see why so many higher end restaurants are carrying it.
11. Jason Barwikowski, the future chef of the ‘Clyde Common‘ in the Ace Hotel space, writes to say he is “looking to hire talented and motivated cooks to round out the kitchen staff“. If you send an email to me, I’ll be happy to pass it along, or give him a call.
12. I am feeling great, and back in the saddle again, working on a whole passel of reviews. Coming up: The Oregonian gave Meriwether’s an mostly rave review with a rating of A- last week. We’ll see if I agree. Autentica, the Mexican restaurant on Killingsworth is steadily gaining a following. I’ll weigh in. I’ve gone back to Pok Pok a few times, and am confident they have ironed out a few service bugs, added even more cocktails, and are coming up with some terrific nightly specials. With this in mind, I’ll update the review a bit this weekend, and award it a star rating: 3.5. I’m in the process of updating my review of Fife, and had my first meal at Ten01 a few days ago. Look for that review in a month or so.