Friday, May 31, 2013

Post 122: Portland - Olympic Provisions Seals the Deal (Portland: Southeast/Industrial)

For our last meal in Portland we headed to the Industrial District for the renowned Olympic Provisions, a purveyor of locally sourced quality meats.  It is more than just a butcher shop or salumeria.  It is a full fledged restaurant that serves dishes featuring fresh cuts of meats, vegetables that are in season and cheese galore.  The type of food that Olympic Provisions has on its menu is great for pairing with beer and wine.  After all, what goes better with cured meats and cheeses than a good bottle of red?

To start we had The Chef's Choice of five meats.  I really liked the pork and pistachio terrine, and we thought the dry cured salami selection was outstanding.

Another stand out dish was the mixed beans salad with frisée, basil pesto, and bread crumbs.  For those that are not a fan of these legumes, this salad will change all that.  It was cool, chill to the touch, and surprisingly refreshing.  The frisée was truly fresh, and the bread crumbs added the perfect slight crunch to pull the dish together.

The steak tartare was one of the best I have ever had.  The cuts of steak were mixed in with olives and parsley, and the perfect round of egg yolk was placed ever so carefully over the top.  Absolute perfection.  It was as fresh as fresh could be.

After some off-the-menu chef specials, we headed straight into dessert.  We closed off our last meal in Portland with the chilled roasted peach with crème anglaise, salted almonds and caramel.  By the time the dessert came out, I was so serene and content that I almost drowned into the roasted peach the way my spoon did.  There was something about sitting at the bar counter and watching the chefs at work at Olympic Provisions.  The stereotypical Portlandia cooks (tattoos, piercing, and facial hair all dressed in black) were working the line in a seemingly effortless calm.  Their smooth, orchestrated actions created a serene atmosphere that put all the guests at ease.  No shouting, loud noises or cacophonous clashes... it sealed the deal for my love of Portland.

Portland is a city of amazing food, friendly people, and crisp, clean air.  I will be back for more in June.  Until then, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20120915

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