Thursday, July 25, 2013

The best weekend ever.

Have I said that before about another weekend? Probably. But seriously, this is one of the best weekends ever.

If you love beer and wine, then you know what I am talking about.

The last weekend of July many Oregonians will be spending their time in the Willamette Valley enjoying the International Pinot Noir Celebration or relaxing on the Tom McCall Waterfront Park for the Oregon Brewer's Festival. Actually, both events are nationally recognized so many people come from all over to attend one of these two events.

Tonight I found myself enjoying a lovely setting and a spectacular sunset at Stoller Vineyards for the Pre-IPNC Summertime ¡Salud! Dinner. Fortunately for me, there was an extra ticket and I was the lucky one. I cannot even begin to describe the stunning views, delightful company and wonderfully executed family-style meal. Yes, you read that correctly, favorite type of dining.

I couldn't wait to share some of the photos I took of the beautiful views. For once, I actually wasn't snapping photos of my food. What a bad night to forget my camera.

Also, take a look at the menu prepared by our very own, Chef Sunny Jin. Yes yes, I am biased because I work with the guy but seriously it was delicious.

garden beet & blueberry salad with briar rose madrona, candied walnuts, banyuls vinaigrette

juniper-scented heritage pork loin with sprouted wheat berries, scallions, radishes, fig-saba marmalade
grilled new york strip loin with yukon gold potatoes, chicory slaw, charred garden onions, dijonnaise 

blackberry cobbler with greek yogurt, jory granola, brown sugar caramel 
birch syrup panna cotta with tequila-pickled cherries, mexican chocolate sauce 

Next up...celebrating Oregon Craft Beer Month.

How are you celebrating this weekend?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Biwa, Biwa...I love Biwa.

I am lucky I have friends that like to eat.

In fact, we figured it was time to start a Super Club to make it more official. The inspiration came after a stop at Biwa and after three hours of yummy, delicious Japanese cuisine, we were rolling ourselves out of the restaurant. It is a small, cozy spot with limited seating and a very small bar. Like any Portland restaurant, there was a wait but it was well worth it. I know, I know, I always say that but seriously, SO worth it.

For the first time anywhere, I ordered a chef's tasting menu or as they called it, "Omakase," which is a Japanese term for "I'll leave it to you." Why the heck don't I do this every time? It was delicious and I loved all the dishes except for one...out of 10+ dishes, that is fine by me. The service was wonderful and our server repeated herself on numerous occasions. I wish I could remember her name so I could properly thank her.

Two things I fell in love with that night: butterfish sashimi and honey glazed sweet potatoes. No, I did not eat them together but yes, I did eat every last last bite. Thank goodness for my kind friends, letting me eat the last bite of both dishes.

chili popcorn to start
chef's choice starter
napa cabbage salad
butterfish, beets, wasabi
honey glazed sweet potatoes
japanese style potato salad & gyoza (dumplings) 
If you are looking at the menu, don't let the Japanese items intimidate you. The servers will guide you and I guarantee they won't steer you wrong. I recommend family-style dining (shocking, I know) because the chef's tasting menu works great for sharing. Other diners ordered their own meals too so if you rather go that route, that works too!

Last, I will you with some insider information about Biwa. Apparently, the Biwa hamburger is incredible and it is only available on their late night menu at the bar. It can highly recommended by more than one person. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

215 SE 9th Avenue
Portland, Oregon
open everyday 5pm - 12am | happy hour 5 - 6pm & 9 - 10pm