Tasty n Alder (Portland, OR)

Tasty n Alder
580 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
Dining date: 3/11/17

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Brunch is supposedly a big deal in Portland on the weekends. Meeting up with an old friend, he suggested having brunch at this place, one of the most popular spots in town. Tasty n Alder is part of John and Renee Gorham’s restaurant group that owns and operates a number of concepts in town (Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons). Even though we thought we got to the restaurant relatively early (9:30), our party of four still waited 90 minutes for a table (Heart Coffee Roasters across the street was a great place to kill some time).

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Le Pigeon (Portland, OR)

Le Pigeon
738 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
Dining date: 3/11/17

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Gabriel Rucker’s Le Pigeon has been one of Portland’s most highly-regarded restaurants since 2006. Rucker was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2007 and has won two James Beard awards – Rising Star Chef of the Year (2011) and Best Chef, Northwest (2013). The food here is French, modeled after an upscale bistro. Five and seven course tasting menus are available but we went a la carte for this meal after dedicating some stomach space to an earlier happy hour.

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The restaurant is small; a handful of seats are available at the bar (for walk-ins only), while table seating is all communal.

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Bateau (Seattle, WA)

Bateau
1040 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122
Dining date: 1/2/17

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Bateau is chef Renee Erickson’s first restaurant foray out of seafood. Erickson has made a name for herself by serving sea creatures (The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, General Porpoise), but this restaurant is something a little different – a steakhouse.

Beef is aged on-site in a huge meat locker in full display. Right next to it is the day’s sections broken down into farm, cut, and portion. Everything is of limited supply; as they’re ordered, items are crossed off the chalkboard. This day’s beef selections were from three different farms, all grass-fed, aged 21-35 days. La Ferme des Anes is Erickson’s own farm.

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Stateside (Seattle, WA)

Stateside
300 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Dining date: 1/1/17

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Opened in 2004, Stateside has been popular for its modern Vietnamese cuisine on Capitol Hill. My brother’s been here before, and helped us select this spot for its Vietnamese-inspired brunch. It was one of the few restaurants open on New Years Day, making this my first meal of 2017.

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Revel (Seattle, WA)

Revel
403 N 36th St
Seattle, WA 98103
Dining date: 1/2/17

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While looking for lunch in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, we originally sought out Cuban sandwich specialist Paseo. We failed to research beforehand that the restaurant was closed Mondays, but found possibly an even better option. A quick search guided us to this place a short walk away. Revel has been very popular since opening up here almost six years ago, serving Korean dumplings, noodles and rice bowls. The restaurant is the most casual sister restaurant to Joule from chef team Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi.

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The Walrus and the Carpenter (Seattle, WA)

The Walrus and the Carpenter
4743 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Dining date: 11/6/14

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I had one free evening on a quick business trip to Seattle, my first time to the city. Seattle’s got a ton of interesting restaurants and it was a difficult decision narrowing down to one. In the end, we decided on The Walrus and the Carpenter, Renee Erickson’s 4 1/2-year old oyster bar. The no-reservations restaurant has been consistently popular since its beginning, but we were able to squeeze in for an early dinner table after a 20 minute wait.

As expected, the focus here is on seafood particularly oysters. A large variety are always on hand (9 on this evening) as well as a bounty of other seafood small plates. A handful of garden, pantry, meat and cheese plates round out the menu.

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