Most hail from elsewhere, coming to Portland for its communal spirit — and its ingredients, which flood in fresh each season from the bookend fecundities of the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Ocean. There’s a real sense that Portland today is to the culinary arts what Paris was to the visual arts a hundred years ago.
How’s that for a money quote? Portland today is to the culinary arts what Paris was to the visual arts a hundred years ago. Wow.
A few obvious trends are noted:
- a love of meat, for instance, notably pig (every part of it): pork-belly starters, pickled pigs’ ears, and bacon everywhere, even candied in deserts
- a kind of Euro-Pacific farm cooking . . . full-cream spoon breads, flaky brioches, lard piecrusts, gravy galore, and lots and lots of thick-crusted fried chicken
- the burgeoning local spirits scene
- passionate in-city purveyors, notably Ken’s Artisan Bakery and Steve’s Cheese
Each of the restaurants mentioned above is profiled, with shorter pieces on Screen Door, The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar, Toro Bravo, Lovely Hula Hands, Pok Pok, and Lucier. Blue Hour, the Heathman, Higgins, Paley’s Place, and Saucebox get a sidebar mention too.
The article is not online yet. I’m not sure what Gourmet’s schedule is for posting new articles from the magazine.