Oh Summer, what a glorious season you are! We've been spending our weekdays preparing then recouping from the weekends, just the way summer should be. Summertime to us means day trips to the coast; lots of deliciously simple meals prepared, cooked and eaten outside; and summer fruits! Summertime Portland is a big tourist destination because the City is so beautiful this time of year, and there is so much to do. Life is good. Hope everyone is having a great summer!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Upon deciding to go to Seattle, we immediately made dinner reservations for Shiro's Sushi Restaurant in Bell Town.We may not have known where we were staying or how we were getting there, but we knew what we would be eating once we arrived.
Shiro opened the first sushi bar in Seattle in 1970, and although Shiro is no longer there, his appreciation for the freshest ingredients and the abundance of the Pacific Northwest makes this restaurant a must for any sushi lover any where in the US. We've had our fair share of sushi all over the world, and we can say without reservation that this meal, at Shiro's, was the best sushi we've had stateside.
The doors open at 5pm and the line for the sushi bar starts around 4:30pm. Shiro's does not take reservations for the sushi bar, so we made regular reservations for when the doors open at 5pm and scored the last two seats at the bar. We selected the Chef's choice Omakase tasting menu and ate and ate until we were satisfied.
We requested no blue fin tuna or endangered tuna be served, but we were ok with local albacore tuna. Pictured is the belly and loin.
Flounder, Japanese Snapper and Seared Flounder Fin.
Local Baby Squid legs and tube.
Smoked Herring Roe - tasted like smoked jellied tobiko.
Live Sweet Shrimp.
Fried Shrimp Heads.
Santa Barbara Uni, elevated with the addition of truffle salt.
It seems everyone at the sushi bar was having omakase, so it was interesting to see what the other two sushi chefs were preparing for their diners. When we saw our neighbors receive a piece of king crab, we had to request a piece. Still warm from the steamer, it was sweet, succulent and a total homerun.
We have been waiting years to try Shiro's and it was completely worth the wait. Chef Shiro came to the Seattle looking for its unique availability of geoduck and seaweed, and brought with him his high standards of providing only the freshest ingredients he could find to his customers.That tradition and passion can definitely be seen today.
2401 Second Avenue
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Last weekend we hopped on the Portland to Seattle Bolt Bus and bolted on up to Seattle to see Jamaican music legends Sly & Robbie. Even with the limited amount of time we had, we made the most of it by catching the first bus of the day and arriving in Seattle just in time to get in line for famous Salumi's, a specialty salami shop started by famous NYC chef Mario Batali's father Armandino Batali. Open only Tuesdays-Fridays 11am to 3pm, we were finally able to try Salumi's famous artisan salamis. We decided to start our day by splitting the meat and cheese platter ($18), a hunk of their shelf stable pancetta and a Salumi Muffo (their take on a muffaletta). It was truly worth the wait.
After a terrific breakfast/lunch we walked up a few blocks to the ID (International District) and did our usual Seattle to-dos with visits to Japanese $1.50 store Daiso, and had some yummy treats and a nice bowl of beef soba noodles at Uwajimaya's food court. After a few hours we were ready to drop off our bags at the terrific Hotel Max and head to Bell Town for a dinner reservation at a much anticipated sushi restaurant. The rest of the evening was a blurr of lots of walking, more eating and drinking, Pride weekend on Capital Hill, an amazing show at Neumos and a final 2am meal of Hot Mama's Pizza. Pretty good for the first 18 hours!
With Hotel Max's proximity to Pike Place Market, we made an obligatory visit. We had very particular items we needed to purchase. Going to Pike Place Market on a Saturday during any summer month is complete madness, so we bee-lined to Pike Place Chowder, grabbed a quick chowder and got out as fast as we could.
We ate a few more meals and headed back to Portland full, happy and still dancing.
Thank you Seattle - you were fun as ever and delicious as usual!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
There aren't many vegan restaurants in Portland that are worthy of celebrations, and due to that fact we have eaten at Portobello Vegan Trattoria numerous times. However this time was different, we were celebrating a wedding!
After the short and sweet morning ceremony, we enjoyed a 4-course tasting menu that had us thinking vegan makes for a great wedding menu. Who can resist beautifully cooked and arranged vegetables? The tasting menu portions were perfect and the flavors were absolutely terrific. Honestly, it had us looking at Portobello in a new light and we look forward to our next visit - who's birthday's next?
The stuffed figs appetizers were amazing.
Starters of Beet and Asparagus Salad & Squash and Carrot Soup.
The pasta and grain course was particularly good and was difficult to decide which dish to have. The Tomato Gnocchi, Artichoke Risotto, Mushroom Cavatelli, or Roast Corn Ravioli? They were all delicious.
We wiped our main course plates clean. Trumpet Mushrooms and Pesto & a Portobello Steak.
The dessert course included many of Portobello's vegan ice creams, including in root beer float form, but we stuck to more adult desserts with the best Strawberry Basil "ice cream" we've ever had, a Berry Tart and a Peach Panna Cotta. All three desserts were terrific.
We don't think it simply was because we were celebrating such a joyous occasion that Portobello, a restaurant we've eaten at many times, was so delicious this time; but it was by far the most memorable meal we've had there so far.Cheers!